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30:4, Reviews However, regretting that some elements such as these have been left out of account amounts to an acknowledgement of Patricia Alden's power of suggesting further avenues of research. She has covered an extensive ground, and from her well-defined, consistent stance.she makes us glimpse a number of neighbouring territories as well as connections between them. Her book will prove a helpful one. It is an earnest, well informed, unprovocative discussion of five major novels of the ELT period, and although they have all been widely discussed in the last two decades, the volume at no time gives an impression of déjà vu. It includes weU chosen portraits of the four authors and a substantial bibliograpahy . Pierre Coustillas Université de Lille MUSEUM WORLD OF JAMES Adeline R. Tintner. The Museum World of Henry James. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1986. $49.95 "James's museum surrounds him like a layer of oxygen," writes Adeline Tintner. "It is his natural element and he continues to breathe freely in it." Tintner herself has been breathing freely in this atmosphere for many years. Probably no other scholar, except Leon Edel (whose "Foreword" opens this book), has attained so encyclopedic a command of James and all his works; and not even Edel has Tintner's special mastery of the Master's preoccupation with art and artists, museums and collectors. This volume gathers her numerous studies of the (intertextual) relationship between James's fiction and the artifacts of his world, especially those classified as art objects. The result is a firstrate work of what Edel terms "literary archaeology—a study of James's attempt to penetrate, in his characteristic meditative way, the ascent of man as he sees him symbolized in his icons." "Literary archaeology" is implicitly related to, but also distinguished from, "Uterary psychology," as Edel elsewhere caUs his own approach. With ultimately differing emphases, both are modes of psychological criticism, inevitably marked by the practices of psychoanalysis, which Freud himself often figured as the historical unearthing of psychical objects. The analyst's work of construction and reconstruction, says Freud, "resembles to a great extent an archaeologist's excavation of some dwelling-place that has been destroyed and buried or of some ancient edifice. The two processes are in fact identical, except that the analyst works under better conditions and has more material at his command to assist him, since what he is dealing with is not something destroyed but something that is still alive." Of course, the advantage of these better conditions is lost when psychoanalysis is applied to non-living authors. The work of "free association" that enables analysis must then be done surrogately by the biographically informed critic, who simultaneously listens with the third ear for unconscious patterns in the living texts. 509 30:4, Reviews The key skill, which Tintner possesses in abundance, is the negative capabiUty for retracing psychic connections, as if from inside the author's mind. For Tintner, the compelling quest is the reconstruction of James's memories of those objects that quickened his literary imagination: to excavate James's mental museum as well as to stock it with the appropriate exhibits. As Edel remarks, Tintner is not finally interested in shadowy motivations: "That she makes available for the psychological explorer entries into the deeper terrain of James's unconscious seems of little concern to her: the evidence itself, sought and compiled, is the boundary of her exploration." Here the "literary archaeologist" parts company from the "Uterary psychologist." The latter moves, as it were, across this boundary, down into the unconscious recesses of the author's mind; the former moves upward toward his use, with whatever degree of consciousness, of vital memories in the work. The project of "Uterary archaeology" is an enriched kind of textual explication, in which the lost resonances of artistically controlled and controlling details are made to resound, so that fuller meaning is revealed—a meaning always Unked to "authorial intention." Tintner assumes a high degree of conscious artistry in James, such that "he tried with aU his ingenuity to make tightly knit, formal structures in which every word counted." Thus his aUusions to art, some of them...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 509-511
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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