Studies in Human Time [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 10 (2):368-368 (1956)
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The original French edition of this book has won a number of literary prizes, and been extravagantly praised. Its theme is man's changing conceptions of, and attitudes towards, time and the experience of time in its various aspects, as revealed in the writings of French poets, essayists, dramatists, and novelists from Montaigne to Proust. M. Poulet's analyses are imaginative and subtle, and his transitions from point to point are often breathtaking in their brilliance; the book's scope and sweep, too, are impressive, as an author or age is summarized in a few terse yet highly packed phrases. Prosaically-minded philosophers interested in conceptual clarity may find such phrases difficult to unpack, but the book's literary virtues outweigh its purely philosophical deficiencies; as a piece of literary literary criticism its impact is considerable. --V. C. C.



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