Rocky Mountain E-Review 

of Language and Literature

Volume 54, Number 2
Fall 2000

From the Executive Director

In 1997, the Secretariat of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association moved from Boise State University, where it had resided for twelve years, to Washington State University. Those of us who took on the task of running this organization and publishing its scholarly journal -- myself, Rachel Halverson, Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi, Michael Delahoyde, Bryce Campbell, and later Doryjane Birrer -- were a bit unaware of all that we were getting into, yet were excited about the possibility of leading the organization into the new century.

The three years since RMMLA moved to WSU have witnessed much change in the organization and in the profession itself, some for the good, some for the bad. RMMLA has, like its sister MLAs and other professional organizations, seen its membership base fluctuate significantly, yet can boast a very solid core of loyal members who participate regularly in our convention as both organizers and as presenters. Convention attendance in Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, and Boise was healthy, and our upcoming conventions in Vancouver, British Columbia and Scottsdale, Arizona, are already shaping up to be exciting and well-attended. The reputation of the RMMLA convention as being a congenial place for graduate students, junior faculty, and senior faculty alike to test out new ideas and research methods is well-founded and a great source of pride.

The accomplishments of the Editors of the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, however, is to me an equal source of pride and it has been these triumphs which have received the most recognition from the profession. Early on, the Editors recognized the need not only to maintain the high standards of scholarship and presentation already established for the journal by Boise State University, but also to move toward an electronic mode of delivery for the publication. The creation of a new look for the print journal, both in the cover design and the typography, underscored the link to our geographical region and the commitment the Editors hold to presenting in a crisp, scholarly way, the exciting research being conducted by our members. The move to an online format for the journal was accomplished by working with programmers to determine the most effective structure for the dissemination of the journal’s content of articles and reviews, as well as with Web designers for the creation of a clean and functional interface for the journal. And while these efforts on the part of Michael, Ana Maria, Rachel, Bryce, and Doryjane are frequently and gratefully acknowledged by members of this organization, they have also been recognized by those outside the RMMLA. In 1999, the Rocky Mountain Review and the Rocky Mountain E-Review were awarded second prize by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in its "Phoenix Award for the Rejuvenation of an Existing Journal." Moreover, this year at the Annual Convention of the MLA, the Rocky Mountain E-Review will be highlighted in a session on Web-based scholarly publishing.

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed a new Editor to our Editorial Staff: Birgitta Ingemanson, Associate Professor of Russian at Washington State University. Birgitta joins Michael Delahoyde as Co-Editor of the journals, as Rachel and Ana Maria step down from the position, having responsibilities in their language section that take them away from active involvement in the journal. Given this change in our roster, I have asked the Editors of the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature to allow me to write what is normally called "From the Editors" in this issue so that I can publicly thank all of our editors, but at this moment most especially Rachel and Ana Maria, for their marvelous esprit de corps and their hard work in putting together a top-notch journal, as well as for their help to me in running this organization and putting on the convention. It has been a pleasure to work with such conscientious, professional, and energetic colleagues, and I thank them for that. I look forward to another three years (or more) of fun and hard work with everyone in the Secretariat, and I encourage all our members to consider contributing to the RMMLA publications and to continue their support of this, their regional professional organization.



Nationalism, Commerce, and Imperial Anxiety 
in Defoe’s Later Works

Christopher Flynn
University of California

Daniel Defoe’s later works -- fictional and journalistic -- make a case for English imperial control over the Americas in the early 18th century. Robinson CrusoeMoll Flanders, and the lesser known but more polemically explicit Atlas Maritimus & Commercialis, show much of the world as promising for English commerce but anxiously fix on the Americas as necessary to the economic health of the nation. These works were aimed at various audiences; the novels sought to influence merchants, while the Atlas, a massive and expensive book, was geared towards the ruling class. Defoe is anxious to make it clear that Providence seems to have decreed that "all North-America would be English." Much of Defoe’s body of work can be seen as a heterogeneous speech act that sought to do what Edward Said’s Orientalism claims the French and British in the next century would do concerning the East: represent the Other in terms that rendered it familiar yet inferior, and as such colonizable and possessable. Print culture leads directly to imperial and economic expansion.

Middlemarch, Obligation, and Dorothea’s Duplicity

Clifford J. Marks
University of Wyoming

Utilizing her unorthodox approach to spirituality and her wide readings in the field of ethics, George Eliot, in Middlemarch, portrays forms of ethical behavior that offer innovative depictions of community and human interaction. A translator of Spinoza, Eliot constructs a world where obligation is a necessity in rapidly changing times. By highlighting the importance of obligation, Eliot demonstrates how the power of human relationships must be understood ethically. Middlemarch offers a compelling critique of the status quo. This critique, though, provides a somewhat radical solution to entrenched social problems. Furthermore, this sense of obligation, as seen in the relationship between Dorothea Brooke and Will Ladislaw, must be tied to a spirituality that would confirm the importance of human action and, simultaneously, demonstrate how that grounded action suggests, paradoxically, the trace of a transcendent state.

