In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 119 This study of parody above all makes explicit the complexity of the issues, leaving us with a remarkable synthesis and an extensive bibliography . Hutcheon progresses through the material raising the central issues, such as the relation of parody to satire and irony, or of the world to the text, and, as in her own conceptual model of the ethos of irony, parody, and satire, the issues overlap and rotate, reappearing with new resolutions. Her definition of parody will not please everyone, not those, for example, who maintain that ridicule or aggression is the defining element of parody, nor, at the other extreme, those who would have parody equal intertextuality. She acknowledges these positions, but plots her own territory and theoretical priorities. (MARY E. 0'CONNOR) Mario j. Valdes and Owen Miller, editors. Identity of the Literary Text University of Toronto Press. 330. $37.50, $14.95 paper Jonathan Culler's Introduction to this volume, in an initial 'strategic recourse to empiricism,' notes Webster's definition of identity: 'the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under various aspects or conditions.' And so a reviewer might first strategically notice the editors' devices for giving Identity of the Literary Text that sort of identity, structuringit as the same under various aspects. Fifteen theoretical essays by well-known scholars are grouped in sections labelled 'Textuality and Intertextuality,' 'Textual Deconstruction,' 'Hermeneutics,' 'Analytical Construction,' and 'Ideological Perspectives.' Owen Miller writes a useful Preface summarizing the essays - the browsing reader, looking beyond the names listed in the Table of Contents, Michael Riffaterre, J. Hillis Miller, Paul Ricoeur, Wolfgang Iser, et ai., should study the Preface - and Mario Valdes, addressing 'our identity concept,' attempts in his conclusion to elicit 'the basic issues which run through [the] contributions.' I can see no way to supplement the editors' discussions of the theoretical unity of the volume, the fact of its remaining the same in its parts, and so shall address myself to other tasks, indicating the essays I found most satisfying and then commenting on some very mundane and historical detenninations of the volume's identity. Ifound most interesting and provocative the essays in the sections on 'Textuality and Intertextuality ' and 'Textual Deconstruction,' as well as Robert Weimann's paper in the 'Ideological' group. Peter Nesselroth's use of Apollinaire's 'Lundi rue Christine' to explore very precisely the literary status of 'indifferent utterances,' Patricia Parker's 'The (Self-) Identity of the Literary Text: Property, Propriety, Proper Place, and Proper Name in Wuthering Heights' and Hillis Miller's deconstructionist discussion of Hardy's 'In Front of the Landscape' were satisfying not as providing comfortableinterpretations butas deftly using the poems and the novel to examine rigorously issues indicated by the volume's title. Robert Weimann wittily uses the title text of the collection as 'a paradigm to suggest the degree to which the establishment of its identity is related to the functional situation, the historical time and place in which it is produced, communicated, and responded to.' But Weimann's essay itself might be used as an unfortunate example, one of several I shall adduce, of the ways in which the low standard of scholarly editing in this book introduces unwanted/unwonted elements of 'intertextuality' and 'indecidability' into the text. In Weimann's essay, one endnote attributes to Mario Valdes an unexpectedly Jamesonian statement, while the next locates a Valdes quotation (faultily transcribed) equally unexpectedly in FredricJameson. There are similar errors scattered throughout the text, but one set in particular which throws into doubt the scholarly production of the whole book. Both Owen Miller's Preface and Culler's Introduction refer to a passage from Barbara Johnson's The Critical Difference, which, as each writer implies, is most pertinent to the intellectual project of Identity of the Literary Text: a text's difference is not its uniqueness, its special identity. It is the text's way of differing from itseif. And this difference is perceived only in the act of rereading. It is the way in which the text's signifyingenergybecomes unbound, to use Freud's term, through the processofrepetition, which is the return notof sameness but of difference. Difference, in other words, is...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 119-122
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.