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B o o k R e v iew s into the discursive practice o f om ni-voracity in the Voyages. Travelling and eating become narrative m etaphors for cognitive discovery through which Verne’s fictions, by attem pting to affiliate themselves with science, aspire to a (pseudo-)scientific veracity. Thus M artin takes us on a deconstructive journey, a post-D erridean frolic whose land­ m arks are the textual dots he adm ittedly leaves to his reader to connect, filling in the gaps, in ever new patterns o f inquiry. The book itself could be read and reread over and again, im itating the circular yet spiraling m otion o f the acquisition o f knowledge, and producing new herm eneutical dots on this epistemic m ap. In his farewell, he exposes the pretentions to omniscience of any literary criticism bearing the banner o f a theological lelos of totaliza­ tion, “ to know and say everything.” But he has the sense to realize that this is an im pos­ sible task, since the text, like the world, is not a problem with a unique solution. Are we left with a hyperbological utopia/dystopia or just a fine rom ance of “docte ignorance” ? Place your orders. At this table there is som ething for everyone involved in any contem porary critical or theoretical enterprise. K e n n e t h B e r r i Skidm ore College Villiers de I'lsle-Adam . Œ u v r e s C o m p l è t e s . Ed. W. Raitt et Pierre-Georges Castex. Paris: G allim ard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1986. Pp. Vol. I, lxxix + 1657; Vol. II, 1780. 680 F. Back in 1971, J.-P . G ourevitch, in his thoughtful book on Villiers de PIsle-Adam (Seghers), noted that Villiers’ com plete works were to be published by the Pléiade the following year, under the editorship o f the already eminent villierien P.-G . Castex. At the time (his was welcome news indeed, for the earlier eleven-volume edition o f the au th o r’s w orks, published by M ercure de France between 1914 and 1931, was long since out o f date and out of print. Some o f Villiers’ works had been unavailable for decades and researchers were often obliged to use whatever editions of separate texts they could lay their hands on. Furtherm ore, the M ercure edition was far from com plete, and possessed no appareil critique to guide the scholar through the often com plicated publication history of m any of Villiers’ m ost im portant works. So that, even were one lucky enough to have ready access to those eleven attractive volum es, m any scholarly problem s rem ained unresolved. As it turned out, it was not one but fifteen years that villieriens had to wait for this two-volume set to appear. A nd, appropriately, it is a joint editorship that has overseen the publication o f these indispensable scholarly instrum ents: A lan W . R aitt, whose long com ­ m itm ent to Villiers has in many respects resulted in the author’s present, wider public,-has shared the responsibilities involved in the realization of such an edition. In those fifteen years, in effect, Villiers has attained a far greater degree o f recognition as a significant figure in Jïn de siècle literature than was the case when Professors Castex and R aitt first began to plead his case, as it were, in the sixties. M uch o f this edition has been solidly based on the previous studies and editions the editors have themselves produced. But they are not stingy with their praise and recognition of the work of others, and it is a distinct pleasure to find in their bibliography the names of established N orth Am erican Villiers scholars such as Ivor A rnold and M arilyn G. Rose. Thoroughness has clearly been the m ajor goal of this edition, and there is no question that it has been attained. All o f Villiers is here, in texts whose status can finally be claimed as definitive...


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