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366 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 recuperation and restoration as they flesh out the mechanics, as it were, of 'poetic logic.' In addition to establishing the contemporary urgency of attempts toreestablish tropological thought, another overarching aim of the book is to trace 'poetic logic' (and the particular union of the rational and poetic within it) to roots in the Italian philosophical tradition. The book also functions, then, as a crossover or bridging resource for Italianists and comparatists (European-Italian). Its masterful philosophical historiography weaves together (1) contemporary theorists (Hayden White, Derrida, Deleuze) and their modern predecessors (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jung); and (2) Italian philosophers (Valesio, Agamben, Giordano Bruno, Franco Rella). It locates- sometimes via historical reasoning, sometimes via imaginative linking - their common investment in 'poetic logic' within an Italian Renaissance tradition of hermetic ('alchemico-herrnetic') philosophy. The primary value of this book would seem to lie in this specific comparative and historiographic function. Critiquing the Enlightenment project (universalism, humanism, positivism, foundationalism, logocentrism, etc) is, of course, still a valid concern. And Colilli's attempt to show how rational and non-rational modes of cognition should not be set in opposition is certainly relevant. But the solution Colilli proposes for the divide between the rational and the poetic - for the aging contest between the 'analytic' and 'continental' formations over increasingly vital questions of knowledge, rationality, agency, objectivity- must stand alongside those more substantial and sophisticated alternatives (critiques of positivism) now offered by feminist epistemology, critical or postpositivist realism, and the rigorous critiques of positivism from within the contemporary analytic tradition itself. (DANIEL W. KIM) Calin-Andrei Mihailescu and Walid Hamarneh, editors. Fiction Updated: Theories ofFictionality, Narratology, and Poetics University of Toronto Press 1996. xiv, 328. $6o.oo cloth, $24.95 paper Most of these twenty-four essays are revised versions of papers delivered at a 1990 conference honouring Lubomir Dolozel. Yet despite its long gestation, the collection still shows signs of haste. Among the mechanical problems, the alphabetical list of contributors is out of order, Douwe W. Fokkema's essay is misquoted by the editors in their introduction, the ending of Lmda Hutcheon's article has been dropped by the typesetters, and there is no index. More important, the editors apparently did not use the intervening six years to sharpen the book's focus. At first, Fiction Updated seems poised to explore the problem of 'fictionality' (that is, the ontological status of fictions), with particular attention to the ways that possible-world semantics provides alternatives to mimetic criticism, HUMANITIES 367 deconstruction/ and hermeneutics. But as the book continues, its coherence fades, and it wanders into fairly distant territory. Ladislav Matejka's attack on most Bakhtin scholarship for its ;textual sloppiness' (in particular, for its failure to pay sufficient attention to 'problems of authorship and textological authenticity') is sobering; and Umberto Eco's erudite meditation on Aristotlefs Poetics probes a number of important questions/ including the nature of metaphor. But good as they are/ these essays - like Edward Mozejko's historical survey of formalist and structuralist criticism in Poland - are only tangentially connected to the theoretical issues raised in the introduction and the earlier essays. The book seems even more scattered because its authors make such different assumptions about their readers' expertise and theoretical predispositions . Francesco Loriggio expects a reader who is fluent in French and Italian; Michael Riffaterre, in contrast, writes for a reader who needs translations of French texts. John Woods demands a philosophically sophisticated reader who will follow him as he offhandedly explains/ 'when thinking of paraconsistency in this dialethic way/ I tend to evoke the names of Sylvan (ne Routley)r Myer, Priest, and Brady'; Nicholas Rescherfs witty and provocative essay on 'the nature of fiction/ in contrast, presupposes a more relaxed reader who reads the New York Times Book Review rather than Quine/ and who will let pass the claim that because of their length, short stories cannot really 'qualify' as works of fiction. Ruth Ronen is writing for a reader who will accept without question the assertion that 'modem literary theory regards the mimetic view ... as obsolete,' while Pierre Ouellet's implied reader sees issues of mimesis as central to current theoretical discussions. The problem is not that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 366-368
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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