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Reviews131 "Nothing. But language and only language enables the conceptions we have." This invites the question of what justifies the notion of language in play in the answer, and Carroll's thesis is that structuralism and textualism have succumbed to the dogma that language is essentially the complex structure whose hidden workings their analyses reveal. He argues that there is no warrant for closing the question of what language is, and this for two reasons he does not distinguish. One is that questions can be closed no more than time can be stopped. Answers are given in time and are, therefore, subject to the changes time rings. The other is that language, or whatever subject is in question, is subject to the frame imposed upon it, and the logic of the frame is such that what is framed is always open to what is outside. (Since what the frame encloses is defined by its differences from what it excludes, the distinction between inside/outside the frame reappears within it.) Derrida's answer will not do because it is inadequate to time and to history, the heroes of The Subject in (Question. Carroll construes theories and their exemplifying fictions as events, embedded in time, and claims that they are, like time, continuous, cumulative, and ceaseless. They are continuous in that there are no radical breaks between preceding and succeeding theories, e.g., structuralism does not break with its past. They are cumulative: the new contains the old, no matter the changes rung on the old. Where Derrida argues that iflanguage is bricolage, "bricoleur" is already contained in "engineer," Carroll argues that if we are creatures with projects that perforce will be totalized, "engineer" is still contained in "bricoleur." (Bricoleurs are like engineers in having one big project, namely, that of having no big projects.) Carroll's undermining of the privilege of the theories he analyzes always rests on some theory their partisans thought to have undone, and it looks as though his thesis that the subject is always in question carries with it the (anti)thesis that the question always is begged. Finally, the questioning to which theories or framing-operations are to be subject must be ceaseless, lest those whose views are framed blind themselves to what is beyond the frame and lose sight of "how relative and interested all framing operations are." Therefore, it is "absolutely necessary to frame any operation of framing within another frame ... to undermine its privileged status" (p. 195). And so on endlessly. Nothing stays. But if all subjects are always in question, no questions can ever be asked. Brooklyn CollegeMary Bittner Wiseman The Philosophical Reflection of Man in Literature {Analecta Husserliana, vol. 12), edited by Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka; xi & 485 pp. Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1982, $59.50. Editor Tymieniecka brings together twenty-four selected papers from conferences held by the International Society for Phenomenology and Literature from 1976 to 1980. The papers are grouped under four headings that are loosely descriptive of their subject matter : pessimism-optimism, "The Human Spirit on the Rebound," man and literature, and, finally, the genesis of"aesthetic reality." The essays cover a good deal of ground: there are textual explications of works by Barth, Beckett, Borges, Kafka, and Lawrence, among 132Philosophy and Literature others, in addition to a number of theoretical studies that take up, for instance, the issue of meaning, the role of pre-predicative experience in artistic production, and Sartre's understanding of the reader-writer relationship. It is possible to mention only a few ofthe many fine papers, but I would single out Stephen L. Weber's short contrastive study of Heidegger and Borges and Robert Magliola's Heideggerian critique of interpretive relativism as being particularly illuminating. I shall concentrate my remarks on the lengthiest contribution. In addition to collecting the papers, editor Tymieniecka offers a long introductory essay of her own, the first part of a study entitled, ponderously enough, "Poetica Nova: The Creative Crucibles of Human Existence and of Art: A Treatise in The Metaphysics of the Human Condition and of Art." Tymieniecka's attitude toward clear, concise formulations is already evident in her title. It is her intention to elucidate "the existential significance of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 131-132
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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