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Reviews291 instead of a 'weather vane' may hint at his unconscious identification of it with his father" (p. 1 1 1). "Simon Lee," the tale of a now lame old man who in his youth had been a "running huntsman merry," also suffers from too much ingenuity: "The pattern of'run-ons' or enjambments [of die poem's lines] ... is indeed interesting in ways that go beyond this punning [itself intended as a pun on "running"] association of sense and prosodie device" (p. 51). This is not unthinkable, but it remains unconvincing unless die audior proves Üiat Wordsworth's use of enjambment, which he employs often, is distinctive here. A broader focus, a larger context would have made the overall argument more convincing . For instance, how is it that Coleridge, Wordsworth's devoted friend and intellectual ally during these formative years, failed to grasp the distinctive poetics of diese poems? Nevertheless, Bialostosky does a real service in commending what he sees as Wordsworth's experiments (and, incidentally, he has a fine command of die bibliography and a superb ability to summarize other critics' positions). Above all, he conveys a "delight"— Wordsworth's own criterion for the reader — in these bold if sometimes obdurately humble poems. ScRipps CollegeRichard Fadem Marxism and Deconstruction: A Critical Articulation, by Michael Ryan; xvii & 232 pp. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982, $18.50. In this provocative book, Ryan seeks to "alloy" (rather than compare) deconstruction and critical Marxism. This involves freeing Marxism from metaphysical elements (e.g., classical dialectics), and using deconstruction as a theoretical basis for antimetaphysical and post-Leninist practical advances underway in Marxism. Ryan's concerns are political and activist rather than scholarly, and he denies that philosophy can be "pure" or apolitical. For Ryan, Derrida's deconstruction is critique of metaphysics. Deconstruction upends metaphysical systems of "oppositions and priorities by showing how what metaphysics excludes as secondary and derivative . . . —difference, say, in relation to identity — is in fact more primordial and more general dian the metaphysical original" (p. 10). As such, deconstruction can expose die metaphysical, ideological bases of political dieories. Here Ryan summarizes Derrida's criticism of Hobbes, Husserl, Rousseau, Austin, and Searle. Ryan also clarifies Derrida's central terms: differance (irreducible temporal deferment and spatial differentiation); undecidability (intrinsic, systematic incompleteness and historical situatedness of all accounts); and textuality (reciprocal constitution of meaning and cultural institutions). Ryan views Marxism as a socio-politico-economic extension of deconstruction, and details the rejection by Marx and Derrida of idealism, positivism, naturalism, and objectivism . Deconstruction, however, requires tiiat Marxism be purged ofclassical speculative dialectics, where the mediation of self-identical being becomes the self-identity of beingmediated , and mediation itself becomes simple negation (radier dian differentiation). Marx's goal, Ryan writes, "is more deconstructive dian Hegelian, more an overcoming of opposition . . . than a sublation of contradiction into a resolutive identity" (pp. 68-69). Ryan clarifies this Marxist/deconstructionist dialectic by contrasting it with the more 292Philosophy and Literature metaphysical dialectics of Marcuse, Adorno, and Sartre, and by using it to undermine Lacan's "phallocentrism" and "semiocentrism," and Habermas's ideal speech/communication dieory. In this Marxist/deconstructionist light, Ryan interprets Capital: he insists on die interpénétration ("differentiality") of politics and economics, and rejects necessary ("decidable") historical laws. Ryan also examines Lenin's systematic misreading of Marx, where decentralized communism becomes the basis for statism, oppression, and transcendent trudis. Ryan applies this Marxist/deconstructionist theory to many contemporary issues. He considers ideological elements in everyday views of terrorism, feminism, liberalism, human rights, social planning, credit, and foreign policy. He criticizes traditional views of academic freedom, disciplinary study, and die relation of American education to business, and offers suggestions for "radical teachers." Finally, he explores common directions in Marxism/deconstruction, (Rowbotham's) socialist feminism, and (Negri's) autonomy dieory in terms of human needs, agency, and social categories and organization . Ryan writes with exceptional clarity, and raises indisputably important issues. However, his project suffers from four fundamental weaknesses. (1) Deconstruction, as critique of metaphysics, may be alloyed with Marxism (minus metaphysics — or any "ism" minus metaphysics) but it is not clear that this strengtiiens Marxism. Many have understood Marx's Capital, dialectics, and relation...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 291-292
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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