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L ’E s p r it C r é a t e u r privileging the vécu are gestures appropriate to these aestival rambles, during which the stu­ dents tell stories that relate their university-acquired knowledge to their direct experience of the world. Clearly, Poissenot agrees with Montaigne that “ Ce grand monde que les uns multiplient encore comme especes soubs un genre, c’est le miroüer où il nous faut regarder pour nous connoistre de bon biais. Somme, je veux que ce soit le livre de mon escholier” (I, xxvi). Pérouse and Simonin provide extensive footnotes, and compare L ’ Esté stylistically and thematically with its sources and analogues. They include biographical information; a bibliography; a glossary; an index of proper names; and the pages from Jean Lemaire de Belges’ Illustrations de Gaule after which Poissenot modeled escolier Préfouché’s third his­ toire. Their edition is a model of erudition, offering a clear guide to L ’Esté’s rich and manifold context. J a n e t L . S o l b e r g Kalamazoo College Patricia Parker and David Quint, eds. L i t e r a r y T h e o r y / R e n a i s s a n c e T e x t s . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. Pp. 396. In these critical approaches to 16th-century texts, superimposition of “ Theory” over “ Texts” corresponds visually to the assumption of theory as a neutral medium—a metadiscourse applied to literary texts. Many of the essays, however, rereading a span of Renais­ sance literature from various positions—feminist, new historicist, deconstructionist, Marx­ ist, and psychoanalytic—subvert such expectations. Drawing their own procedural strategies into consideration, they remain self-reflexive, and hence loosen the grip of classical analytical procedures held over a logic of representation, i.e., a theory of text seen as a movement of signs mediating ideas. The collection addresses how texts are inscribed by and resistant to what David Quint terms “ codes of repression” in both contemporary literary systems and the epistemological and ideological underpinnings of Renaissance culture. They do not offer up-dated, better approaches per se to Renaissance literature; rather, they produce an intertextual space between theory and text in general. They are written in the interstices of 20th-century theory and 16th-century literature, across the line drawn by the diacritical mark (“ / ” ) between “ Theory” and “ Texts.” The bar distinguishes problematic intertextual spaces and resemblance and/or distinction between contemporary and Renaissance textuality. In a critique of the Labors o f Persiles, Diana de Armas Wilson demonstrates how the recurrent figure of the Androgyne in Cervantes undermines hierarchized oppositions secur­ ing priority of a patriarchal symbolic order. Correcting a repeated misreading of “ the cen­ tral passage” of Book 9 of Paradise Lost, Mary Nyquist exposes the self-serving claims an “ institutionally dominant masculinist critical tradition” perpetuates by mediating M ilton’s reception. Timothy Reiss discerns Montaigne to be misconstrued in analyses presupposing Cartesian notions of subject foreign to both the Essays and to Renaissance culture. Terence Cave finds Rabelais’s “ proliferation of topoi, figures, anecdotes, and lexical items . . . always in excess of what is required for the transmission of a didactic or moral intention,” and thus, highly resistant to repressive, classical interpretations. John Freccero studies the opposition of a fetishistic Petrarchan discourse to an Augustinian logos. His chapter is sug­ gestive of an excess unexploited elsewhere. Inaudible yet visible self-reflexive textual play (“ L aura/l’aura” ) can underscore codes of repression operative in authority given to voice at the expense of the graphic otherness of language. Petrarch’s depiction of Laura as a Medusa would show how graphic excess reduces masculine verbal supremacy to silence. Many chapters draw upon Foucault’s well-known distinctions among Renaissance, 98 Su m m e r 1988 B o o k R e v ie w s Classical and Modern epistemologies in order to justify post-structural views of 16thcentury texts. Patricia Parker investigates limits in comparisons between Derridean terminology and Renaissance notions of dilation by signalling “ the distance between a dila­ tion and delay . . . caught within the horizon of a telos . . . and [a] kind of unlimited...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 98-99
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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