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ELT 44 : 3 2001 war was underestimated; only now are its errors and tragedies reaching full realization. And despite the swarms of war correspondents [who observed it] . . . the main military lessons of the war went unnoticed." It is often said that hindsight is 20/20. However, in this perceptive study Paula Krebs shows that even in retrospect, wars can be usefully interpreted only with an awareness of the complex strands of ideology that formulate the "truth" about the combatants and their struggle. Ideally, this should promote an appreciation of the complexity of contemporary military discourse, though whether it will help us to perceive the mistakes of past empire-builders and apply them to our own struggle with our identity as the last "superpower" remains to be seen. Julie Sparks University of Arkansas, Monticello Joyce's Effects Derek Attridge. Joyce Effects: On Language, Theory, and History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. xviii + 208 pp. Cloth $59.95 Paper $19.95 DEREK ATTRIDGE is interested in "the transformative power of Joyce's writing," and the effects he seeks to explore in this book are therefore less the special effects or verbal pyrotechnics of Joycean language , but the more serious "effects upon the way we think about a number of significant topics, and upon our involvement in cultural (and more than cultural) activities." To address this exploration of Joyce's effect on the critic and reader, Attridge situates himself in the shifting and changing landscape of Joyce criticism during the fifteen year period from 1984 to 1999, which itself reflects both a history of criticism and critical theory, and a sociology of academic community. Attridge thereby takes what in other hands might be merely a collection of the author's disparate essays and conference papers, and presents and reviews them with an intellectual rigor that gives them a resonant and responsible place in the highly productive and diverse field of Joyce criticism while simultaneously interrogating that field. Joyce Effects thus offers the reader many kinds of insights and pleasures: metacriticism, meditations on genre, history of criticism, "close" readings, anatomy of the act of reading, and much more. His focus on "effects" obliges Attridge to engage with theorists and critics—historical and contemporary—throughout his study. His early association with the work of Jacques Derrida and the Continental theoretical enterprise loosely termed "deconstruction" allows Attridge's first 388 BOOK REVIEWS substantive essay, "Deconstructive criticism of Joyce," to invert the terms of criticism. Even in the face of Derrida's citation of and reliance on the Joycean text, deconstruction functions less as a tool or implement of reading than as a self-critical mirror sharpened by the acuities of Joyce's work—"deconstructive criticism of Joyce would have to be that which Joyce practises upon us as much as that which we practise upon Joyce." What the Joyce "industry" sees in that mirror is itself as a parody producing travesties of the "scientific model of knowledge," and, more urgently, the technological efficiency and maximized profit ("as wealth, knowledge, and power") which, Attridge seems to agree with Lyotard, drives the late twentieth century critical enterprise. But Attridge's more benign implication is that just that anagnorisis, that self-recognition, may give Joyce criticism much of its sophistication and progressive edge. The other theoretical fulcrum that shapes Attridge's exploration of Joyce's language effects is Fredric Jameson's complication of the relationship between history and textuality in The Political Unconscious. Once again Attridge places theory and the Joycean text into a productively oscillating dialogue: "Instead of reading Joyce in the light of Jameson, then, it might be fruitful to read Jameson in the light of Joyce." The result is another kind of turning of paradigmatic relations of theory and textuality inside out by arguing that the production of effects allows texts to produce (rather than merely reference or be produced by) history and thereby become part of the Real: "Signs, texts, ideologies, interpretive methods—and the stories we tell about them—not only have histories , but make history. When we comment on the texts of Jameson or Joyce, we comment on the Real just as much as when we comment on the French Revolution or...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 388-391
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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