Rocky Mountain E-Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 57, Number 2
Fall 2003


Narration and Representation of Women in the Lais of Marie de France
and the Coutumes de Beauvaisis of Philippe de Beaumanoir

Jerry Root
University of Utah

This interdisciplinary, cultural perspective on the relation of courtly love and the representation of women in Marie de France's Lais puts the discourse of courtly love and its image of women in the Lais into a dialogue with the historical representation of women in the Coutumes de Beauvaisis in order to understand better the discursive space available for the representation of women. Despite of the valorization of women in the courtly love discourse, the space to speak of women is very similar and very limited in both the Lais and the Coutumes. Marie de France nonetheless leverages this limited space to authorize her own poetic production.

The Art of Comparison: Remarriage in Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Nicole A. Diederich
University of Findlay

This article focuses on two interconnected aspects of Anne Brontë's social criticism in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: Helen's artistic talent and her remarriage. How does a woman's definition of herself as an artist complicate her other social roles? What do the comparisons between a first and second husband suggest about the domestic "ideal?" Does a remarriage allow for more or less opportunity for an artistic woman? Brontë answers these questions by contextualizing Helen's second marriage with her first. Helen's alternating freedom to paint and her inability to do so advances Brontë's social criticism.

Refuting the Myth of Motherhood in Portuguese Literature:
A Study of Agustina Bessa Luís' Vale Abraão

Carolyn Kendrick
University of California—Los Angeles

Many critics, such as Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Adrienne Rich have argued that throughout the Western tradition patriarchal institutions have used the myth of motherhood as one of the principle mechanisms to preserve traditional gender roles and the distribution of power. The myth of motherhood claims that any woman who chooses not to mother is a failure as a woman and a traitor to her very own femininity. In the Portuguese speaking world, this sentiment has continually reappeared throughout popular culture as well as in political agendas, especially during the estado novo (The New State) dictatorship in which Salazar idealized the maternal figure as part of his plan for the reconstruction of the Portuguese nation. This article analyzes the idealization of motherhood within the historical and political framework of Portugal and then within the novel Vale Abraão (The Valley of Abraham) by one of Portugal's greatest contemporary women writers, Agustina Bessa Luís, because of its unique approach of demystifying the idealization of motherhood by reinterpreting the nineteenth-century classic Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.


Some Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Collin Hughes
Washington State University

The Summer Critical Thinking workshop -- sponsored by the Washington State University Critical Thinking Project and the WSU College of Education grant, CO-TEACH -- initiated a K-20 evaluation of critical thinking as a vertical tier. In particular the essay looks at small part of the whole. In the breakout session on "non-traditional" students, we pause for a moment and consider that problem-solving techniques exist beyond pre-established procedures; in the classroom as in life, there should be some genuine allegiance to the possibility of considering alternative perspectives. At the workshop were talented teachers who understood the fallibility of habitually treating all students the same. Yet, in teaching, not all things come naturally. This article explores the gap between intention and action in education and thus the necessity for ongoing reflective thought.


Hearing the Measures: Shakespearean and Other Inflections, by George T. Wright 
Reviewer: Kirk G. Rasmussen

In Praise of Poverty: Hannah More Counters Thomas Paine and the Radical Threat, by Mona Scheuermann 
Reviewer: Vicki Ramirez

American Women Writers: A Biographical Dictionary, by Carol Kort 
Reviewer: Gwendolyn James

Speaking Volumes: Women, Reading and Speech in the Age of Austen, by Patricia Howell Michaelson 
Reviewer: L. Adam Mekler

Creative Negativity. Four Victorian Exemplars of the Female Quest, by Carol Hanbery MacKay Reviewer: Christine Anton

Why the French Love Jerry Lewis, by Rae Beth Gordon 
Reviewer: Helynne Hollstein Hansen

A Karamazov Companion: Commentary on the Genesis, Language, and Style of Dostoevsky's Novel, by Victor Terras 
Reviewer: Elena Baraban

A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva, by Alyssa W. Dinega 
Reviewer: Natasha Kolchevska

Hart Crane: A Life, by Clive Fisher 
Reviewer: Joanne Craig

Conrad Richter: A Writer's Life, by David R. Johnson 
Reviewer: Victoria Ramirez

Visions of the Land: Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology, by Michael A. Bryson 
Reviewer: Stuart P. Mills

Burroughs Live: The Collected Interviews of William S. Burroughs, 1960-1997, ed. Sylvère Lotringer 

Reviewer: Lance Rubin

A Resource Guide to Asian American Literature, ed. Sau-ling Cynthia Wong and Stephen H. Sumida 
Reviewer: Gwendolyn James

Future Females, The Next Generation: New Voices and Velocities in Feminist Science Fiction Criticism, ed. Marleen S. Barr 

Reviewer: Lorie Sauble-Otto

Switching Languages: Translingual Writers Reflect on Their Craft, ed. Steven G. Kellman 
Reviewer: Christa Albrecht-Crane

An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies, by William Proctor Williams and Craig S. Abbott 
Reviewer: Marsha M. Urban

Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education, by Jeffrey Hart 
Reviewer: Doreen Alvarez Saar

The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, by James L. Shulman and William G. Bowen 
Reviewer: Bob Barringer

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition, by Joseph Gibaldi 
Reviewer: Joanne Craig