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Reviews 143 these dynamics. Just as she sought to distance herself from Spender's finger-pointing assessment , Lovell seems at times to prefer factual description of the "this is why literary history is the way it is" sort, to a study that explores the history's ramifications. This seems especially ironic if only because Lovell's analysis (and Spencer's) cracks one of the remaining bastions of literaryhistory—the place of thegreat five men, Fielding, Sterne, Smollet, Defoe, and Richardson, in the canonical tradition of the novel. What Spencer and Lovell reveal has tremendous implications not only for the genre and the canon, but also for the reconstruction of literary history. The result of these studies should be the inevitable reassessment of the subgenres of the novel. Should realism continue to reign supreme as the literary style over "popular" forms like the gothic, fantasy, and romance? Both Consuming Fiction and The Rise of the Woman Novelist pose this question by the semi-privileged position they give romance and soap operas in their discussions. In a genre numerically dominated by women at crucial points in its development, the subject, style, scope, and sentiment of "women's" fiction have been supplanted by that of "men's." The traditional assessment of the novel versus popular fiction, has enshrined arbitrary values and standards, as Nancy K. Miller has argued, with the novel given pride of place. Both Lovell and Spencer, however, stop short of elevating the novel's subgenres. Nonetheless, both Consuming Fiction and TAe Äise ofthe Woman Novelist engage in a provocative and long-overdue review of the historical moments when current literary criteria were being formed; both, in short, reveal the gender- and class- bias of Uteraryculture, especially the great tradition of the novel as it has been constructed and disseminated. RUTH Y. JENKINS Sexuality in the Field of Vision by Jacqueline Rose. London: Verso, 1987; $12.95 (paper). "Am I That Name?": Feminism and the Category of "Women" in Historyby Denise Riley. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 1988; $29.95 (cloth), $12.95 (paper). Jacqueline Rose's Sexuality in the Field of Vision is a collection of essays (all but one published at least once before) including in its "field" feminism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and film theory. Rose defends, describes, and exemplifies feminist uses of Lacanian psychoanalysis for cultural critique. Her introduction, "Feminism and the Psychic"— admirably lucid and valuable in itself—argues for viewing "psychoanalysis in relation to feminism, and the importance of these together for the largerterms of contemporary political debate" (2). Rose carefully presents her collection not as unified but rather as written in a general contemporary context. As in most collections of reprints, the whole may lose a sense of the urgency and relevance of the occasion for each individual essay. The question remains, then, whether Rose's topical material is all used up. My answer would be "no," but with some qualifications. The qualifications have mainly to do with what reads like an uncritical reprinting of essays from 1975 to 1986, which had pedagogical usefulness, entered a topical debate, or responded to a colloquium topic. "Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the école freudienne," for example, was itself part of an introduction to a 1982 collection; it defends feminist uses of Lacan. "Femininity and its Discontents" was commissioned by the editors of Feminist Review in 1983 to respond to feminist attacks on psychoanalysis. "The Cinematic Apparatus—Problems in Current Theory" responded to issues raised at a 1978 conference on film theory at the University of Wisconsin. In addition, the essays are not equally wellwritten ; some seem unfortunately parodie of the style of the authors treated—Kristeva and Lacan, for example. The collection would have benefitted from general rewriting and some rethinking. Perhaps Rose herself might have confronted her past writings in a short addition to some of the essays to carry her thought beyond its original occasion. Instead, a first footnote in each essay attempts to contextualize it by giving a history of its publication. 144 the minnesota review Despite these qualifications, Rose presents a most compelling connection between psychoanalysis and the political, a way for feminists to link a Marxist with a psychoanalytic perspective. Here is Rose's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 143-145
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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