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Book Reviews essay section. The volume returns by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to a chronology of Dick EUmann's life and a selected bibliography. With so many truly exceUent and informative contributions representing such a range of interests, it is nearly impossible to single out special praise for aU those who, at least in my mind, deserve it. I have my own Joycean biases, of course, and the excellence of Reynolds's and Senn's work has a special appeal for me. It is amazing that so few of the selections faü to meet the high standards of the volume, and only one or two might by conceived of as embarrassments. Despite their number, the contributions are for the most part short and to the point, a not insignificant factor in the readability of the book. It is perfectly understandable that in so long and ambitious a volume there will be mistakes, typos, and misplaced subheads on pages. It was unfortunate, however, to see the crowning achievements of EUmann's life, his great biographies and Yeats works—indeed all his authored books—listed under "Monographs and Pamphlets." Not that he would have minded, of course. Like Joyce, he understood, even made capital of human error. Essays for Richard EUmann as a whole makes a real contribution, and is worthy of him. That is the highest praise I can think of. Zack Bowen University of Miami Defending the Phallic Imagination Peter Balbert. D. H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination: Essays on Sexual Identity and Feminist Misreading. New York: St. Martin's, 1989. xii + 190 pp. $29.95 LN THE LAST TWO DECADES D. H. Lawrence has become something hke an official feminist whipping-boy. Feminism requires demons as well as saints, and the notion that Lawrence was the worst sort of male chauvinist has become an essential, generally unexamined belief in the feminist worldview. InD. H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination Peter Balbert takes the field against Lawrence's perceived feminist enemies. He is a man with a dual mission: he wishes not only to explain Lawrence 's "phallic imagination" but also to correct "feminist misinterpretations of Lawrence's achievement." 245 ELT: Volume 34:2,1991 Balbert devotes individual chapters to Lawrence's four major novels plus "The Woman Who Rode Away," discussing the works in terms of the writer's "fundamental notions about sexual identity and self-definition." Balbert's Lawrence is a great artist and also—even more importantly—a profound thinker and truth teller. Balbert's zeal to expound the "phallic imagination" is much more than academic, for he beheves that Lawrence 's ideas can somehow help civilization regain its lost bearings. As critic he is also advocate. The feminist misunderstanding of Lawrence epitomizes the acute spiritual sickness of contemporary society: "The post-war world is a wüling captive to [the feminists'] political claims, as a wounded legion of men and women appear increasingly tempted by the seductive talk of equal lovemaMng and shared sexual responsibility." Balbert writes in the Leavisite mode though without the Leavisite authority. He foUows Leavis in buUding his argument around extended discussions of individual passages. Like Leavis, he presents himself as the embattled defender of a scorned, abused prophet. Balbert writes emphaticaUy, combatively, even stridently, and he disagrees whenever possible with earher critics. D. H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination is couched throughout in the rhetoric of moral urgency, but at the same time the book seems curiously warmed-over. AU five chapters have been previously pubhshed, one as early as 1978. The chapter on The Rainbow has been published twice before. The essays have been "altered and expanded" but not much. Only three or four of the scholarly citations are from works pubhshed after 1982. Even more questionable is Balbert's scanty, seriously outdated representation of Lawrence's feminist foes. Kate Mülett in Sexual Politics is the primary target of Balbert's wrath, though he admits "the occasional acknowledgment today of the quahties of overstatement and narrow partisanship in much of MUlett's study." In fact Balbert would be hardpressed to identify a scholar of any gender who doesn't find Sexual Politics overstated and narrowly partisan. This...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 245-248
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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