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104Rocky Mountain Review associated with poststructuralist theory." The neoconservative branch "proclaims a return not only of historicist figuration . . . but also of the privileged eu-tist" whereas the poststructuralist branch "produces a critique ofprecisely those categories and configurations" (251). Many ofthe essays treat the various kinds of appropriation, whether these appropriations take the form of feminist annexation of "psychoanalysis for a political aesthetics" (Laura Kipnis 155), or the "appropriative and quotational strategies" of photography (Abigail Solomon-Godeau 198), or "appropriation as positive unoriginality figure[d] as a means ofresolving the practical problems of a peripheral cinema" (Meaghan Morris 114). Then, too, there is a heavy stress on the pluralities of postmodernism, perhaps captured most tellingly in Lawrence Grossberg's negative listing ("denying totality, coherence, closure, expression, origin, representation, meaning, teleology, freedom, creativity and hierarchy") played immediately against his positive listing ("celebrating discontinuity, fragmentation, rupture, surfaces, diversity, chance, contextuality, egalitarianism, pastiche, heterogeneity, quotations, and parodies") (172). In his interview, Jameson delineates a third feature: "the system of postmodernism comes in as the vehicle for a new kind ofideological hegemony that might not have been required before" (8), a point clearly privileged in Ross' introduction when he notes that "a postmodernist politics must complete the Gramscian move to extend the political into all spheres, domains and practices of our culture" (xv). Finally, the title of the collection, Universal Abandon, brilliantly figures discussion of universal abandonment or the abandonment of universale in the founding myths or narratives or texts explored at least indirectly in all the essays. Ernesto Laclau notes this abandonment as the defining feature of the period: "it is the contraposition between foundation and horizon that I think enables us to understand the change in the ontological status of emancipatory discourses and, in general, of metanarratives, in the transition from modernity to postmodernity" (81). The essays in the collection repeatedly challenge the reader in a number of ways and valuably expand one's perspectives on postmodernism as the significant cultural event in the second half of this century. The high level of abstraction, the dependence on modish terms, and the convoluted referentiality of the essays, however, may be daunting. A reader should persevere, though, because this is a most intelligent, most bracing collective effort to delineate the features, assumptions, and debates of the complexities that constitute postmodernism. DAVID LEON HIGDON Texas Tech University AKIKO TSUCHIYA. Semiotic Consciousness in the Novels ofBenito Pérez Galdós. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1990. 145 p. Criticed monographs organized entirely around a single idea may run a risk offorcing textual evidence to fit the preconceived mold and, hence, distorting Book Reviews105 rather than illuminating the literary texts in question. Ifthe critical principle applied carries a heavy apparatus ofjargon, further obfuscation may occur. Semiological studies have been particularly prone, perhaps, to these dangers. Much to her credit, the young author ofthe Galdós etudy reviewed here avoids both ofthese dangers emd offers em enlightening emd intellectually solid critical text which is unified and consistent without being repetitive. The book has the additional merit ofbeing that rarity, a gracefully written, highly readable critical etudy. Drawing eubetantially upon the theoretical constructs of Roland Barthes, Teuchiya focuses upon narrative as language, creator and reflector of itself and inventor of its own self-contained system. The empheisis upon metafiction emd textual self-consciousness runs counter to a substantial body of criticism of the nineteenth-century Spanish novel which centers around the text'e referentiahty. Teuchiya correctly asserts that scholars of metafiction have often shunned literary realism on the apparent assumption that the realiet project ie inherently incompatible with a view of the literary text as a self-conscious artifice. Tsuchiya sees the tension between criticed emphases on mimesis and metafictionality as a reflection or replication ofthe ironic play which ehe finds within the Galdosian text iteelf: between interpretation emd creation of eigne, between a view oflanguage ae referent reflective of em extratextual truth and one of language as autonomous, self-contained system reflecting only iteelf. Indeed, ehe posits a mutual dependence between referentiahty and selfreferentiality in the Galdosian text. Galdós' metafictionality "laye bare its own conventions and questions the ontological status ofthe 'world' in the text," while at the...