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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 one he discerns in Proust's text. Bowie's writing is permeated with the same passion and intellectual gladness that pulsates through the generous multiplicity of Proust's text. Bowie also restores the immediacy of the encounter between reader and text. Without being condescending, his guide reassures the reader that La Recherche is rooted in ordinary experience and that we need not check our everyday selves at tiie door before entering this temple of high art. Bowie does not shy away from the violence and dissonance of Proust's work either. He presents Proust as the poet of risk and extremities that he truly is. We rediscover the text's indecency, unwholesomeness, violence, and scandalous energy, most notably around die issues of homophobia , anti-Semitism and pedophilia. We also revel in its stunning comic and satirical vein, which ranges from mischievous mirth to a savage and impudent gaiety. La Recherche emerges refreshed and re-energized from this reading as Bowie deepens our pleasure and understanding of Proust as the epic poet of a modern age. With characteristic modesty, the author warns that his work is meant as an introductory volume for general readers rather than for Proust scholars; let us wager that many such scholars will gain much insight and pleasure from this excellent book. Nathalie Buchet Rogers Wellesley College Longepierre. Médée. Parallèle de Monsieur Corneille et de Monsieur Racine. Dissertation sur la tragédie de Médée par l'abbé Pellegrin. Introduction et notes par Emmanuel Minel. Paris: Champion , 2000. Pp. 204. 240 FF. This handsomely produced volume contains three texts by Longepierre. Although the editor, Emmanuel Minel, spends most of his space and energy on Médée, the other two pieces are probably of greater interest because they are more rarely encountered. Indeed, the Dissertation by Pellegrin is an insightful document, not only about Médée but about early eighteenth-century perspectives on classical tragedy. The success of Mind's enterprise should be judged, however, by his presentation of Longepierre's attempt to surpass Corneille's version of the Medea myth, while claiming that he was inspired uniquely by Seneca. In my view, die results are mixed. The text is impeccable and the critical apparatus is typical: "Vie et œuvre," "Le Sujet de Médée," "Les Prédécesseurs modernes de Longepierre," "Le Déroulement de l'action," etc. But the critical material should have been submitted to a more careful editorial review: there are typographical errors, the reader is referred to a work by Alain Viala on "p. 367" of this 204-page book (nor is Viala included in uie Index or the Bibliographie), and there is a breezy use of Thomas Corneille's first name alone ("Le texte de Thomas, pourtant..." [32]). Moreover, die founder of tiie Mercure Galant is referred to as "Visé" (32), instead of Donneau de Visé, which is the proper last name. Finally, uie bibliography lacks two essential items: the masterful article by Marc Fumaroli ("Melpomene au miroir: la tragédie comme héroïne dans Médée et Phèdre") that theorizes on the reasons for the moral compromise that French classical tragedy practiced from Corneille's Médée to Racine's Phèdre, and my own Racine and Seneca that mentions Longepierre and whose first chapter opens on a discussion of the Euripidean and Senecan Medeas. These lapses would be peccadilloes in a full critical edition of an unpublished work. However , Minel does not attempt to rival the 1967 critical edition of Médée by Tomoo Tobari. Rather, we have the impression that he is offering to die scholarly community three texts of moderate interest in a convenient and eminently readable format more suitable to the larger literate public. Ronald W. Tobin University of California, Santa Barbara Vol. XLI, No. 1 101 ...

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Additional Information

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