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154 the minnesota review ject's gender, nor that subject's complicity in the representational process itself. "The representation of gender is its construction—and in the simplest sense it can be said that all ofWestern Art and high culture is the engraving of the history of that construction" (3). The most consistent move in Technologies of Gender is one of unraveling in order to restate: "I then rewrite my third [or first, second, fourth] proposition," becomes the structuring gesture of the volume's situating first essay. In another essay, "The Violence of Rhetoric," de Lauretis offers a second textual example to prove the rhetorical construction of violence in her reading of Derrida's reading of Lévi-Strauss. But she stops herself and instead summarizes what she would prove, commenting, Were I to do so, however, I would earn Derrida's contempt for 'those women feminists so derided by Nietzsche,' I would put myself in the position of one 'who aspires to be Uke a man,' who 'seeks to castrate' and 'wants a castrated woman' .... I shall instead approach Derrida's text obUquely— (47) that is, by reading Gayatri Spivak's reading of Derrida reading Nietzsche. De Lauretis' consciousness of her own positionaUty, its vulnerability, and the conscious awareness of her power to switch positions allows her to de-re-construct not only other's utterances, but her own. It is this de-re-construction, which Chris Weedon calls for, that characterizes de Lauretis' text; the double pull, the contradiction ofbeing both inside and outside, scholar and subject. This is also de Lauretis' awareness that she does not speak an ideologically pure language from any position, again rewriting Althusser and his faith in the purity of theory (which he calls science) as a truth discourse. What must be understood is that theory is itself a technology ofgender, an institutional discourse which functions to represent us to ourselves. As feminists we are both outside and compUcit with that technology. As admirable as Weedon's proposition is for feminist direction, "that we need to develop feminist theory and a concept of feminist rationality ... [for] [r]eason, Uke experience, requires both deconstruction and reconstruction in the interests of feminism" QO), it seems that de Lauretis has already been speaking that particular discourse for quite some time. ELIZABETH FAY What by Ron Silliman. Great Barrington: The Figures, 1988. pp. 127. $10.00 (paper). "Language poetry is puke, sez Black Oak Books. A threat to one is an opportunity to all." What What forces you to consider the presence of your stomach tumbling to itself over curry, as well as the implications of the word "curry" itself. A book-length poem fighting within its own beast of language, Ron SiUiman's What proclaims a Marxist philosophy while simultaneously commenting on language's role as an ideological tool. What is a study, a collage, a train of rapid and repetitive thought on language and its trickery. Silliman stands among the L = A = N = G = U = A = G = E writers, members of a postmodern movement originating in the '70s and affiliated with the journal of the same name. These decidedly experimental writers have been characterized by Jerome J. McGann, as involved with writing projects which fracture the surface regularities of the written text, and which interrupt conventional reading processes ... the sense is that poetry and writing generally have been colonized by imperial forces, and that the power of this monopoly has to be broken. The object of writing must be to set the language free, to return it from the domain of the abstract and the conventional ... to a world of human beings and human uses. (634-35)' A helpful summary of the movement but What is our concern here—'The poem/is about what./even it asks" (99). Reviews 155 Time, as a linguistic and social constraint, shapes the book. "Time's foUy—to experience the future as anxiety, the past/as loss" (104), Silliman remarks as he attempts to move outside of these limitations by setting almost the entire poem within the present tense: "This state expands one's sense/of time, of the moment. To be/within the present can be/totally sensuous...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 154-157
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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