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Book Reviews entre le récit par les mots et le récit par l’image. Mais cette petite lacune est rachetée par d’autres aspects utiles de l’ouvrage: les photos extraites des films présentés, un appendice bio-filmographique, le générique des films et un index. Ces compléments sont heureux et contribuent à faire de ce livre un ouvrage de référence pour quiconque s’intéresse au cinéma, à la littérature et à la société en Afrique. M . E lisabeth M udim be-B oyi Duke University Bettina Knapp. M ac h in e, M etaph o r , a n d the W riter. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1989. Pp. viii + 244. $27.50. Bettina Knapp is the guru of archetypal criticism. Read her final paragraph: “ Will we allow humanity to be swept along mindlessly by the momentum of technology? Or will we attempt to find a balanced course. The problem is ours. Do we face it or walk away?” (218). Crafted as a persuasive essay, Machine, Metaphor, and the Writer “ applies” Knapp’s honed methodology. A short introduction defines the Jungian lexicon and serves as a statement of intent: to “explore the nature of the relationship between the protagonist and the machine” (7), between the author and the word, and the effect on readers in the “ mega-complex into which the mega-machine has transformed their world” (7). Knapp then devotes eleven chapters to works representing Orient and Occident. A succinct re­ capitulative conclusion is followed by a bibliography and an index. After a biographical sketch, a plot summary with commentaries reveals the “ symbols, images, and motifs [. . .] in relation to the meaning and impact of the specific machine that is featured [. . .] in each piece of writing” (10). Comparisons are drawn with mythology (Icarus), spirituality (mandala imagery), and religions (Elija’s visionary experiences). A train in Joyce’s “ A Painful Case” causes an “ epiphanic experience” (11), and in Witkiewicz ’s The Crazy Locomotive “ is viewed as a destroyer of individuals, societies, and cultures” (11). Throughout Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Wind, Sand, and Stars, a plane represents an “ inability to grow up” (72), a “ vagina dentata" (84), and “ aspiring to know spatial climes” (81). Again, in Arreola’s “ The Switchman” a train “ serves to heighten the feelings of aliena­ tion and powerlessness of finite beings living in the infinite vastness of an impersonal uni­ verse” (98), while in Yizhar’s Midnight Convoy, wheeled vehicles illustrate the quest for “ the right path” (112). Osaragi’s The Journey involves trains, cars, buses, and boats in a “ semiology of transformation” (125) making possible “expanding reality and cosmicity” (148). In “ The Man-Eater of Malgudi,” Narayan employs a printing press as a “ paradigm for the cosmic process of creation and dissolution” (150) in which “ letters, syllables, and words become manna” (151). The sidewinder computer in Shepard’s Operation Sidewinder exemplifies the “ mechanics of the profane and the sacred” (193) when paired with an initiatory Hopi dance. In Jarry’s The Supermale, the protagonist is seen as a robot, in Pirandello’s Tonight We Improvise, theater itself becomes a machine “ hungry for poetry” (11), and in Handke’s Kaspar, words “ become mechanical devices endowed with concre­ tion” (12). Unfortunately, there are some puzzling errors. In the Jarry chapter, for example, plac­ ing the protagonist on the five-man cycle skews the analysis of the Jungian “ shadow.” Fur­ thermore, a confusion of Hindu and Native American nullifies the parallels to Yogitantrics . Marcueil is, in the novel, a “ Peau-Rouge,” “ un Indien chasseur de scalps.” Jarry’s displacement of the Indian of his sources to his own text is lost. Knapp seems to force her selections into a mold: Marcueil is perhaps not a “ negative view of the machine VOL. XXX, NO. 2 109 L ’E sprit C réateur age” (28) for his death recasts the newly invented electric chair used to punish an inhuman man. Nonetheless, this book (it could have been titled “ Machine, Metaphor, and the Male Writer” ) is criticism with its convictions showing. Its mission is such that its misreadings are forgiven in a rush of gratitude for Knapp’s concern with...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 109-110
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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