Rocky Mountain E-Review

Volume 56, Number 1 ~ Spring 2002


In Defense of Clotaldo: Reconsidering the Secondary Plot in Calderón's La vida es sueño

J. Michael Fulton 
Boise State University

Modern criticism has expressed considerable ambiguity concerning Clotaldo, tutor to Segismundo and advisor to Basilio in Calderón's La vida es sueño. Some critics have argued that his behavior was cowardly, deceptive, and selfish, while others have insisted that he is one of the few honorable characters in the play. This debate can be addressed by observing his courageous deportment in three key scenes in the drama and by noting how Clotaldo's concern for Rosaura, his daughter, contrasts with Basilio's cruelty towards his own offspring, Segismundo. By studying the development of these points within the framework of Segismundo's monologue in Act III, it is possible to appreciate Clotaldo's importance to the play and to one of its central thematic issues: free will versus fate.

The Aeolian Harp: Beauty and Unity in the Poetry and Prose of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cynthia A. Cavanaugh 
Kean University

Attempting to convince his audience that the unity and harmony in the Over-Soul, or "great soul," can be experienced by all people, not only through the message of the poet, but also through other sources in nature, Emerson uses the Aeolian harp as a symbol of a musical conduit that carries the spirit of the Over-Soul through nature's breeze to the soul of an individual. As Emerson ages, the Aeolian harp becomes a symbol of beauty, wisdom, and divine harmony in his poetry and writings. The Aeolian harp poems reveal Emerson's concept of beauty during the last few decades of his life. Emerson's great affection for the Aeolian harp can be observed in his poetry and journal entries as well as in the written recollections of his friends and family.

Violent Housekeepers: Rewriting Domesticity in Riders of the Purple Sage

Cathryn Halverson 
Kobe City University of Foreign Studies

In response to Jane Tompkins' claim that westerns are a rebuttal of nineteenth-century domestic novels, this article examines the figure of the male housekeeper that populates so many westerns. Early twentieth-century westerns rewrite domestic narratives by showing men as appropriating domesticity from women and by linking domesticity with violence. Grey portrays violence as triggering heterosexual housekeeping, and this housekeeping, in turn, as necessitating additional violence. Such a relation allows his male characters -- and perhaps his male readers too -- to enjoy homely pleasures without threat of emasculation.

The Power, Symbolism, and Extension of the Mother in L'enfant noir
A Feminine Portrait by a Masculine Author

Deborah Weagel 
University of New Mexico

In L'enfant noir, Camara Laye provides a portrait of his mother as a powerful feminine force, and he emphasizes her presence through maternal symbols and extensions. But is it really possible for a male author to write with authority and comprehension about a female character? Does Laye do justice to the women in this work, or does he depend on feminine archetypes and symbols to create this portrait? In the narrative by a male author who writes from the viewpoint of a young boy, the reader is not made privy to the interior life of each woman. One does not read of secret triumphs, of private frustrations and difficulties, of dreams and unutterable fantasies, or of complex relations. Although the archetypes and symbols underline a feminine presence, they are not sufficient to describe and analyze the deep emotions and sentiments of the women.

"Dress up! Dress up and dance at Carnival!": The Body in Elizabeth Bishop's "Pink Dog"

Catherine Cucinella 
California State University, San Marcos

While the body seems absent from much of Elizabeth Bishop's work, her poetry in fact yields many poetic bodies. Specifically, "Pink Dog" points to a desire for the body, a dread of the body, and an awareness of the cultural significance of the body. This poem, long recognized as a commentary on social inequity, delineates a body that simultaneously conforms to and rejects restraints placed upon it by society. While seeming to occupy the celebratory site of the grotesque, ultimately the body in "Pink Dog" emerges as the abjected female body. This recognition opens up a space in which to situate Bishop's poetics in relation to sexuality, gender, and the body as this poem points out the nonexistence of both the unmediated body and a coherent gender identity.


Invitational Interaction: A Process for Reconciling the Teacher/Student Contradiction

Jennifer Helene Maher
Iowa State University

A perpetual issue in the practice of critical pedagogy is how to navigate the often divisive distinction between teacher and student. This article explores how invitational interaction, a dynamic process whereby instructors practice and model self-location and humility, might help students recognize the critical classroom and practices within that site as different from those that they have experienced in more traditional classrooms. Recognition of such difference can open possibilities for both teachers and students to move towards a different way of being, one that is rooted in critical reflection, empowerment, and ultimately, liberation.


Arthurian Romances, Tales, and Lyric Poetry. The Complete Works of Hartmann von Aue, trans. Frank Tobin et al. 
Reviewer: Albrecht Classen

How to Study Chaucer, by Rob Pope 
Reviewer: Rick McDonald

Fernando de Rojas and the Renaissance Vision: Phantasm, Melancholy, and Didactism in Celestina, by Ricardo Castells 
Reviewer: Michael McGrath

The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, by David P. Haney 
Reviewer: Daniel Smitherman

Mimesis and Its Romantic Reflections, by Frederick Burwick 
Reviewer: Kandi Tayebi

Au balcon de l’exil roumain à Paris. Avec Cioran, Eugène Ionesco, Mircea Eliade, Vintila Horia, by Sanda Stolojan 
Reviewer: Aleksandra Gruzinska

Sentimental Materialism: Gender, Commodity Culture, and Nineteenth-Century American Literature, by Lori Merish 
Reviewer: Doreen Alvarez Saar

Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society, by Nicole Rafter 
Reviewer: A. Mary Murphy

German Studies in the Post-Holocaust Age: The Politics of Memory, Identity, and Ethnicity, ed. Adrian Del Caro and Janet Ward 
Reviewer: Rachel J. Halverson

Memory and Mastery. Primo Levi as Writer and Witness, ed. Roberta S. Kremer 
Reviewer: Ilona Klein

Beautiful Chaos: Chaos Theory and Metachaotics in Recent American Fiction, by Gordon E. Slethaug 
Reviewer: Linda Lizut Helstern

Learning to Glow: A Nuclear Reader, ed. John Bradley 
Reviewer: Karen Connolly-Lane

My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home, by Amber L. Hollibaugh 
Reviewer: Michael Kramp

American Audiences on Movies and Moviegoing, by Tom Stempel 
Reviewer: Ryan Simmons

Teaching German in Twentieth Century America, ed. David Benseler et al. 
Reviewer: Daniel Reynolds