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Book Reviews Clair et rigoureux tout en étant agréable à lire, cet ouvrage sera un outil précieux non seulement pour les spécialistes de Barbey d'Aurevilly, mais également pour tous ceux qui s'intéressent au statut, éminemment complexe, de la poésie dans ses relations avec d'autres genres (intimes ou au contraire transpersonnels) et dans son recours à des structures allégoriques et à des figures mythologiques ainsi qu'au statut du «sujet lyrique» à l'époque romantique. VÉRONIQUE GÉLY-GhEDIRA Université de Reims Daniel Katz. Saying I No More. Subjectivity and Consciousness in the Prose of Samuel Beckett. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1999. Pp. iv + 220. A short review must "sum up" in a few words entities which, in the best cases such as that above, resist (if not refuse) any summary not only because their saying is so rich as to exceed what they say (or, to quote Katz quoting Beckett summarizing Joyce, "His writing is not about something; it is that something itself), but also, as is Katz's case, because what they say is Beckett 's refusal of Descartes' "ego sum." Some I's, some voices, remain in Beckett's prose, yet they are, in sum, retraced in terms of inscription and composition. The interminable dialectic of the I that says, that writes, I no more and no more I, thus no more saying and no more writing, is the fabric into which Katz weaves Beckett's texts. Of Beckett's prose from beginning to end Katz offers readings fascinating in their detailing of the former's subversion of metaphysics by the linguistics of the pronominal system and deictics . While six substantial chapters all have the integrity of independent essays, they are interwoven coherently by dint of the general focus of the study itself (die textual economy of subjectivity ). Katz, moreover, conscientiously inscribes his own interpretation and subject within the economy of previous Beckett scholars. His analysis of the dialectic of naming and the failure of names brilliantly and wittily pursues the onomastics of "will," "m" and "w" in Beckett's "Whoroscope ," but also throughout Beckett and in Joyce's Ulysses. Katz's reading of both "The Capital of Ruins" and Watt in terms of how individuals belong or not to group structures convinces us why Beckett refuses any rhetoric of the "native" culture as natural. From culture as artifice, the reading of Watt ramifies to me neurotic outgrowüis of ritual and method. Indeed, if Descartes postulates the self-presence of the subject free from the external world, it is precisely language and the external world which form Beckett's subject. Through a subsequent reading of the quotation of "distant music" in Joyce's Dubliners and Beckett's Molloy, Katz unpacks the overlapping ways in which consciousness and narration must "initially" always be repetition, and indeed the ways Uiat Beckett throughout his trilogy refuses any propriety of utterance, reference or intention. Such refusal (of any metaphysical source or I) is itself, however, also refusal of refusal, for "there can be no silence. Yet let us not forget: it is an T which tells us this." So writes Katz, commenting the return of the I after Malone's "I shall say I no more" in Mahne Dies. Such an "I," as Katz shows in The Unnamable, becomes as catechrestical as any of the "names" in the trilogy. Indeed, no original "voice" exists prior to characters supposedly the creation of such voice. Proper names in the trilogy may be replaced by pronouns in The Unnamable, but through his careful and detailed reading of the structure of the aporia and function of deictics, Katz explains why the I is no ideal subject, but rather as invalid as any oüier of Beckett's characters. The book, written with conceptual clarity and precision as well as exact and exacting textual explication, changes in tone and mode when exploring Beckett's Texts for Nothing in response to Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Maintaining precision and explication, Katz nonetheless constructs a room in which the voices of Derrida, Rabaté, Lacan, Badiou, Flaubert, Dante and others respond to and provoke both Joyce and Beckett and vice versa, in such a subtle...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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