Rocky Mountain E-Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 58, Number 1
Spring 2004


Poets as Modern Art Critics: Stating the "Redemptive Power" of the Abstracted Image

Mary Dezember
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

By the early nineteenth century, artists began replacing the concrete, traditional religious images of faith with abstracted images that emphasized their compositional elements, specifically color and shape. Soon, art was becoming a quasi-religion composed of these secular symbols of color and shape, and poet-art critics as the modern "priests" to decipher these symbolic codes for the public emerged. Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Rilke, Kandinsky, and Stein wrote critiques in lyrical, though prose, renderings that capture and transmit the redemptive effect of the emphasis of compositional elements in painting and that promote compositional elements as important in their own right.

Requiems: Liudmila Petrushevskaia's World of Death

Tatyana Novikov
University of Nebraska--Omaha

Negating old conventions about dying as heroic transcendence, post-Communist Rusian fiction transforms Soviet fictional "noble and beautiful death" into modern "insignificant and sordid death." Death is represented as central in writings by many contemporary Russian authors whose works reflect a time of intensifying crisis. Saturated by images of death, Petrushevskaia's fiction associates the demise of its characters with the national decay. This article focuses on Petrushevskaia's imaginative strategies of representing mortal closure in her collection of stories Requiems and links the new image of death to living in an age of cataclysms. Arbitrary, absurd, violent, and unjustified, death has the last word in every story and is presented as a dynamic agent, consciously manipulating the characters. By showing death's immense power, the author establishes in Requiems a potent symbol of a death-stricken culture.

Abla Farhoud et la fragilité du bonheur

Lucie Lequin
L'Université Concordia

Au cœur de cet article se trouve l'idée de filiation, soit la transmission et le passage du savoir d'une génération à l'autre, dans l'écriture d'Abla Farhoud, une écrivaine québécoise. Dans ses œuvres sont représentés des personnages féminins en rupture de filiation. Chacune de ces femmes a l'impression forte de vivre à côté d'elle-même et de la vie, souvent à la merci du pouvoir politique ou patriarcal. Pour mettre en lumière ces fêlures, ces fractures du soi, j'examinerai d'abord l'univers castrant des œuvres farhoudiennes, ensuite seront analysées les multiples formes de transmission rompue et enfin les stratégies créatrices adoptées par quelques personnages pour renouer avec le soi et avec le monde. Il sera alors question de l'acte d'écrire ou de parler, du comment dire et de ses effets sur la filiation.

[This article originated with the idea of transmission and passage of knowledge from one generation to the next presented by the philosophers Abel and Collin. Abla Farhoud's work features female characters in rupture of filiation. Each of these women experiences the intense feeling of living outside of themselves and life, vulnerable to the political and patriarchal power. The purpose here is to study in Farhoud's work this universe created by the rupture of the generational link, as well as the fracture itself and the path chosen by some of these women to regain nevertheless a voice, the only means to resume the interrupted conversation, this essential exchange necessary to guide oneself and find one's place in the world.]


A Perfume Advertisement as a Teaching Tool

Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University

A 30-second television advertisement from the mid-1980s is available for viewing here in the Rocky Mountain E-Review. The ad was part of a perfume campaign titled Jane Seymour in Le Jardin de Max Factor and serves as a useful teaching tool in any number of classes including Mythology, Introduction to Literature, The Bible as Literature, in writing classes for the promotion of careful observation and critical thinking skills, and in classes emphasizing critical theory. Described is the typical class session in which students are encouraged, or tricked maybe, into constructing an archetypal reading of the ad.


The Poetics of Empire in the Indies: Prophecy and Imitation in La Araucana and Os Lusíadas, by James Nicolopulos 
Reviewer: Azfar Hussain

Dreams of the Burning Child: Sacrificial Sons and the Father's Witness, by David Lee Miller 
Reviewer: Joanne Craig

The Shakespeare Enigma, Films for the Humanities & Sciences 
Reviewer: Michael Delahoyde

Milton Studies XLI, ed. Albert C. Labriola 
Reviewer: Kirk G. Rasmussen

Approaches to Teaching Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, ed. Liza Knapp and Amy Mandelker 
Reviewer: Katherine V. Moskver

The House of Blackwood: Author-Publisher Relations in the Victorian Era, by David Finkelstein 
Reviewer: Alan R. Blackstock

The Word Rides Again: Rereading the Frontier in American Fiction, by J. David Stevens 
Reviewer: Jeffrey W. Miller

Elizabeth Bishop: The Art of Travel, by Kim Fortuny 
Reviewer: Victoria Ramirez

Reading Godot, by Lois Gordon 
Reviewer: Deborah Weagel

Letters to J.D. Salinger, ed. Chris Kubica and Will Hochman 
Reviewer: Catherine Kunce

Everyday and Prophetic: The Poetry of Lowell, Ammons, Merrill, and Rich, by Nick Halpern 
Reviewer: Daniel Gustav Anderson

The Speckled People, by Hugo Hamilton 
Reviewer: Joanne Craig

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, ed. Jay Parini 
Reviewer: Norman Weinstein

On the Battlefields of the Cold War: A Soviet Ambassador's Confession, by Victor Israelyan 
Reviewer: Daniel C. Villanueva

A Geopolitics of Academic Writing, by A. Suresh Canagarajah 
Reviewer: Melissa Hussain