Fall 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 4 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1969 |

The Dynamics of Literary Criticism

The Dynamics of Literary Criticism by Norman N. Holland. Oxford University Press, $8.00. Psychoanalytic criticism is either diagnostic or per allegoriam. It treats literary texts as symptoms of authors or as illustrations of a doctrine. It either eats through the text to a man or holds it up as a reflection of its own images, forms, and pressures. In the second instance, it allegorizes: it takes a work of literature as a system of referents to a body of doctrine put together before, after, or aside from the work—in any case, not by it. To the psychoanalyst the work is always informed by a secret motive or an esoteric reference. The words never mean what they appear to mean, are never about what they appear to be about, but something else: "I would say that the single most common fantasy-structure in literature is phallic assertiveness balanced against oral engulfment," says Norman N. Holland. According to him, the Wife of Bath's tale converts a "phallic relationship to

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