BOOK NOTES need to keep an open mind about what lies ahead, he seems to long for absolutes. Tentativeness, as already mentioned, or pedanticism, as he struggles to define comparative literature and its metiiodology, seem to be the Scylla and Charybdis through which he navigates. As he veers toward Charybdis, he writes such words as "Comparatists do not claim to study essentially die relation of the creator to his work--which is die concern ofother specialists . . ." (73). His defining comparative literature negatively hurts what should be vibrant and free intellectual inquiry. He also runs the risk oftruisms with statements like, "It is . . . vital to read the texts in the original," or "the comparatist should have active knowledge of two or three languages ..." (14). One would have expected Chevrel to have been a bolder navigator in his exploration ofthe discipline. Nevertheless, the introduction to the volume by ICLA president Gerald Gillespie is extremely laudatory, and suggests that Chevrel is simply writing for a broader audience. Jeanne J. Smoot North Carolina State University BEATRICE MARTINA GUENTHER The Poetics of Death: The Short Prose ofKleist and Balzac. Albany: The SU of New York P, 1
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 3, 1997
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