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140 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 One of the more fascinating parts of this book relates to those categories responsible for actual narrative formations; that is, to the operations that generate actual stories, orders and worlds from the ideal or abstract categories described above. The main function in these formative operations relates to narrative modalities, a crucial part of a literary semantics and one of the irmovations and improvements of Dolezel's model over narratology as is often practiced. Narrative modalities indicate world-specific constraints: for instance what type of action is allowed/prohibited in a certain world, what is possible and what is impossible in a world, how world-events and actions are valorized in a specific world, etc. A complementary factor in this semantic grammar is the notion of authentication, which decides which'narrative parts are constructed as having fictional existence and which are denied existence (through irony, unreliable narration , etc). A literary semantics not only accounts for the overall narrative structure (a project practised by narrative grarrunarians) but also moves gradually to the realm of texture and style. Selection and formation of narrative utterances can equally be analysed according to world-constructing rules and constraints. It should be noted that while pursuing the details of this semantics Dolezel does not limit himself to simple, even simplified, story structures, but rather, illustrates his case with intricate texts from Kafka to postmodemisrn. Dolezel's book on fiction and world construction is long overdue. Here as in his earlier work, Dolezel has shown the promise that still lies with a systematic narrative theory which takes issue with the most complex problems of ontology, epistemology, and pragmatics facing literarystudies. In that, his work has carried a substantial influence and has instructed many followers in the field of narrative theory. (RUTH RONEN) James R. Hightower and Florence Chia-ying Yeh. Studies in Chinese Poetry Harvard University Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press. xvi, 608. us $50.00 This large volume represents the result of thirty years of collaboration between Professors James R. Hightower and Florence Chia-ying Yeh, two of the most distinguished scholars of classical Chinese poetry. It collects seventeenessays writtenbetween 1968 and 199B,ofwhich eleven havebeen previously published and six appear in English for the first time. The book is divided mto three sections. Part 1 contains three essays on shih poetry: Hightower onthe pre-T'ang poet T'ao Ch'ien's 'Drinking Wine' poems and modes of allusion in his poetry, and Yeh on the late T'ang poet Li Shangyin 's 'Four Yen-t'ai Poems.' Part 2 consists of ten essays on tz'u poetry (song lyrics) (two by Hightower and the rest by Yeh). This section accounts HUMANITIES 141 for about two-thirds of the book and is virtually a comprehensive history of tz'u poetry and its interpretive tradition, with extended discussions of important tz'u writers such as Yen Shu, Liu Yung, Su Shih, Chou Pang-yen, Hsin Ch'i-chi, Wu Wen-ying, as well as a concluding essay on the Ch'angchou school of tzlu criticism. The four essays of part 3 (all by Yeh) focus on the work of the influential modern critic Wang Kuo-wei; his song lyrics are discussed in light of his own theories (especially his notion of ching chieh or 'experienced world'), followed by three shorter essays on Wang's literary criticism and character. The essays are characterized by a traditional style of careful exegesis of the texts of individual writers. They offer judicious overviews of previous commentaries and biographical and historical considerations to assist the evaluation of a given poet and the exploration of general issues and themes of poetic style and poetry criticism. Two pairs of essays on Su Shih and Hsin Ch/i-chi (by Yeh) and on Liu Yung and Chou Pang-yen (by Hightower ) treat the so-called 'heroic' and 'soft and sentimental' styles of tz'u poetry with much subtlety and sophistication. The authors approach the vexed problem of allegorical interpretation deftly, giving a nuanced view of its various limitations and possibilities in the Chinese interpretive tradition. Several essays, written more recently, represent a noteworthy shift in focus and approach...


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