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MLR, .,   that they are unknown to modern readers, and also to demonstrate the eloquent language and rhetoric of their texts. Kerr’s point is that such texts use a register of expression that goes beyond Saint-Simonian theory to provide a linguistic surplus, an excess in expression that lies beyond and beside the ideologies of Saint-Simon’s followers. A similar rationale surrounds Kerr’s account of journalistic writings by Gautier, showing how they go beyond their immediate journalistic function to transform city scenes into visions of dynamic movement. Registers of language are forged that become part of the transformative, and therefore utopian, discourses of literature. When Kerr moves on to Le Spleen de Paris he acknowledges the dif- ficulty posed by the ironic structures inherent in Baudelairean spleen, apparently dystopian perhaps, but equates the ‘idéal’ that is spleen’s dialectical partner with utopian ‘rhapsodie’; the rhapsodic, a term celebrated by Baudelaire, being essential to his poetics. But it is inevitably with Rimbaud’s urban ‘poèmes en prose’ that this utopian theme reaches its apogee, as Kerr demonstrates through precise and penetrating textual analysis. A continuous thread in Kerr’s investigations of his topic is the importance of iconicity and visual resonance in the texts under discussion. e cover of Dream Cities reproduces Femme colossale assise (c. ), a drawing by the Saint-Simonian artist Philippe-Joseph Machereau, later related (p. ) to Rimbaud’s ‘Being Beauteous ’. Gautier, forever a visual writer, highlights the architecture and spectacle of Paris, and Kerr’s consideration of Baudelaire includes his accounts of Constantin Guys and Charles Meryon as urban artists. e visual splendour of Rimbaud’s Illuminations is proclaimed in its very title. Kerr is therefore contributing to word and image studies in his book. Investigations of the ‘poème en prose’ as a hybrid form are multiple, and Kerr’s arguments add to them. His aims, however, are distinctive. Rather than seek to explain such hybridity by tracing the form’s identity or development within a specific historical tradition, he presents a more fluid and open kind of contextualization, in which new awareness of unfamiliar utopian rhetoric contributes to our understanding of the urban prose poem. Notions of hybridity are thereby extended and enriched. U  B R H Marking Time: Derrida, Blanchot, Beckett, des Forêts, Klossowski, Laporte. By I M. (Faux Titre, ) Amsterdam: Rodopi. .  pp. €. ISBN ––––. Ian Maclachlan’s Marking Time is a very significant critical, theoretical, and scholarly achievement. For the first time it brings together into a unique comparative constellation a range of important post-war French writers (and in one case, of course, Irish). In so doing it greatly deepens our understanding of these difficult and challenging figures and of their shared place within the wider development of the twentieth-century French philosophical and literary tradition. By framing the  Reviews overall comparative discussion in relation to Derrida’s thought and writing, and, in particular, his treatment of issues such as temporality, alterity, hospitality, and the question of writing itself, this book also develops an original and illuminating set of theoretical arguments concerning the ontology of the literary text, its complex temporality, and the significance of these for questions of ethics and of the value of the literary more generally. is is theoretically oriented criticism at its very best, deeply informed by an extensive and thorough knowledge of the wider philosophical and literary contexts in which these writers were working. While Maclachlan demonstrates that questions of literary and narrative time are dealt with in different but comparable ways by each of the five literary authors treated, the overall argument is perhaps best summed up in relation to the treatment of Derrida which opens the volume as a whole. is relates to what is described as the internal economy of the literary texts under discussion and the way in which that economy is exposed to an ‘outside’. As Maclachlan underlines, such an ‘exposed ’ economy can be understood in terms of the category of literature itself and its borders, but also in terms of the processes of writing, reading, reception, and interpretation. Either way, his argument is that such an outside can, in each case, be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2222-4319
Print ISSN
0026-7937
Pages
pp. 871-873
Open Access
No
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