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L'Esprit Créateur die coalescence of her political consciousness into a coherence that remained fundamentally consistent diroughout her life. Highlighting die leftist post-war dunking of die "Rue St. Benoit Group" (Duras, Mascólo, Antelme, Morin) enhances appreciation of Duras's inter- and con-textuality, especially when Winston reads Un Barrage in conjunction with Mascólo s theory of need. Some metiiodological flaws in documentation and textual readings weaken diis stimulating book. In a work purporting to redress die misappropriation of Duras into Duras, the co-optation of a leftist into a rightist agenda by her "professional readers," far too few Duras critics are cited. Who are "most critics"? Moreover, mere is egregious omission of critics who do read Duras's fiction as political. Winston reconsiders Un Barrage in die context of Les Temps modernes, which serialized Wright's "Black Boy" and devoted 1IO pages to Indochina in a 1947 issue. Whereas setting die political-intellectual climate is enlightening, claims of Wright's direct influence on Duras remain unsubstantiated. Indicating allusions to George Sand's Indiana in India Song, which refers to "Indiana's Song," is productive, as is seeing Un Barrage as a "response" to Camus s L'Etranger. However, unrestrained reading "through" incurs dangers of arbitrariness. Wild overreadings occur, especially of Le Ravissement: Tatiana Karl is "coded as exotic" due partly to a photo of an Indian woman named "Tatiana" appearing near one of Duras in a 1958 magazine... The T. Beach scene becomes a "transformation" of die "beach scene" (?) of Manon Lescaut's death and this "citation" "marks" die Ravissement "as colonial"... Inadmissibly, Winston omits uie scathingly anti-colonial Le Vice-consul (1966). It contains longer, more radical depictions of the beggar tiian India Song, which Winston apparently favors because its 1973 publication aligns with her (incorrect ) claim that die severity of die critical repression of Un Barrage's politics provoked a delay of a "full quarter century before she returned to her Indochina tale." Despite diese reservations, this book is a fascinating, deeply restorative text, and a valuable one for Duras studies. Susan D. Cohen New York, NY Armine Kotin Mortimer. Writing Realism: Representations in French Fiction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000. Pp. xii + 254 pages. $42.50 hardcover. In diis presentation of the clash between autobiography and fictional narrative, the reader is engaged. Self-reflective writing is portrayed as involving the reader in placing referential mimesis in question tiirough the process of subversive semiosis. Elaborating the literary theories of Roland Bardies, Gerald Prince, Ihab Hassan, and Michael Riffaterre, Professor Mortimer strings together compelling readings that demonstrate how readers can be guided or controlled by solipsistic narrative techniques. Her "skeleton key" to die location of self-reflective narrators pointing to uieir stories opens doors to allow readers to become involved in complex stories directed by controlling narrators. The selected stories she unlocks are noteworthy for the self-awareness of their narrators in the story-telling: Marguerite de Navarre's Heptaméron; Laclos's Les Liaisons dangereuses; Diderot's La Religieuse; three narratives by Balzac: Mémoires de deux jeunes mariées, Modeste Mignon, and Ursule Mirouët; Philippe Sollers's Femmes; and Serge Doubrovsky's Le Livre brisé. The citations are translated into English to facilitate access. Professor Mortimer's close, informed readings are insightful about what "realism" has become in the wake of what structuralism and postmodernism have taught us about die nature of textuality. This suing of readings, many inspired by Ross Chambers, whose presence lurks below die surface, organizes diis book after polyvalent concepts such as "realism," "representation," "writing," "semiosis," and "mimesis" are carefully defined. These definitions are crucial as she demonstrates dial dwy are all put into play by these self-reflective narrators who manifest die fact that all fictions display how they manipulate "realism." Self-reflective commentaries provide clues identifying the metafiction with the fiction. 108 Summer 2002 Book Reviews I found her readings of Balzac, Sellers, and Doubrovsky especially enlightening. Balzac, who was of course the subject of Barthes's celebrated structuralist study SIZ, is retrieved as the story-teller whose self-consciousness needs to be better recognized after having been subject to ridicule by the New Novelists. Professor...


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