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498 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 seule ecriture de l'amour est une 're-ecriture constante du rapport homme-femme,' et les recents ecrits 'incertains,' 'insecures' des hommes quebecois deshabillent Ie corps et Ie pouvoir pour 'laisser voir Ie tout petit .lieu du masculin, sans les grandeurs prescrites' (p 30). La meme incertitude angoissee parcourt la tres belle reflexion de Marcel Belanger sur la thematique amoureuse en litterature. Commentcommencerase definiret as'aimer quand la litterature n'offre comme modeles masculins que Ie troubadour, Ie seducteur, Ie chercheur d'une mere-amante (,Tristan, Romeo et Frederic Moreau n'ont pas encore vraiment rompu leur silence,' p 120); etquandIe langage social permis aux hommes ne laisse exprimerni doutes, ni peur, ni tendresse? Si la litterature a presente la femme comme 'un objet de desir et de possession,' elle a per~u I'homme comme 'une machine condamneeau travail, al'ambition et au pouvoir' (p 123). Trop occupe arisquer sa peau, I'homme n'a pas encore appris qu'elle est un 'tissu ou s'inscrit la jouissance' (p 122). Lesdiscours de la modernite au Quebec n'ont pas resolu et ne resoudront pas les tensions entre vivrelecrirelchanger Ie reel; mais ils ont permis de deplacer les dualismes. Grace ala persistance des intellectuels dans leur projet de devoiler ce qui est cache dans Ie langage, Ie reel bouge au Quebec - et de fa~oninedite. (PATRICIA SMART) Barker Fairley. Selected Essays on German Literature. Edited by Rodney Symington Peter Lang. Canadian Studies in German Literature, 29. 380. sFr 68 paper For how long does an essay remain a lucid partner in the discourse on literary criticism before becoming merely a page in the critical history of the discipline? While BarkerFairley's twenty-two essays written between 1916 and 1969 still serve far more than merely historical interest, they do give rise to this difficult question. Well over half of the reprints deal with Goethe, as might be expected: Professor Fairley is mainly known for his Goethe scholarship, which has drawnmostfavourable commentsfrom suchluminariesasThomasMann, who at other times dealt with more pedestrian scholars in sharply ironical terms. Besides his three books on Goethe, it is Fairley's translation of Faust (1972) that has assured his place in the libraries of scholars and students alike and offers even to the German reader, who believes he knows the text, many an insightful 'Verfremdungseffekt: Thus the comments on 'Translating Faust' reprinted in the above volume remain valuable for linguists and interpreters alike, since they alert us to many of the linguistic pitfalls and ambiguities of the original. The addresses and articles conceived for the Goethe Centennial celebrations in 1932 and for the Bicentenary in 1949 corroborate the statement 6n the jacket that during these decades Fairley was 'Canada's HUMANITIES 499 leading Germanist': they make obvious his intimate knowledge of the 133 volumes of the Weimar Goethe edition and show his deep sensitivity to their contents; they may well be called timeless introductions to the poet and the central ideas of his work. But this timelessness also entails a certain neglect of ongoing scholarship : there is only the occasional critical remark and an almost complete lack of documentation and footnotes. Today's readers will regret this failing, for instance when reading 'Goethe: The Man and the Myth,' an address given in 1949, where Fairley sets out to separate the biographical facts and Goethe's philosophical attitude from the legends that had been woven around him by his German and also his French interpreters. How true the statement 'There is no English author who has been similarly enthroned or elevated' is, and how pertinent it is to raise the question of the desirability of 'the Goethe myth'! For this task of de-mythologizing one of the greatest German national heroes Fairley was particularly well equipped: he had taught at the University ofJena, he knew the mentality and sociopolitical background of his German colleagues who engaged in Goethe-deification from generation to generation. But why then take the examples for this discussion only up to the turn ofthe century and pick up again after the Second World War? Itis during the decades of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich that the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 498-500
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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