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B o ok R ev iew s quently the case in Verne’s Voyages extraordinaires, the machine is a metatechnical con­ struct from the start, and thus functions in “ un univers parallèle au XIXe siècle, qui le reflète et s’en inspire, mais reste essentiellement imaginaire” (p. 39). There is a problem inherent in Noiray’s use of the terms “ real” and “ imaginary.” He does not ground them in a specific context (philosophical, psychoanalytic, e.g.) and his shifting from one contextual understanding of them to another is at times ambiguous or confusing. But the underlying, dynamic notion of a transformation in the status of the machine is a significant contribution to understanding the multiple facets of the machine in literature. And when he hints at the rhetorical implications of the machine within the text (“ la machine accomplit un travail concret de production littéraire,” p. 143), Noiray stretches his study’s essentially thematic approach and points to fertile avenues of research. Noiray’s analyses of the texts themselves are lucid and frequently thought-provoking. His work on Verne leads him to the conclusion that Verne feared the fantastic machines of his fertile imagination as much as he admired them. It is the presence of death, both real and implied, within machines like the Nautilus or Robur’s L ’Epouvante that confers on these wondrous creations their grandeur and their exemplary fate. Fittingly, Noiray has saved his examination of Villiers de l’lsle-Adam’s L ‘Evefuture for the concluding part of his study. In Villiers’s novel Noiray finds the “ confusion du méta-technique et du méta­ physique qu’elle [l’œuvre de Villiers] est seule à realiser complètement” (p. 379). He touches on all the novel’s major features, treats us to penetrating readings of its humor and its subtexts, and argues for its extreme originality with the claim that its “ postérité, moins nombreuse, est de meilleure qualité” than that of either Zola or Verne (p. 386). Finally, Jacques Noiray’s study of the machine is a mine of information for anyone interested in pursuing one of the many topics his research has laid bare. Two chronologies list the names and dates of the most significant machine-novels from 1855 to 1914. An invaluable repertory of metaphors and images used by a variety of authors to describe their mechanical creations completes the book’s bibliographical documentation. J o h n A n z a l o n e Skidmore College Pierre Bourdieu. H o m o A c a d e m ic u s . Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1984. Pp. 302. “ Un livre à bruler” —a book to burn? Hardly. But in the current climate of intellectual conservatism which J. F. Lyotard and J. Rogozinski recently chastized as the age of the ‘Police de la Pensée,’ the title of Bourdieu’s first chapter becomes an uncanny metaphor recalling all too well known scenes of book burnings. Should it be accidental that this chapter and the following analysis of the French academe ultimately amount to a powerful plaidoyer for the intellectual? Bourdieu’s initial chapter is a dense, difficult and yet crisply written methodological essay addressing the epistemological problems arising from analyzing a field of social prac­ tices to which one belongs. And yet, the complex argument already contains a map of the structures in academe described throughout the book. Bourdieu does not feel apologetic about his objectifying the structure of the social space occupied by the university. Objectivity does not imply either an unqualified pluralism or, as Bouveresse fears, a morally indifferent intellectualism. Bourdieu reminds us that intel­ lectual viewpoints are interested, i.e., linked to the social position of an agent. It is defined by criteria such as positions in professional organizations, on exam and curriculum com­ mittees, contributions to journals, TV and newspapers, managerial functions in research organizations, teaching at the Sorbonne or the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes. But these criteria VOL. XXVI, No. 4 101 L ’E spr it C r éa te u r describe positions of unequal symbolic value and power (writing in ‘Le Monde’ does not mean the same as writing in the ‘Nouvel...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 101-102
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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