Rocky Mountain Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 66, Number 1 
Spring 2012


Subject Formation in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Sallie Anglin 
University of Mississippi

The dynamic spatial malleability of early modern London as represented in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside reveals a fertile environment for marginal figures to develop identities that are socially and economically viable. The characters acclimate to these urban environments while reshaping the spaces in return. Open urban spaces, economic and social transactions, unclear physical delineations from one body to another -- all of these expose the spatial fluidity that characterizes Middleton's play. The result is a subjectivity that is inexorably tied to its physical environment.

Habiba Hadziavdic 
University of Saint Thomas

The concept of the "Marginal Man" (or Fremde) central to the writing of the Chicago School sociologist Robert E. Park and German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel directly correlates to the processes of othering German Sinti and Roma. Furthermore, the explicitly stated exclusion of Gypsies as "Marginal Man" by Park, and the more subtle omission of the same by Simmel, perpetuate the same framework within which Sinti and Roma are seen as stateless Gypsies, or pariahs in any country. Critical engagement here with Park's "Human Migration and the Marginal Man" and Simmel's "Exkurs über den Fremden" is centered on the creation of the culturally constructed figure of the Gypsy that continues to shape the non-Sinti and Roma's understanding of an extremely diverse group of people. The two texts exemplify the essentializing discourse that leads to antiziganism. The terms Ziganism or Gypsysm, as used here, correspond to the mental, verbal, and visual constructs of writers narrating about Sinti and Roma. Metaphors, ideologies, and fantasies create a hostile reality that rests on processes of othering.

Translation and Feminization in Yu Dafu's "Moving South"

Luying Chen 
St. Olaf College

Yu Dafu's novella "Moving South" forms a dialogic relationship with Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship in the male protagonist's translation of the song "Kennst du das Land?" Wilhelm Meister's translation of Mignon's Italian singing into this German song emblematizes the formation of a masculine rational German subject through cofiguring an Italian other as too feminine and emotional to be "domesticated. Yi Ren's translation of the central line in the song into Chinese emblematizes the formation of a transnational as a sentimental and feminine figure through cofiguring a Japanese woman as an other that cannot be domesticated. "Moving South" critiques European Romanticism and Christianity.

The Guest/Host Dichotomy of "L'Hôte" in Leïla Sebbar's Marguerite and Nina Bourauoi's Garçon manqué

Pamela Pears 
Washington College

Just as the French language allows for ambiguity when it comes to hosts and guests, so too does literature that takes into account postcolonial encounters in both North Africa and France. Mireille Rosello's concept of the continuum of the host/guest relationship is applied to two works of contemporary fiction: Leïla Sebbar's Marguerite and Nina Bouraoui's Garçon manqué. Reading the protagonists' roles with this continuum in mind allows us to better understand the contemporary relationship between France and Algeria, one that extends beyond national borders and ends up questioning the very positions of guest and host, especially in the case of women.

Davis Award

Resolving the Institution of Marriage in Eighteenth-Century Courtship Novels

Heidi Giles 
University of Arizona

Two features of the famous exchange between Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- a crucial moment in a crucial courtship novel -- are particularly significant: its treatment of marriage, and its use of the word "resolve." This moment reveals that in Jane Austen's portrayal of courtship, instead of submitting to authority and convention, a young woman takes charge of her own marriage. With the help of various critics, we have come to think of certain tropes, such as "sensibility," "reform," and "duty," to name a few, as central to our understanding of the eighteenth-century novel. I propose "resolve" as a trope of similar importance. The repeated use of "resolve" in the dialogue between Elizabeth and Lady Catherine represents a culmination of many decades of use of the language of "resolve" in crucial moments of courtship novels by authors including Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Frances Burney, and Ann Radcliffe. The contradictory definitions of "resolve" appeal to these authors. The paradox of language allows for, indeed helps to induce, the well-known paradox of courtship novels: voluntary submission. Thus, Austen (and others) can use this language to empower their heroines while still emphasizing the sacrifice -- the potential dissolution and disintegration of identity -- that lurks behind every resolve.

Gendering the Evangelical Novel

Trisha Tucker 
University of Southern California

Scholars have long agreed that the Evangelical movement had a powerful effect on political, economic, gender, class, and racial ideologies in nineteenth-century Britain. And yet a protracted critical silence has implicitly labeled the novels of that movement as unworthy of study, despite the immense popularity of such novels with nineteenth-century readers. This article traces the critical constructs and ideological commitments that have rendered Evangelical narratives so distasteful to twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary critics. It argues that a vital component of their critical neglect is scholars' coding of both the Evangelical movement and its fictions as simultaneously too "masculine" -- paternalistic, imperialistic, liberal humanist -- and too "feminine" -- transparent, naïve, un-self-aware. This gender coding, which has been used to justify the banishment of Evangelical novels to the margins of literary studies, betrays scholars' deep but unacknowledged mistrust of modern readers and writers who refuse to be "emancipated" from their "pre-modern" commitment to religion.


Euripides, Freud, and the Romance of Belonging, by Victoria Pedrick 
Reviewer: Catherine Marachi

Translating Beowulf: Modern Versions in English Verse, by Hugh Magennis 
Reviewer: Jules Austin Hojnowski

Old Norse Women's Poetry: The Voices of Female Skalds, by Sandra Ballif Straubhaar 
Reviewer: Cynthia L. Hallen

Vision and Gender in Malory's Morte Darthur, by Molly Martin 
Reviewer: Benedick Turner

Alfred Kazin: A Biography, by Richard M. Cook 
Reviewer: Martha Kim

Updike in Cincinnati: A Literary Performance, ed. James Schiff 
Reviewer: Trevor Jackson

Thinking Poetics: Essays on George Oppen, ed. Steve Shoemaker 
Reviewer: Brian F. McCabe

The Creative Crone: Aging and the Poetry of May Sarton and Adrienne Rich, by Sylvia Henneberg 
Reviewer: Julie J. Nichols

Midnight's Diaspora: Critical Encounters with Salman Rushdie, by Daniel Herwitz and Ashutosh Varshney 
Reviewer: Melanie Wattenbarger

From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries, by Karin Roffman 
Reviewer: Thomas P. Fair

Teaching the African Novel, by Gaurav Desai 
Reviewer: Caroline Beschea-Fache

Latin American Cinemas: Local Views and Transnational Connections, by Nayibe Bermudez Barrios 
Reviewer: Elena Foulis

Men in African Film & Fiction, by Lahoucine Ouzgane 
Reviewer: Alix Mazuet

Bureau of Missing Persons: Writing the Secret Lives of Fathers, by Roger J. Porter 
Reviewer: Teresa Coronado

Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen, ed. Roxanne Harde and Irwin Streight 
Reviewer: Colin Carman