Popular Accounts of the Greenwich Bombing 
and Conrad's The Secret Agent

David Mulry
Odessa College

Some of the contemporary sources of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent are here examined, adding to the work of Norman Sherry with analyses of newspaper accounts and various anarchist accounts, including a more extensive look at an alternative novel version of the bombing which predates Conrad’s, A Girl Among the Anarchists by Isabel Meredith -- a pseudonym for Helen and Olive Rossetti. The Rosetti/Meredith novel suggests a likely point of access to contemporary anarchist versions of the incident. More importantly, carefully delineated and documented here is the broader historical mind-set out of which the novel emerged.

Working Politics: Juan Domingo Perón's Creation 
of Positive Social Identity

Deborah L. Berhó
George Fox University

Charismatic leaders create social change through their discourse. Juan Domingo Perón, Argentina’s president from 1946 to 1955, was a skilled communicator who extended a positive social identity to thousands of workers. This comparative study examines Perón’s political discourse through metaphor theory, focusing specifically on Lakoff and Johnson’s claim in Metaphors We Live By that "Much of cultural change arises from the introduction of new metaphorical concepts" (145). Also included are a socio-political background, a literature review, and a detailed description of Perón’s one highly significant new metaphor, "politics is work."

Pax Femina: Women in William Stafford's West

Sally Bishop Shigley
Weber State University

William Stafford was often viewed by critics and colleagues as a soft, perhaps minor, poetic voice. This sense is compounded by his pacifism, environmentalism, and other traditionally "feminine" archetypes that he embraces. Yet Stafford's creation of women characters and voices is still troubling. The women who populate Stafford’s poems are very limited, one-dimensional figures. Stafford’s personae use the female figure to cathect or catalyze the anger of the male speaker or to illustrate the kindness and virtue of the speaker to the less fortunate woman. Stafford’s defensive insistence on the existence of the wild "wolf" in his poetry is a symbol of how his so-called feminine sensibilities about nature and culture are embedded with a personal ambivalence about women. Stafford's speakers insist on man’s peaceful coexistence with his fellow men and with nature but cannot seem to make peace with the women around them.


Distance Education in Foreign Languages

Sonja G. Hokanson
Washington State University

There are solid advantages to a distance education approach to foreign language acquisition. Practical aspects are important, but even more important is the improvement in the communicative environment available in a distance format as compared to a face-to-face classroom. Advantages beyond the pragmatic include increased student-centeredness, relevance for the fulfillment of the National Foreign Language Standards, and extension of the understanding of processes of Second Language Acquisition. Disadvantages spring from some of the same sources as the advantages, but they can be handled skillfully so that positive features are maximized.


Homer's Traditional Art, by John Miles Foley 
Reviewer: Carol Poster

Sybils!, CD-ROM 
Reviewer: Maureen Jane Smith

Shakespeare's Promises, by William Kerrigan 
Reviewer: Mary L. Hjelm

Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden: Construction of Family Values in Early Modern Culture, by Catherine Belsey 
Reviewer: Dorothea Kehler

Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life Writing, by James Olney 
Reviewer: Holli G. Levitsky

English Trader, Indian Maid: Representing Gender, Race, and Slavery in the New World, An Inkle and Yarico Reader, ed. Frank Felsenstein 
Reviewer: Peter L. Bayers

Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role, by Andrew Elfenbein 
Reviewer: Petra Dierkes-Thrun

Romanticism and Women Poets: Opening the Doors of Reception, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin and Stephen C. Behrendt 
Reviewer: Martha Ninneman

Fictions of the Feminine in the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Press, by Lou Charnon-Deutsch 
Reviewer: Margaret Van Epp Salazar

Literature at War, 1914-1940: Representing the "Time of Greatness" in Germany, by Wolfgang G. Natter 
Reviewer: Judy Suh

Dangerous Dames: Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir, by Jans B. Wager
Reviewer: Heide Witthöft

American Domesticity: From How-to Manual to Hollywood Melodrama, by Kathleen Anne McHugh 
Reviewer: Jill Bergman

The Great Gatsby, CD-ROM 
Reviewer: Matthew Colley

Picturing Hemingway: A Writer in His Time, ed. Frederick Voss 
Reviewer: Valerio Ferme

A Companion to Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain, ed. Stephen D. Dowden 
Reviewer: Susan V. Scaff

Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys, by Jeffrey Herf 
Reviewer: Michael R. Hayse

Barbara Frischmuth in Contemporary Context, ed. Renate S. Posthofen 
Reviewer: Jacqueline Vansant

José Can You See? Latinos On and Off Broadway, by Alberto Sandoval-Sanchez 
Reviewer: Victoria Ramirez

The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject, by Juliet Flower MacCannell 
Reviewer: Carolyn Tilghman Bitzenhofer

Figuring Age: Women, Bodies, Generations, ed. Kathleen Woodward 
Reviewer: Jeannette E. Riley

Contemporary African American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook, ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson 
Reviewer: Julie Barak

Dis/locating Cultures/Identitites, Traditions, and Third World Feminism, by Uma Narayan 
Reviewer: Azfar Hussain

New Latina Narrative: The Feminine Space of Postmodern Ethnicity, by Ellen McCracken 
Reviewer: María Alicia Garza

Something Inside: Conversations with Gay Fiction Writers, by Philip Gambone 
Reviewer: Steven F. Butterman

The Committed Word: Literature and Public Values, by James Engell 
Reviewer: Cezar M. Ornatowski

Rhetorical Narratology, by Michael Kearns 
Reviewer: Eleni Anastasiou