Past Issues

Fall 2003, Volume 36, Number 2

Double Vision: Polar Meetings, Epistolary Distance, and the Super Writer in the Schiller-Goethe Correspondence

Margaretmary Daley

The result in this exceptional correspondence is a literary feature I term "epistolary distance": each author responds to the other and in so doing gains distance from himself, sees himself and his writing, as it were, in a mirror, yet a special kind of mirror capable of influencing and altering that which it reflects, capable of bringing an unclear reflection into focus, capable of turning opposition into self-knowledge.

"The Loop"
Threaded Discussion on the Internet and in the Classroom: Problems of Translation and an Approach to Emergence

Erik Simpson

I will offer here an attempt to account for the success of Internet discussion culture, why that success generally does not translate well into classroom teaching, and how I stumbled on one satisfactory means of translation.

Book Reviews

The North Sea World of the Middle Ages. Edited by Thomas R. Liszka and Lorna E. M. Walker. (John M. Hill)

For good but not wholly sufficient reasons, we are more accustomed historically to thinking of Anglo-Saxon England and the Continent rather than of England and Norway or England and Ireland (early Irish Christianity in Northumbria aside); moreover, we often think insularly of Irish, English, and Scottish relations -- especially after the Norman conquest -- when in fact there penetration can come from elsewhere, and larger circles of trade, art and influence can appear when we look for them.

Literary Culture in a World Transformed: A Future for the Humanities. By William Paulson. A Geopolitics of Academic Writing. By Suresh Canagarajah. (Thomas Chase)

Whether it is the transformation of academic capital brought about by the digital revolution, or the questioning of increasingly fragile "certainties" by groups long excluded from the centers of academic power, the world of humane learning and publishing has an aspect very different from the one it had a generation ago.

The Cambridge Introduction to Early American Literature. Edited by Emory Elliott. (Anne Myles)

In eight chapters the text moves from the global context of New World settlement, through a wide range of historical developments, religious tensions, and literary genres in the seventeenth through mid-eighteenth centuries, to the interwoven revivalist and Enlightenment dimensions of the eighteenth century and, finally, to the literary developments of the early Republic.

Sexualidad y escritura (1850-2000). Edited by Raquel Medina and Barbara Zecchi. (Kathleen Doyle)

Rather than needing to work up the courage to take up the pen and publish their works, the issue facing Spanish women writers during parts of the last 150 years has been how to either maintain or regain their authorial voice and their place in letters, fighting to keep their heads above the rising and falling tides of literary trends.

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, vol. 1. Edited by Philip A. Greasley. (Susan Naramore Maher)

American literature of the 19th through the 21st centuries must be read as a transregional phenomenon, pulsing from many cities, not just New York and Boston.

Mademoiselle Giraud, My Wife. By Adolphe Belot. Translated by Christopher Rivers. (Chris Bell)

This is a long overdue, well-orchestrated effort, and one that is particularly significant given our culture's enthrallment with representations of non-normative sexualities.

Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922. By Ann L. Ardis. (Kevin Swafford)

With an eye toward those writers displaced in the limiting and canonization of modernism, Ardis refuses to abide by modernist categories of analysis and thus her work rubs against the grain of modernism by opening up its highly restrictive and exclusionary vision of culture and the literary field.

"The World's Best Books": Taste, Culture, and the Modern Library. By Jay Satterfield. (Melanie Brown)

Satterfield situates the Modern Library and its 95-cent clothbound books amid an early twentieth-century collision of individualism, commercialism, cosmopolitanism, and, significantly, nationalism.

Approaches to Teaching Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Edited by Beth Rigel Daugherty and Mary Beth Pringle. (Lauren Hahn)

These lively, engaging essays will inspire instructors in many disciplines, including women and gender studies, critical theory, and cultural studies, and the volume will prove indispensable to Woolf specialists and non-specialists alike.

Scarring the Black Body: Race and Representation in African American Literature. By Carol E. Henderson. (Michael Hardin)

Henderson reveals the extent to which the scarred African American body has been part of reading -- she cites numerous newspaper advertisements seeking the capture of fugitive slaves that highlight the role of the marked body as a kind of identification -- and combines this with a feminist approach to the body as objeect of exchange and commodification.

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Edited by Vincent B. Leitch et al. (Elizabeth Kubek)

The informed instructor will teach to its strengths, make visible its weaknesses, and value its overall breadth; the undergraduate reader may complain of its mass (the hardcover should come with wheels) but should also find in its pages much that will be of use throughout his or her academic career.