Rocky Mountain Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 64, Number 2
Fall 2010


The Bipartite System of Laws in Paradise Lost

Eric Dunnum 
Marquette University

Because Milton chose to depict God the Father as a king within Paradise Lost, the Father's power functions like a political king, through laws. By drawing on Althusser's distinction between Ideological State Apparatus and Repressive State Apparatus, this essay argues that the Father's laws can be divided into two separate categories: external and internal. The external laws come directly from the Father and are enforced through violence (they are repressive). The internal laws are never directly articulated by the Father, but rather are internalized in his subjects through the gifts of reason and freedom (they are ideological). Ultimately, this bipartite system conflicts with itself, causing its collapse; and the collapse of the laws is what facilitates the fall, "man's first disobedience."

The Role of the Outsider in Katja Lange-Müller's Die Letzten and Böse Schafe

Elizabeth Priester Steding 
Luther College

In her novels Die Letzten and Böse Schafe, Katja Lange-Müller deliberately situates her protagonists as outsiders who are simultaneously a part of society and apart from it. This tension of belonging and isolation allows the author to examine and critique many aspects of German society, particularly social institutions, the family, and intimate relationships. While often portraying the shortcomings of GDR society, the novels use the figure of the outsider to address issues in both the GDR and the FRG. Lange-Müller's characters also offer intriguing connections to the media image of the author herself as an outsider.

Cartographies of Identity in Caballos salvajes

Susana Sandmann 
Augsburg College

This article examines the construction of the landscape in the Argentine film Caballos salvajes (Piñeyro 1995) and proposes that, by instilling the images of Patagonia with a sense of place, this film creates a "geography of belonging." The emphasis on the landscape as place attempts to anchor national identity in the national territory as a way to resist the cultural condition of globalization: deterritorialization. To do so, the film relies on the well-known geographic antinomy Buenos Aires versus the interior, with which it awakens the chain of meanings that it evokes in the national public. Even though the film uses the codes and conventions of Hollywood genres such as the road movie and the Western to attract international audiences, it firmly anchors the resistance to globalization in the images of the interior of Argentina, in the place where, according to the film, the roots of an authentic national culture are still found.

Davis Award Winners

The Decentralization of Morality in Paradise Lost

Jarod K. Anderson 
Ohio University

This article explores the notion of "otherness" in Milton's Paradise Lost. Arguing that the true source of moral complication in the poem lies in the struggle between Milton's need to uphold the authority of God while simultaneously legitimizing opposition to the will of God, this analysis proposes that Milton employs otherness -- elements that are literally or figuratively outside of God's created system -- in order to create a legitimately questionable but ultimately beneficent God. The article further asserts that the presence of otherness makes God's position and moral authority relative; this, in turn, provides Milton with the proper context in which to justify the ways of God to man.

Shamanic Language and Power on the Campaign Trail

Isabel Gardett 
University of Utah

Candidates for the American Presidency, as they are faced with increasingly vague and complex problems, literalize the metaphor of the "body politic" in order to become "diagnosticians" of the country's ills. In doing so, they use rhetorical tools analogous to those used by Shamans in their healing practices. Often unequipped with Western medicines or technologies for fighting biological disease, Shamans instead treat diseases discursively. Their diagnoses do not identify diseases; they define them. The same is true of Presidential speeches: they redefine reality so that their own parties' approaches are the only ones that can work. To accomplish this, candidates use two Shamanic rhetorical tools in particular -- "defining the enemy" and creating a "shamanic biography" -- which allow each candidate to claim (as a Shaman does) special powers for healing the "body": in the candidates' cases, the "body politic." Such Shamanic discourse is intended to strengthen allegiance and quiet doubt, so its use by politicians exacerbates the increasingly divisive and contentious state of American politics.


The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World, by David W. Anthony 
Reviewer: Suneeti Chhettri Lock

Shakespeare and Elizabeth: The Meeting of Two Myths, by Helen Hackett 
Reviewer: Erin Makulski Sandler

Wolves and the Wolf Myth in American Literature, by S.K. Robisch 
Reviewer: David Tagnani

Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, by Monica L. Miller 
Reviewer: Christopher Allan Black

The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, ed. Mark Bould, et al. 
Reviewer: Monty Vierra

Approaches to Teaching Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, ed. Eileen Barrett and Ruth O. Saxton 
Reviewer: Dorsía Smith

Tears of Rage -- The Racial Interface of Modern American Fiction: Faulkner, Wright, Pynchon, Morrison, by Shelly Brivic 
Reviewer: Ingo R. Stoehr

Ernestina de Champourcin. Vida y literatura, by Joy Landeira 
Reviewer: Frieda H. Blackwell

Negritude: Legacy and Present Relevance, ed. Isabelle Constant and Kahiudi C. Mabana 
Reviewer: Helynne H. Hansen

Writers and Politics in Germany, 1945-2008, by Stuart Parkes 
Reviewer: Cornelius Partsch

Confessing Cultures: Politics and the Self in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath, by Lisa Narbeshuber 
Reviewer: Kristina Marie Darling

Russian in Arizona: A History of Its Teaching, by Lee B. Croft, et al. 
Reviewer: Geta LeSeur

Rolf Hochhuth. Theater als politische Anstalt, ed. Ilse Nagelschmidt, et al. 
Reviewer: Irmgard Hunt

Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change, ed. Lauren R. Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani 
Reviewer: Pearce Durst

Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature, by Tomoko Aoyama 
Reviewer: Gabriel Wu

Tales of Crossed Destinies: The Modern Turkish Novel in a Comparative Context, by Azade Seyhan 
Reviewer: Monika Fischer

Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, by Mark Garvey 
Reviewer: Joyce Adams

Teaching Literature and Language Online, ed. Ian Lancashire 
Reviewer: Allison Fraiberg