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??? COHPAnATIST spective, to point to similarities in conventions and representations, which make one able to practice literary comparisons and to think about literature" (17). The discussion about cultural relativism, cultural studies, and comparative literature is further carried out by scholars such as Amiya Dev, Wang Ning, and Yuan HehHsiang as it pertains to a variety ofsituations worldwide, as well as in the contributions by Eva Kushner, Ziva Ben-Porat and Mihály Szegedy-Maszák; it is brought into relation with the issue ofliterary studies in an increasingly "mediatized" world in challenging pieces by José Lambert and Joris Vlasselaers. And this is precisely where TAe Search is most valuable for comparatists: in the debates on a variety oftopics that emerge from its pages. One may regret the lack of a thematic organization and wish for an index ofkey terms and concepts; one may be outraged at the sheer over-generalization ofan occasional "provocative" stand and be appalled by the poor English ofsome pieces; but one can only applaud the range and variety ofperspectives and positions represented. For ifthe collection of essays is a mixed bag, and if its contributions are of differing quality, it also gives a good picture ofthe practice ofComparative Literature in a changing world. Liedeke PlateJames Madison University PHILIP M. WEINSTEIN. What else but love?: The Ordeal of Race in Faulkner and Morrison. New York: Columbia UP, 1996. xxix + 237 pp. Weinstein's impressive study of these two major American novelists and Nobel laureates takes up and extends the critical project announced by Toni Morrison in Playing in theDark: Whiteness andtheLiteraryImagination (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990), where she aimed to "draw a map, so to speak, ofa critical geography and use that map to open as much space for discovery, intellectual adventure, and close exploration as did the original charting of the New World— without the mandate for conquest" (3). Arguing that the value ofa literary work is constituted by the "imaginative and contestatory ways" in which the writer "formally exploits [his/her cultural] inheritance" (xxiv), Weinstein explores questions ofrace, gender, and identity formation in the novels oftwo writers whose racial positioning at once differentiates and links them and whose "relational seeing"—the manner in which they "access the realm of the racial other between the extreme poles of selfprojection and becoming the other" (xxi)—offers fresh insights on the historically racialized society out ofwhich they both write. Weinstein deftly demonstrates in the first two parts ofthe book ("Beginnings" and "Legacies") how the texts of the two writers—a white, Southern male born thirty-four years before the black, urban female—are connected as intimately and inextricably as the races portrayed in their works. Through character analysis he surveys their major novels to identify where their racial and gendered positions coalesce and clash. Particularly striking is the first chapter, "Personal Beginnings: Mammies and Mothers," in which Weinstein illuminates his pairing of Faulkner and Morrison with the disclosure ofhis deeply personal investment in the work: his childhood experience ofwhite/black relations in segregated Memphis ofthe 1940s and his memories of Vannie (Van Price), the black woman who worked for his family and raised him and his brothers. This apologia ofhis innocent love for Vannie is a skillfully devised preamble to the discussion ofMammy Callie (Caroline VcH 23 (1999): 179 REVIEWS Barr), who raised Faulkner and was the model for his most famous fictional female, Dilsey. Clearly aware ofthe limitations ofthe autobiographical and ofhis positioning as a white Southern male, Weinstein makes intelligent and appropriate use of the personal past as a bridge to illustrate the complex and disturbing configuration ofpleasure, pain, love, and rage in writings which intersect in unique ways across what he frequently refers to as "the membrane ofrace." Focusing on the realm of the female, this chapter is an engaging study ofthe mammy in Faulkner's work and ofblack maids and white and black mothers depicted by both Faulkner and Morrison . The second chapter, "Historical Beginnings: Slavery," moves from representation of characters to a more protracted discourse—heavily weighted toward Faulkner's novels—on how the experience ofslavery and its repercussions underlie the structure and content of the works. The two chapters in Part 2 explore...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 179-181
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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