Journal

Past Issues

Fall 2011, Volume 44, Number 2

Editor’s Introduction
As has become our custom, most of the essays in the Fall issue are devoted to the theme of the previous year’s convention, in this case Terror in all its forms and manifestations. The theme suggests itself, indeed
imposes itself, because of its actuality, but as this issue’s essays make clear, terror—whether political, sexual, social, or ecological—is hardly restricted to the 20th or 21st centuries.

Then We’ll Jump: Hamlin Garland’s Prodigal Private and the Great Banquet of Joy
Richmond B. Adams
Rooted in a central way that these post-1865 Americans understood themselves, Garland uses the discourse of evangelical Protestantism to first confront the inequities that threatened to overwhelm Smith and his
family. Through confronting those inequities, however, Garland uses that same discourse, secondly, to express an alternate form of American possibility.

The Gothic as Semiotic Disruption: Layers and Levels of Terror and the Abject in Mary Wilkins Freeman’s “The Wind in the Rose-bush”
Nicole A. Diederich
The rebellious Gothic supernatural leads to the abject horror of Freeman’s tale as it depicts the maternal as a space of contradictions, of abjections, of “aggressivity and death.” The Radcliffean Gothic results in the heroine
fearing other humans. The Gothic elements in Freeman’s tale unmask the terror that one must fear the mother.

A Theater of Terror: Staging the Encounter in Sahagún’s 1585 Revision of Book XII of the Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España
Leisa Kauffmann
The symbolic richness of the revised episode, as I have suggested, transcends this supposed intent to glorify the actions of Cortés and put the narrative more in line with other Franciscan historiography of the period.
Instead of smart and sophisticated, Cortés and the Spaniards come across as rather ridiculous and ignorant operators in an unfamiliar world.

The Violent Seductress: Using the HIV-Infected Female Body as Retribution in Ana Solari’s “Luna negra de noviembre”
Jodie Parys
This article discusses the manner in which Solari depicts this cycle of seduction and revenge, and also analyzes the portrayal of a female in the role of dominator, avenger, and victimizer, showing how this representation
is significant, particularly in light of the conceptualization of women within the cultural narrative of the AIDS epidemic and its transmission.

Combating Ecological Terror: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Genocide in Nigeria
Joya Uraizee
Besides creating a language of terror and suffering, Saro-wiwa uses these rhetorical strategies to construct his main argument: that oil drilling is devastating. The results are a compelling call for action from his international
readers and an indictment of an unjust and inhumane Nigerian sociopolitical system.

Camfranglais—The Making of a New Language in Fouda’s Je parle camerounais and Fonkou’s Moi taximan
Peter Wuteh Vakunta
This study sheds ample light on the various tropes used by Cameroonian writers in an attempt to imprint their fictional writing with the thought patterns and modes of speech of Cameroonians. Cameroonian Francophone
writers appropriate the French language by having recourse to rhetorical devices and tropes that transgress the canons of standard French. The reason for resorting to linguistic indigenization goes beyond the mere urge to jettison the writing canons imposed on them by colonial masters.

The Fleeting “9/11 Effect” in The Good Life and Lunar Park
Marjorie Worthington
In this sense, novels like The Good Life and Lunar Park reflect in miniature several aspects of the relationship our country has developed to 9/11. As devastating and important an event as 9/11 was, the posttraumatic
moments of enlightened unity were fleeting and the inspiration to draw upon our nation’s better impulses devolved quickly into short-sighted, even self-destructive, policies.

Book Reviews

American Visual Culture
By Mark Rawlinson (Devan Bissonette)
Reconsidering material once offered as proof positive of America’s exceptional qualities as a sign of its constructedness, American Visual Culture successfully reveals the confusing and often contradictory foundation
of American identity while forcing scholars of all disciplines to reevaluate how they read their sources. Along the way Rawlinson does visual culture studies an important service, using familiar theoretical approaches
from a potpourri of other disciplines to present new interpretations of familiar images from American history. The result is an introductory text that establishes the potential, if not the necessity, of visual culture to the
future development of all disciplines.

The Cambridge Introduction to William Faulkner
By Theresa M. Towner (Alisa M. Smith-Riel)
This text serves as a guide for a wide audience as the readership and appreciation of Faulkner’s work continues to expand beyond the literary classroom. Furthermore, she intends for readers to experience and gain
understanding of not only Faulkner’s well-known, most canonical works, but also his lesser known works in an effort to expand Faulkner appreciation beyond the walls of academia.

A Companion to Romantic Poetry
Edited by Charles Mahoney (Daniel R. Mangiavellano)
Romanticists, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students will find in Mahoney’s A Companion engaging and challenging conversations about Romantic form and genre. At the end of each essay, a
“See Also” section cross-references essays with one another across the four different Parts. These essays, like the poets they address, engage in broader conversations with one another.

Field o’ My Dreams: The Poetry of Gene Stratton-Porter
Edited by Mary DeJong Obuchowski (Amy Cummins)
Gene Stratton-Porter’s prose, poetry, and naturalist work offer material for scholars of environmental studies, children’s and adolescent literature, and American popular literature. Critics must commend Kent State University Press for making Stratton-Porter’s poetry available as her novels have always been; this literature will continue to find new readers.

Literature, Analytically Speaking: Explorations in the Theory of Interpretation, Analytic Aesthetics, and Evolution
By Peter Swirski (Travis Landry)
When “speaking analytically” about literature in Literature, Analytically Speaking, Peter Swirski tells a story of the wayward caprices of literary criticism past and present. His gripe is with what he sees as a pervasive
disregard for the common sense truth that context matters. In particular, he seeks to underscore that the ontological status of literature cannot be understood absent consideration of authorial intentions. This enterprise is corrective in nature and entails a lengthy refutation over the first two chapters of all “poststructuralist,” purely text-based approaches to interpretation.

Narrative Structures & the Language of the Self
By Matthew Clark (Sheila Pardee)
Neatly dividing his book into two parts of five chapters each, Clark breaks subjectivity in narrative down by the numbers (reflective singles, doubles, and thirds) in Part One, and then provides a more complex
analysis with reference to case grammar in Part Two. To judge his work properly, we should consider the interrelationship, not just appreciate the balance, of the two parts before finding a place for his work within the
ongoing study of narrative.

The Passing of Postmodernism: Spectroanalysis of the Contemporary
By Josh Toth (Damjana Mraović-O’Hare)
Beloved’s narrative tells us, according to Toth, that the impossibility of social justice, authentic experience, and decision-making should not prevent us from sincerely striving for such things. The narrative also moves,
Toth adds, beyond the postmodern imperative to deny the possibility of the specter’s materiality; it “passes on” the specter of postmodernism.

Principes Linguistiques en Pédagogie des Langues. Un Traité de Linguistique Appliquée
By Moshé Starets (Agnès Ragone)
Starets’ work, which also includes a focus on specific linguistic difficulties such as aspect, mood, prepositions and word order, is an excellent review of a fair number of theories and approaches, whose usefulness and
applications he sums up in his last chapter in eleven short conclusions. While at times repetitive in regards to contextualization and culture, the book is nonetheless valuable in its clear presentation of influential
linguistic principles spanning over a hundred years.

Thinking Poetics: Essays on George Oppen
Edited by Steve Shoemaker (Jessica Beard)
The volume takes shape with essays that look at the literal material layering of text in his manuscripts as well as the philosophical and historical layering of image and object that unfold and cycle through each long
poem. The reader is presented with multiple examinations of how each poem enacts a phenomenology, ontology and ethics via the various things, historical particulars, and unattributed quotations that construct
the poems.