In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

240Philosophy and Literature Matthew Arnold? Culture and Anarchy is an overrated arjd sinister tract; for beneath its bland tautologies lurks the clear insinuation that democratic rights should not be extended to the working classes. As social critics, a far more progressive trio than Arnold, Carlyle, and Ruskin would be J. S. Mill, William Morris, and Cunninghame Graham. Professor Goodheart's discussions of the individual writers are conducted with clarity and proficiency. His polemical animus naturally leads him to err on the side of pessimism: writer after writer is weighed in the balance and found wanting. Furthermore, though there is vigor in the arguments, I sometimes wished there had been a little more sensitivity or originality. The Leavisite case against Flaubert, for example, is now rather out of date; for the increasing ruthlessness of much present-day fiction has helped to alert us to a wide range of tones of implicit or frustrated humanity which qualify Flaubert's coldly forensic urbanity: humanity implicit, for example, in his notation of the plight of Berthe Bovary, who at the novel's close is condemned to the drudgery of the cotton-mill. In the account of James Joyce, though, Professor Goodheart is surely correct to see that Ulysses constitutes a cornucopian condemnation of the egoistic aesthetic creed offered by the Stephen Dedalus of A Portrait of the Artist. (The more to be regretted, then, is the fact that Professor Goodheart follows the fashion of using the term "epiphany" as though it were a literary-critical term sanctioned by Joyce, when in Stephen Hero Joyce actually mocks and dismisses it. I also regret the Professor's use or abuse of the term "solipsism," which he uses to mean merely "subjectivity" or "egotism.") Although I had some misgivings, I can see that this book quite proficiently invokes some very important cultural questions. University or SussexCedric Watts Nietzsche, Henry James, and the Artistic Will, by Stephen Donadío; xviii & 347 pp. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, $15.95. This topic is fascinating, and one can imagine many ways of handling it. Might we expect a study in the intellectual climate of the period? Or an account of how Nietzsche influenced James? Or a revelation—like Barthes's Sade/ FourierILoyola—of unexpected parallels between the writing of such different men? Donadío begins with a positively Jamesian description of the possible relations between James and Nietzsche. Both were familiar with the work of the novelist Bourget (p. 21); James's friend "Vernon Lee" wrote an article on Nietzsche that James might have read (pp. 22-32); both men were influenced by Emerson. Shorter Reviews24 1 James "was at various times . . . close to people" (p. 45) who read Nietzsche, although there is no evidence that he ever read a page of that philosopher. Taking a chapter to reach that non-conclusion is bizarre. Donadío considers various topics treated by both authors: the importance of art, and the special status they give artists; how life supplies only the raw materials for art, materials which the artist must refine; why, consequently, both men disliked realism in art. His parallels tend to fall into two categories. Either, as in his account of why both men are expatriates, his discussion applies to too many other authors to be revealing about these two men. Or, as in his note that Nietzsche's view of the historian is like James's view of the novelist, his parallel needs further development if it is to be helpful. Thus, that the use of omniscient authors might "necessarily" (p. 144) have religious implications is a perhaps interesting, but unproven, claim. And it seems a curious procedure to quote a long passage from Maupassant that James discusses, because understanding it—though Nietzsche probably never read it—might help explain why Nietzsche liked Maupassant (pp. 155-56). This book is filled with lengthy digressions which are occasionally linked to Nietzsche and James. Thus, Donadío gives the view of art of Schiller, Hegel, and Wilde (pp. 49-61) without really relating them to his topic. Noting that the Nazis abused the political views of Nietzsche but not Mill (p. 138), or that Lawrence's novels are connected with James...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 240-241
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.