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BOOK NOTES In a vivid and interesting tapestry, Bonn's last four chapters interweave Apollinaire 's reception in Old and New World Spanish-speaking cultures. Especially engaging are the subchapters on Guillermo de Torre's discussions ofApollinaire's iconoclasm, audacity, and revolutionary aesthetics (most notably in Literaturas europeas de vanguardia, with its focus on Cubism and Ultraism), as well as his final homage in "Epiceyo a Apollinaire" ("Elegy for Apollinaire"). Also striking are the sections on Bartolomé Galindez, the editor ofthe short-lived literary review Los Raros who connected Apollinaire with the latest discoveries in art and literature , on Ildefonso Perreda Valdes, one of the editors of Los Nuevos (The New Breed), who used Apollinaire's "Les Cloches" to establish thejournal's avant-garde credentials, and on the representatives ofla nueva sensibilidad ("the new sensibility "). Ofspecial interest here is Bonn's discussion ofBorges whose return from his sojourn in Spain marked the genesis ofUltraism in Argentina and whose enthusiasm and reservations about Apollinaire as poet and critic are fully analyzed. The information in this thoroughly researched book greatly increases our knowledge ofApollinaire's work and influence, establishing Bohn as a leading contributor to Apollinaire studies in the Americas. Ileana OrlichArizona State University JOSEPH LITVAK. Strange Gourmets: Sophistication, Theory, and the Novel. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1997. xi + 181 pp. Joseph Litvak, with great wittiness and self-awareness, takes up the matter of "sophistication"perse with all ofthe dubious associations to materialism, sensuality , aestheticism, literary elitism, and sexual unorthodoxy which it entails. Risking the censure of both colleagues and students, he notes in his opening chapter, he wishes to take on the gastronomically and epistemologically charged term of"taste" and to explore it in the context ofboth the nineteenth-century novel and modem literary theory. Behind his theoretical work are figures like Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Lacan, and Michel Foucault, but his work moves in a different direction, taking the metaphor oftaste at its most semiotically powerful and at its most exactly literal. Litvak's notion of "sophistication," however, depends upon revising Bourdieu 's concept of"distinction" so as to eschew any tendency only to idealize or purify its vulgarity. Rather than merely deploying the image oftaste and consumption, he takes it at face value. Tracing a genealogy back to Hume and Kant, he moves through a strategically selected list ofcritical and narrative texts that allows him to trace the double trajectory from "late-eighteenth-century England to late-twentiethcentury Euro-American culture" ( 1 2) oftaste and melancholia and to focus on their textual moments ofintersection in epiphanies of"sophistication." The selection of texts is based upon Litvak's preoccupation with the combined constitutive and reflective properties ofthe nineteenth-century novel and the legacy ofthis double role in today's criticism. Litvak's emphasis upon the metatextuality ofthe narrative texts and the novelistic tendencies ofthe "theorists" is the further basis for the cohesion ofthe project which enters the energetic field ofthe revisionist interrogations of nineteenth-century textuality and its relation to identity construction by such critics as John Kucich, Judith Butler, Mary Ann O'Farrell, and Diana Fuss. With two chapters each on Austen, Thackeray and Proust, Litvak establishes a reading ofsix novels ofthe nineteenth century as a genealogy ofbourgeois selfVcH 23 (1999): 188 ??? COHPAnATIST definition through enactments ofinterpretive sophistication rather like those which he sees as characteristics both ofthe modern academy and ofqueer studies in particular . Litvak details a progression from self-conscious inscription within the context ofsocial politics and history in Austen, to the rejection ofa now ubiquitous sophisticated self-positioning in social terms in Thackeray, to Proust's sophisticated taste for waste and regressive sophistication which fuses a mature gay aesthetic with trenchant immaturity. The modem theorists, Adomo and Barthes, are viewed in relation to their disdain for mass culture, a standard sophisticate's pose, which forever leaves them outside ofmodem cultural studies proper. Elizabeth Richmond-GarzaUniversity ofTexas-Austin ARMANDO PETRUCCI. Writing the Dead: Death and Writing Strategies in the Western Tradition. Trans. Michael Sullivan. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998. xvii + 163pp. In his well-conceived book on ultimate writing, Armando Petrucci takes his leave with the hope that humankind will not abandon writing the dead. In fact, Petrucci...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 188-189
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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