Rocky Mountain Review

Volume 62, Number 2
FALL 2008


Martin Montanus as Entertainer and Social Critic

Albrecht Classen 
University of Arizona

Contrary to common assumptions, sixteenth-century German literature contains numerous collections of Schwänke: that is, hilarious, entertaining, didactic, but ultimately epistemological short stories. The laughter that the authors evoke intends to teach, but also to illuminate and to help the audience to grasp fundamental aspects of their lives. This finds strong confirmation in the humorous tales by Martin Montanus who obviously cared little about theological issues that seemingly dominated that century; instead he offered delightful, skillfully developed Schwänke in which he exposed people's weakness, foolishness, failures, and foibles. Because of the strategic employment of laughter, however, the recipient is invited to join the learning process and to recognize basic elements of human life.

Upanishadic Perceptions in T.S. Eliot's Poetry and Drama

P.S. Sri 
Royal Military College of Canada

The Upanishadic leitmotif of the twin selves of a human being -- one active and worldly and the other contemplative and spiritual -- haunts the works of T.S. Eliot. By juxtaposing his insights with those of the Upanishads, we may gauge their deep influence on Eliot's Weltanschauung and grasp his vision of the human condition.

Dialectics of Representation in Xosé Neira Vilas'
Memorias dun neno labrego

Ana Carballal 
University of Nebraska-Omaha

Xosé Neira Vilas' Memorias dun neno labrego (1961) serves as the ideal example of the arguments sustained by Fredric Jameson in his work The Political Unconscious. Written in 1981, one of the objectives of Jameson's work was to dismantle the inscrutable imaginaries that all types of ideologies fall into, what Jameson himself considers "utopian elements." Neira Vilas' novel is depleted of such representations. The book, set in Galicia, the northwest region of Spain, in the 1950s, is an autobiography of Balbino, a five-year-old child who relates the oppression and the hopelessness of living with his family and always being at the mercy of a ruthless and tyrannical boss. Through Jameson's work, Galicia may be seen in this novel as an institutionalized text in which only the upper classes have a decision in its organization. Nevertheless, it is within this text that Balbino starts a revolution that will challenge that fixed representation, trying to create a balance among all the social groups and its interests.

Anne Fontaine and Contemporary Women's Cinema in France

Rachel Ritterbusch 
Shepherd University

Contemporary French filmmaker Anne Fontaine rejects the label "woman's film" that critics frequently apply to her work. However, if the concept of "women's cinema" is defined according to specific textual and enunciative processes rather than the gender of the filmmaker, it becomes apparent that Fontaine's dramas are indeed "women's films." In particular, her Nettoyage à sec (1997) exhibits a uniquely feminine aesthetic that breaks with dominant ideology both in terms of content -- through the presentation of a self-confident, sexually uninhibited heroine -- and in terms of form -- through the foregrounding of the act of spectatorship.


An Interdisciplinary Examination of U.S. Racism 
from The Mismeasure of Man to Invisible Man

Carol Anelli and Richard Law 
Washington State University

U.S. racism is deeply rooted in the sciences, as the late Stephen Jay Gould detailed in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Mismeasure of Man (1996). To bridge the "Two Cultures" gap between the sciences and the humanities, we paired Gould's book with Ralph Ellison's classic work, Invisible Man, and report here our approaches and our students' response to them.


Chaucer and Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition, by John M. Bowers 
Reviewer: Pamela Luff Troyer

Books Under Suspicion: Censorship and Tolerance of Revelatory Writing in Late Medieval England, by Kathryn Kerby-Fulton 
Reviewer: Cindy Carlson

Gutenberg and the Impact of Printing, by Stephan Füssel 
Reviewer: Cliff Toliver

Print and Power in France and England: 1500-1800, ed. David Adams and Adrian Armstrong 
Reviewer: Liberty Stanavage

Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology, ed. Peter C. Mancall 
Reviewer: McKenna Rose

Profiling Shakespeare, by Marjorie Garber 
Reviewer: Andrew D. McCarthy

Shakesfear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare, by Ralph Alan Cohen 
Reviewer: Kirk G. Rasmussen

Milton Studies 47 (2007), ed. Albert C. Labriola 
Reviewer: Caitlin Holmes

Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters, by W.A. Speck 
Reviewer: Brian C. Cooney

New Frontiers in Early American Studies 
      Feminist Interventions in Early American Studies, ed. Mary C. Carruth 
      The Pilgrim and the Bee: Reading Rituals and Book Culture in Early New England, by Matthew P. Brown 

Reviewer: Doreen Alvarez Saar

Language and Revolution in Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine, and Godwin, by Jane Hodson 
Reviewer: Mariam M. Radhwi

James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years, by Wayne Franklin 
Reviewer: Michael Pringle

Reading Melville's Pierre; or, The Ambiguities, by Brian Higgins and Herschel Parker 
Reviewer: Sura P. Rath

Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age, by Harold K. Bush, Jr. 
Reviewer: Jeffrey W. Miller

Working Fictions: A Genealogy of the Victorian Novel, by Carolyn Lesjak 
Reviewer: Jessica Webb

Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body, by Oliver S. Buckton 
Reviewer: Jack W. Shear

Modernist Aesthetics and Consumer Culture in the Writings of Oscar Wilde, by Paul Fortunato 
Reviewer: Catherine R. Mintler

Twilight: A Drama in Five Acts, by Elsa Bernstein 
Reviewer: Edith Borchardt

Rudyard Kipling: The Books I Leave Behind, by David Alan Richards 
Reviewer: Robert Sargent Fay

The Nothing Machine: The Fiction of Octave Mirbeau, by Robert Ziegler 
Reviewer: Barbara Petrosky

Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection and Film History, by Amelie Hastie 
Reviewer: Pamela T. Washington

Lovers & Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936-1961, by Gary Richards Reviewer: Erin Clair

Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction, by Peter Boxall 
Reviewer: Randy Laist

Writing the Southwest, ed. David King Dunaway and Sara Spurgeon 
Reviewer: Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs

Hot Coffee and Cold Truth: Living and Writing in the West, ed. W.C. Jameson 
Reviewer: Marja Mogk

Chicana Creativity and Criticism: New Frontiers in American Literature, ed. Maria Herrera-Sobek and Helena Maria Viramontes 
Reviewer: Liana M. Silva

Frauenkrimi/polar féminin. Generic Expectations and the Reception of Recent French and German Crime Novels by Women, by Nicola Barfoot Reviewer: Cornelius Partsch

Leslie Marmon Silko: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Louise K. Barnett and James L. Thorson 
Reviewer: Kara Jacobi

The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century, by Nikolas Rose 
Reviewer: Troy Urquhart

Everything You Need to Know About Creative Writing (but knowing isn't everything...), by Heather Leach and Robert Graham 
Reviewer: Helynne H. Hansen

Mexican Americans and the Politics of Diversity, by Lisa Magaña 
Reviewer: Ana Isabel Carballal

Teaching French Grammar in Context, by Stacey L. Katz and Carl S. Blyth 
Reviewer: Jocelyne Le Ber