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190Philosophy and Literature becamecuriousaboutSavage's pamphlet, and as aconsequence ofthese readings he altered his manuscript of Le Neveu de Rameau. The argument is convincing. The impact of the book is cumulative. Although it consists of three discrete studies, the reader is led to see connecting links and thus acquires a deeper appreciation ofthe affinities between Enghsh and French literature and culture. City University of New YorkRenée Waldinger Modern Fiction andHuman Time: A Study in Narrative and Belief, by Wesley A. Kort; ? & 227 pp. Tampa: University of South Florida Press, 1985, $20.00. Readers would be advised to spend some time studying the table of contents of this book before attempting the introduction, as it rather crypticaUy aUudes to the key concepts worked out through the main body ofthe argument. These concepts centeron the way modern novels embody three variations on acomplex modern sense of time; since three of the nine authors chosen by Kort are presented as phUosophers, he argues that it is in the novel that we find most clearly worked out key phüosophical notions of time. The first section, "Rhythmic Time," deals with two novelists, Ernest Hemingway and D. H. Lawrence, and one "thinker," the Romanian historian of religions, Mircea Eliade. Time, in all three writers, is rhythmic because "a rhythmic pattern suggests repetition or return" (p. 58). The second section, "Polyphonic Time," treats Thomas Mann, William Faulkner, and Alfred North Whitehead; these three are matched because their view of time is "fundamentallyaprocessresultingfrom the interaction, dissonance, and resolutionbetween individuals, groups of people and diverse social, political or cultural interests" (p. 105). Virginia Woolf and Hermann Hesse are linked to Martin Heidegger through their concern with time as a "process toward self-articulation or fulfillment " (p. 152) in the third section dubbed, in Kort's musical metaphors, "Melodic Time." The conclusion brings in concrete examples summed up from the preceding nine chapters of the main argument. In labored prose Kort continues to overlook very basic aspects of the novel as an art form, let alone a projection or embodiment of phüosophical attitudes to time. He does, however, point to a previous study, where he argued that the depiction of character in the novel arose in a swerve in the early Renaissance from prophetic and priesdy notions of person to one deriving from Graeco-Hebraic notions of Wisdom. Unfortunately , he is soon at the end of his book, except for the appendix, in which he attempts to sum up MikhaU Bakhtin's use of the term "polyphony" and to differentiate it from his own usage. Reviews191 Having argued that a modern novel (by which he means West European and American fiction in the twentieth century) focuses on plot, he then proceeds to divide up kinds of plot by their handling of time and the persons and events they create or carry along with them. Barely noting historical, cultural, or linguistic differences between his novelists—two Americans, two British, and two Germans—he assumes a transparency of interest with his three thinkers without considering their cultural and ideological purposes or even their historical contexts. After aU, modern is modern,just as much as novels are novels. The reference to a Wisdom tradition in the development of the novel ought to be foUowed through, as well as a much more detaüed analysis ofhis argument in relation to Bakhtin's dialogic imagination and heteroglossia as defining qualities of the novel as genre and cultural discourse. Then we would be dealing with historical problems not vague conceptual modes; we would have to fix eachwriterinto hisorherownspecificprogressivedevelopmentandbidfareweU to easy generalities; and we would, finaUy, have to front up to the textuality of the novel as a literary mode and not treat it as a Platonic reflection either of reality or of phüosophical discourse. University of Waikato, New ZealandNorman Simms Philosophy and the Art of Writing, by Berel Lang; 246 pp. East Brunswick, New Jersey: Bucknell University Press, 1983, $28.50. Berel Lang taunts us with the assertion that "art is short, life is long." This reversal of the "vita brems, ars longa" reaffirms art as a process contingent on human life and fortune. It also provides a clue to his work based...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 190-191
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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