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76Rocky Mountain Review Lawrence D. Kritzman talks of Barthes' anxiety which emanates from the fear of institutionalization, "a phenomenon that would preempt the possibility of futurity and thus threaten the writer's ongoing libidinal energy" (189). We regret that Professor Harold Bloom cannot bring himself to the appraisal of the French literary scene, whether through diffidence, temerity, or mere petulance. It is possible that he is a closet reader of French authors (and a secret admirer of French painting) and hides this undisclosed propensity for fear of the public shame attendant to this secret habit of imbibing the spirit of the heady wine of France. There are times when I detect the bouquet of French prose in the breath of the more lyric phrasings that enhance the startling clarity of Bloom's antithetic vision. Perhaps in time he will swerve and, admitting his secret vice of reading French, will pleasure our forgiving souls by adding his brilliance to the pleasant community of Boileau, Voltaire, Michelet, Valéry, Barthes, and particularly Claudel, whose lyric mysticism is matched by Bloom's exegetical mysticism. In time Bloom will perhaps listen to the other voices in other rooms which speak in unfamiliar accents and add his unsanctified and secret wisdom to the understanding of other literatures. MARIE-FRANCE HILGAR University ofNevada, Las Vegas ULRICH GOEBEL and WOLODYMYR T. ZYLA, eds. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Continuing Vitality. Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1984. 232 p. This collection ofessays constitutes the proceedings ofthe Fifteenth Annual Comparative Literature Symposium, organized by Texas Tech University and held in January 1982. The symposium was dedicated to Carl Hammer, Jr., Horn Professor Emeritus of German at Texas Tech, acknowledging his outstanding contributions to the study of Goethe in America. According to the preface the goal of the conference was to show "Goethe's continuing vitality in world literature" and to explore "the complex relationship between the influence which aroused and inspired him and the influence which, in turn, he exerted on others in literature and music" (5). The volume contains, aside from the dedication by one of the editors, Ulrich Goebel, nine symposium lectures and a luncheon address presented without exception by some of the foremost scholars in the field, as the biographical notes on the contributors make plain. The first lecture by Stuart Atkins, "On Translating Faust," argues most cogently that translating a literary masterpiece requires the interpreter to become an artist. The following lecture by David J. DeLaura, "Heroic Egotism: Goethe and the Fortunes of Bildung in Victorian England," traces Goethe's concept of self-cultivation and its reception in nineteenth-century England and how it influenced Goethe criticism ofthat country. Alexander Gelley gave the third lecture on "Frame, Instance, Dialogue: Narrative Structures in the Wanderjahre" and makes the point that the Wanderjahre is not a typical example of Bildungsroman due to the problematic interrelationship of individual episodes and the principal narrative strand. As a result the accent of the novel is shifted away from Book Reviews77 content toward one of "modes of enunciation and transmission" (61). The subsequent contribution by Victor Lange on "Goethe's Theory of Literature," clearly one of the more important papers in this collection, characterizes Goethe's place in the school of eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and defines "the character of Goethe's notions of literaryjudgment" (79). The fifth lecture by Meredith Lee on "Goethe, Klopstock and the Problem of Literary Influence: A Reading of the Darmstadt Poems" uses three early Goethe poems to show that despite his recognized "original genius" Goethe was under the influence of his literary predecessors, specifically Klopstock. The next essay by John Neubauer, "Absolute and Affective Music: Rameau, Diderot, and Goethe," one of two papers dealing with music, examines Goethe's theory of music and finds his ideas similar to those of Rousseau and the encyclopedists who "preferred melody and voice to instrumental music" (115) yet shows that he also was interested in constructing harmonic principles for music. Henry H.H. Remak's lecture on "Goethe and the Novella" examines the author's novellesque work to reach an incisive "historical and critical assessment of Goethe's role in the evolution of the novella...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-2833
Print ISSN
1948-2825
Pages
pp. 76-77
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-06
Open Access
No
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