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REVIEWS The problem, though, is that these activities are generally not an integrated part ofour lives. "These two activities—scholarly and political—ofone and the same person, suffer equally as a result ofbeing isolated from each other," says Todorov. "But is it possible to imagine a relationship between the two other than an alternation (scholar from nine to five, militant from five to nine)?" (209). His response is "yes," ifwe are willing to adopt a particular stance on what it is to be an intellectual . This stance involves refusing to see "truth reduced either to the pure adequation offacts that die scholar demands or to truth-revelation (vérité de révélation), the faith ofthe militant; rather, he aims for truth-disclosure (vérité de dévoilement) as a consensus toward which one moves by accepting self-examination and dialogue " (210). Here Todorov ties the role ofthe intellectual back to his earlier comments on die relationship between science and ethics: "I therefore perceive a goal shared by the arts and the human sciences . . . which usually practice such different forms and discourses: to reveal and eventually modify the network ofvalues that act as regulating principles in the life ofa cultural group" (210). For Todorov, "the intellectual is the one whojudges the real in comparison to an ideal" (21 5)—"intellectuals are not content to belong to society: rather they act on it, by attempting to make it closer to the ideal in which they already believe" (217). Todorov closes The Morals ofHistory by evoking the image ofSocrates as gadfly, saying that "To play die role ofme gadfly, to be the goad in society; this what the role ofmodern intellectuals could be, ifthey are not too afraid ofsuffering Socrates' fate" (2 1 8). I have no doubt that The Morals ofHistory will be significant reading for comparatists ofall stripes, even though the major themes ofcolonialism and anticolonialism , the logic ofconquest and ethnocentrism, and the outcome of democracy and the future oflate capitalism may notprimafacie be of interest to all ofus. While I do not believe that Todorov has presented a convincinggeneral philosophical argument for the interdependence offacts and values, his studies ofthe particular ways in which fact and values interrelate in "(hi)stories" are illuminating and rich. I highly recommend this important book. Jeffrey R. DiLeo Indiana University, Bloomington SETH LERER, ed. Literary History and the Challenge ofPhilology: The Legacy ofErich Auerbach. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1996. xii + 301 pp. Although mis book appears in the series Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture, it is ofinterest to a wider audience, and in particular to comparatists, for Auerbach was a seminal scholar in this discipline in the United States during the post-war years, when he taught first at Penn State University and then at Yale until his death in 1957. This volume consists oftwenty-four papers delivered at a conference held at Stanford in October 1992 to mark the centennial ofAuerbach's birth. It is one of a spate ofsuch anniversary markers that have recently appeared. Its five parts are entitled: "The Everyday and History"; "Philology, Language, and History"; "Figurai History, Historical Figures"; "Turning Points in Literary History"; and "LegaVoIi 21 (1997): 158 THE COMPAKATIST cies." Uniting these sections are the central concerns of the collection with the reassessment ofAuerbach's place and role in the development ofliterary criticism in me United States, the transformations in the understanding ofhistory over the past forty years, the problem of Auerbach's methodology in Mimesis, and his relationship to modernism. In contrast to the either flat or romantic early reviews ofAuerbach's major work, this volume attempts to take a hard-headed (though not hard-hearted) new look from the vantage point ofthe present. In so doing, it not only revalues and renegotiates, but also repoliticizes Auerbach's heritage by assimilating it to the critical preoccupations ofthe 1990s. The focus ofLiterary History and the Challenge ofPhilology is clearly Mimesis , although other of Auerbach's writings also come under some discussion, from his early and only book devoted to a single author, Dante, to his late essay on Baudelaire. (An appendix listing Auerbach's works chronologically would have been helpful.) Despite its omission of any American authors, Mimesis...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 158-161
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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