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ELT: Volume 33:3 1990 Joyce, which began as Kenner's Yale doctoral dissertation, was first published in 1956 and is now reissued by the Columbia University Press. Kenner can't help being quirky and crotchety, but in Dublin's Joyce he is also astoundingly brilliant and original. The book is bestknown for its "Stephen-hating" account of Portrait, but in its own day this interpretation provided an important corrective. More curious is Kenner's under-appreciation of Bloom. The pages on the Wake are especially bracing and enjoyable. In a new preface, Kenner calls Dublin's Joyce a "humble artifact" of the 1950s. If parts of the book have been superseded, it remains nevertheless a superbly instructive reading of Joyce and an example of Kenner's work at its best. Keith Cushman University of North Carolina, Greensboro Yesterday and Today: Feminist Criticism Jane Marcus. Art and Anger: Reading Like a Woman. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1988. 286 pp. Cloth $30.00 Paper $11.95 FEMINIST CRITICISM is undergoing a stocktaking in these waning years of the twentieth century. Against proclamations of the "postfeminist era," academic feminism gathers its strength to face a new century and looks back at its accomplishments during the past twenty years. In this moment of self-reflection, several prominent feminist critics and theorists have recently published collections of essays reprinted from journals that have fostered feminist scholarship. Such a book is Art and Anger, which allows us to see Jane Marcus's development within the context of American feminist criticism . This collection of essays, however, stands apart from the others. Marcus has thankfully resisted the inevitable temptation to rewrite her past in the context of the present moment. She eschews the autobiographical while providing a vocabulary and a historical context for reading her critical practice. The opening section of the book, which treats Oscar Wilde's Salome, George Meredith's Diana of the Crossways, and Elizabeth Hardwick's writing on Ibsen, Plath and Woolf, shocks us into a recognition of the difference feminist criticism has made in the past fifteen years. These first three essays demonstrate the truth within the title of Marcus's introduction: "Changing the Subject." Indeed, the very gender of the subject has been changed. In the 1970s we were still 394 Book Reviews burdened by the implicit professional directive to write about men, and we discovered sympathetic male writers like Wilde, Meredith, and Ibsen to discuss. In those days, it was dangerous to write about women authors. No one then talked much, as we do now, about "theorizing" the female subject or women's writing. Disputes about reading practices were raging throughout the profession, but somehow they managed to overlook issues of gender. Entitled "Reading Practice I: The Feminist Critic Reads Men," this first section belies its historical bravery (it was risky to write these things in the 1970s) and lets rest its implicit assumption that Elizabeth Hardwick writes as a man. A sign that times have changed: it is now an act of bravery for a feminist critic to do scholarship on male writers. My own commitment to writing on James Joyce is more and more frequently challenged by feminist colleagues. The middle group of six essays comes under another heading, "Reading Practice II: The Socialist Critic Reads Virginia Woolf." Included here are memorable Marcus essays: "Thinking Back Through Our Mothers," '"No More Horses': Virginia Woolf on Art and Propaganda ," "Art and Anger: Elizabeth Robins and Virginia Woolf," and— under the heading "Writing Practice"—"Tintinnabulations," "Storming the Toolshed," and "Quentin's Bogey." These essays reveal not only Marcus's commitment to socialist-feminist criticism, but her persistent efforts, against staunch opposition from such powerful representatives of the Woolf Establishment as Quentin Bell, to reveal the socialist at work within Virginia Woolf s life and writing. These six essays form the core of that work, and Art and Anger would be a very valuable book if it had done nothing more than make available for us these essays, which were crucial in changing the theoretical terms and historical development of Woolf criticism. Marcus's angry and articulate voice comes through strongly in this central section of the book as she...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 394-396
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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