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HUMANITIES 543 which do survive, however, one declares that Frye's essay 'suffers from the half truth of generalization.' The essays, whether the assignment is literary or theological, invoke all of Western culture 'through which we strive to make our experiences more significant and unified.' The arts, with their 'persistent vitality,' make their way into all the essays whether Browning or St Paul is the ostensible focus. And occasionally, as the notes inform us, Frye's wide scope includes inaccuracies which make his overarching theses no less sound. If Frye had bothered with the qualifiers and disclaimers some of his detractors might have liked, the memorable phrase which embodied a piercing insight or connection would have to have given way to the clumsy construction or the legal lingo of exactitude. This never happened. Late in life Frye described Jthe main difficulty in his writing' lying 'in translating discontinuous aphorisms into continuous argument.' We are thankful for the translations. (JOHAN L. AITKEN) Momy Joy, editor. Paul Ricreur and Narrative: Context and Contestation University of Calgary Press. 232. $24.95 This is a collection of papers on the philosophy of Paul RicCEur. The idea for such a volume apparently began with the conference on Ricceur held at Calgary in 1994, but there is no direct link. The only author who attended the conference and whose work appears in the volume isJ.P. Blomfield.The editor's rather enigmatic explanation is that the conference 'provided valuable discussion which has shaped the contents of this book/ but we have no idea of what fuis valuable discussion was about. The subtitle, ~context and Contestation,' does indicate that the contributors will take up issues which will both attempt to situate the corpus of RicCEur's work and to debate specific points, but given the enormous range of Ricreur's writing some mode of organization would have been very helpful. Paul RicCEur's brief response indicates how his recent work would have been relevant to the debate; it was for the most part absent in the contestatory papers. Working through the volume, one is struck by the randomness and uneven nature of the collection. There are some significant papers like David Pellauer's 'Recounting Narrative,' Blomfield's 'From a Poetics of the Will to Narrative of the Self,' Momy Joy's 'Writing as Repossession,' and Bernard Dauenhauer's article reprinted from Philosophy Today, JRicreur and Political Identity.' Other papers are valuable extensions of Ricceur's work into new fields. Notable in this respect is Graham Livey's 'The Role of Figure in Metaphor, Narrative and Architecture/ David Brown's 'On Narrative Belonging,' and Henderikus Stamm and Lori Egger's 'On the Possibility of a Narrative Psychology.' Of questionable significance in a collection that purports to examine context as well as to engage in debate are the papers which ignore the philosophical context and attempt to address very specific issues such as Sophocles' Antigone (Pamela 544 LETrERS IN CANADA 1997 Anderson), Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papersfrom Prison (Jamie Scott), late medieval women's religious communities (Hermina Joldersma), Quebec narratives (Dominique Perron), and postmodem theologies (Terrence Tilley). Perhaps the basis of my objection to such papers is their implicit self-indulgence; ifwe ask for whom are these contributors writing, we must surmise that in most cases it is primarily for themselves. The papers by James Fodor ('The Tragic Face of Narrative Judgment'), Robert Sweeney ('Ric~ur on Ethics'), and Linda Fisher ('The Hermeneutic Circle'), although competent, treat issues that have been addressed fully by others on numerous occasions. Finally, I find two of the contestatory papers particularly unfulfilled. Helen Buss's paper 'Women's Memoirs and the Embodied Imagination: The Gendering of Genre that Makes History and Literature Nervous' has the longest title and least-developed argument. The paper has almost nothing to do with the philosophical issues. Buss extends two articles by RicCEur into the particularly contemporary rediscovery of embodiment in what she calls a 'revisionist' reading of RicC£ur's articles and I call careless. However, the greatest sense of disappointment is Bryn Pinchin's 'A Challenge to Ricreur's Construction of Historical and Fictional (and Metaphorical ) Truth.' It is not that her argument is not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 543-544
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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