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L'Esprit Créateur ventional view of Beckett's work as apolitical, asserting the importance of reading it from political and ethical points of view. Uhlmann tries to situate Beckett's Trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable within a French intellectual and historical milieu. He does so by showing how "sensations of concepts" in Beckett's Trilogy resonate witii "concepts of sensations" in the works of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Levinas, and Derrida. Further, he tries to connect both disciplines (i.e., literature and philosophy) to history by describing how mey have existed within the same non-discursive milieu, die France tiiat emerged from World War II. It could be said tiiat Uhlmann's book indicates the possibility of "an oscillating critique" in Beckett. Beckett's critique differs from, yet resembles, a philosophical critique. The interference between literature and philosophy is in play in Beckett's work. Uhlmann also observes that Beckett 's work stresses die space between die poles (chaos and order, death and life, earnestness and play, darkness and light, decomposition and wholeness, silence and saying), and suggests that this space of oscillation is inseparable from critical thinking. To give an example, in "Towards an etiiics: Spinoza, Deleuze and Guattari and Beckett" Uhlmann shows how Malone Dies brings into question any morality or system of judgment based on transcendent values, by offering a portrait of a decomposing subject—a subject that undergoes die oscillation between deadi and life (i.e., what Deleuze and Guattari call "die inclusive disjunction"). Malone Dies, in posing die "immanent " existence of the individual, indicates the necessity of an alternative system—an "etiiics," a typology of immanent modes of existence. Aldiough diere are some places where more subtle and careful discussion is called for, Uhlmann's book covers new ground by offering illuminating perspectives on the problems of existence, judgment, and justice in the interrelation between Beckett and "Poststructuralism." MiCHiKO Tsushima University ofTsukuba, Japan Malcolm Bowie. Proust Among the Stars. New York: Columbia UP, 1999. Pp. xix + 348. $28.50. Malcolm Bowie elicits the overarching astral imagery mat organizes his book from the novel itself, where it functions as a central operative metaphor. According to Bowie, Proust's text is a scintillating universe in perpetual motion, forever expanding and shrinking in a majestic respiratory rhythm. Yet, Proust's themes and concepts, like so many celestial bodies, form a decidedly post-Copernican universe in which they are submitted to a rhythmic pull between order and disorder . Accordingly, if Bowie identifies seven such constellations, each of which organizes a chapter in his book—self, time, art, politics, morality, sex and deatii—, these sections, far from offering simple skeleton keys to die novel, are meant rather as "modest shrines to plurality and paradox." In each, Bowie recreates die complexities of the diematic clusters, as he follows the meanderings of their internal paradoxes and contradictions. Bowie, above all, exposes die fallacy that lies behind literary works like La Recherche, that "spell out at Iengtii the terms witii which tiiey are to be interpreted" (31). He identifies instead die fault lines of the text and shows a narrative structure often at odds widi the triumphant pronouncements of a narrator in his didactic and ideological functions. Even as he confronts these univocal cosmic lessons about die dirust of desire, die redemptive power of art, uie permanence of the self through change or the recovery of lost time, Bowie sets about to show us why tiiey are "not quite right." He does so by identifying a multitude of return passages from the overarching structure of die whole, back to the scintillating plurality of the microcosm of the single page. Individual sentences and paragraphs contain, Bowie argues, the "boldest pieces" of die architecture and die most rewarding lessons of the book. This is literary criticism at its best. Bowie invites us to plunge with him, and without him, into the treasure trove of each sentence. Far from being "schematic," as he would have us believe, 100 Spring 2001 Book Reviews his account of these patterns is subtle and yet consistently clear and accessible. His prose is eminently readable. In its process of enquiry, it displays a breathing rhythm similar to the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 100-101
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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