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176Philosophy and Literature This translation is based on the 1970 edition and includes the seven essays. Goldhammer had already translated Starobinski's Montaigne in Motion, thereby coming to grips with the extremely difficult task of setting Starobinski's tighdy controUed and elegant French prose into readable English. As Morrissey remarks inhis informativeintroductoryessayonStarobinski's methodology, Goldhammer had a particularly thorny problem since so few English speakers are at home in the phenomenological vocabulary essential to Starobinski's analyses. The translation of the tide is a case in point. Substituting "obstruction" for "obstacle" is Goldhammer's way of alerting the English reader to the fact that the opposition Starobinski is trying to elucidate is so fundamental that Rousseau could never overcome it. Thus what we have in this translation is a very English point of view, reinforced by the choices Goldhammer was forced to make. Of course, any translation is an interpretation, but this particular one is even more so. We end up with something close to a set of Chinese boxes: Rousseau's texts in which he is analyzing himself, Starobinski's text in which he is analyzing Rousseau, Goldhammer's text in which he is analyzing Starobinski, and, as a coda, Perkins's review in which she is analyzing Goldhammer. Despite this labyrinthian structure, let me hasten to add that anyone who cannot read French wül be weU served by this translation. For those who are pressed for time, a reading of chapter six entided "Misunderstandings" will give the bare outlines of Starobinski's argument and wiU surely whet the appetite for more. Swarthmore CollegeJean A. Perkins György Lukács andtheLiteraryPretext, by Eva L. Corredor; xviii & 225 pp. New York: Peter Lang, 1987, $46.50. It has been the major contribution of Marxist criticism to show how specific literary structures are shaped by the historical ground on which they are set. No writer has elaborated this thesis more persistendy and imaginatively than Lukács, and Eva Corredor's book at once caUs attention to this central concern and provides a useful summary of its appearances in Lukács's work. On the other hand, Lukács's own critical practice is closely tied to his aesthetic and social theories, and Corredor is less successful in providing an account of the basic connections between these. Corredor's analysis is at its best in her presentation of Lukács's earliest work. In his first books— The History ofthe Evolution ofModern Drama (1911), Soul and Form (1911), and The Theory of the Novel (1916)—Lukács, mainly under the Hegelian influence that would persist even in his Marxist writings, considered the genres ofdrama, the essay, and the novel, respectively, as themselves repre- Reviews177 sentations of social and cultural process. So, the historical distinction between individuality and individualism would also turn into the differences in plot and character between Renaissance and modern drama; so, too, the emergence of the novel as a literary form, distinguishing its context from that of the epic, would provide a new means of literary objectification. Lukács's depiction here ofcultural history in the structures ofliterature anticipates subsequent formalist and structuralist efforts. It does this, moreover, with a surer sense both of literary presence and of social causality than many of these later efforts. Corredor's account of the first three of Lukács's books begins to faU off, however, in the brief chapter she devotes to History and Class Consciousness. She passes quickly over the book's central themes—e.g., the concept of class consciousness —often alluding to summaries of other commentators. She also fails to show how such general themes are related to the issues in aesthetics or criticism thatLukács addresses elsewhere. This putative schism between Lukács's philosophical and critical writings is more than simply a decision by Corredor to focus on the latter; it also figures in her own analysis of Lukács's critical writings. The effect of this is to miss certain important philosophical nuances. So, for example, she finds "the autonomy ofart" (pp. 41^12) implicit in Lukács's early view of drama, although, in fact, this alleged "aestheticism" meant for Lukács only that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 176-178
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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