Rocky Mountain Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 66, Number 2 
Fall 2012


Transgenre and Reality Drama in the Works of Mimi Barthélémy

Carole Edwards 
Texas Tech University

Mimi Barthélémy is a Haitian dramatist whose works restore the cultural role of storytellers by celebrating the importance of the live word throughout World History, the ethnography of her native land and her personal genealogy. In her "Reality Drama," Mimi Barthélémy intermingles aesthetics with poetry and drama, as her fables, sung tales, or plays become artistic creations. She blurs time and space when she stages in a positive light several worlds that coexisted in subversion, in malignant hybridity between the dominant and the dominated, between the group and the individual with diverse roots.

Cultivating Black Lesbian Shamelessness in Alice Walker's The Color Purple

Christopher S. Lewis 
The Ohio State University

This article reads Alice Walker's 1982 novel The Color Purple as a response to the politics of black pride that informed African American writing of the 1960s and 1970s. The Color Purple suggests that black women's open and vocal articulation of (same-sex) sexual experiences can cultivate a liberating sense of black lesbian shamelessness. This sensibility opposes the politics of pride that defined the Black Arts Movement, as well as the politics of silence that has muted black women's expressions and explorations of (queer) sexuality since at least the nineteenth century. The novel characterizes black lesbian shamelessness as an approach to racial, gender, and sexual identification that acknowledges the mutually constitutive, inter-subjective conditions of these categories, as well as the history of black violation in the United States. This article also considers The Color Purple's realist form, arguing that critical backlash in the 1980s against Walker's queering of black literary realism indicates that realism is critical terrain for the simultaneous negotiation of black community, queerness, and anti-racist politics.

The Big Lebowski, Film Noir, and the American Dream

 ShaunAnne Tangney 

Minot State University

The essay argues that The Big Lebowski, like classic films noir, poses a critique of the American Dream and the alienation that the failure to achieve it creates. Because the film is set in a late-twentieth-century, a late-capitalist America, the alienation is amplified and focused on the widening gap between rich and poor, and on an intolerant multiculturalism, and prompts a reevaluation of the American Dream itself. Specifically, the essay explores how the film uses setting and place"”namely, Los Angeles and several of its architectural hallmarks or landmarks"”as well as the idea and fact of space itself"”as exemplars or physical manifestations of that failure and alienation, and how they shed light on a late-twentieth-century take on the American Dream itself.

Le messianisme ou de la legitime imposture politique: Une lecture de En attendant le vote des betes sauvages d'Ahmadou Kourouma

 Benjamin Ngong 

Dickinson College

In Sub-Saharan Africa, one observes a consubstantial intricacy based on a contemporary reality of power where messianism, built on both indigenous and non-indigenous rituals, plays a crucial role in the political arena. This article examines the methods and the legitimacy of the ideological resumption of the "Messiah" myth and its reinvention into terms like "Father of the Nation," "Providential Guide," etc., by political leaders shortly after their African countries gained independence from France. It also shows that "postcolonial messianism," a strategy often used by the power elite, and employed as a new political tool to replace the old order, (colonial or neo-colonial), rather resembles what John L. Austin calls "legitimate imposture."

Concepción del paisaje e influencia pictórica en La romería de Manuel Ciges Aparicio

 María Ignacia Barraza 

Simon Fraser University

This essay analyzes the constant "visual exercise imposed on the reader of Manuel Ciges Aparicio's novel La romeri­a (The procession), as well as the representation of the landscape as a "window to the soul." Ciges Aparicio, generally considered a lesser-known member of the Spanish Literary Generation of 1898, shared with other noventayochistas, like Miguel de Unamuno and Azori­n, a heightened awareness or sensibility in respect to the countryside. The landscape, specifically the barren Castilian landscape, became a blank canvas on which these authors projected their metaphysical angst and their yearning for transcendence. In Ciges Aparicio's novel, the lush Andalusian landscape, in diametric opposition to the barren Castilian one, is filtered by the sensibility of certain characters, very much like in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. Furthermore, we find a pantheistic conception of nature, which links this novel to some of the ideas expounded by Ralph Waldo Emerson, especially the concept of the poet as a privileged being with creative powers.


Hybrids, Multi-modalities, and Engaged Learners

Valarie M. Arms 
Drexel University

This descriptive analysis presents a composition program to engage millennial students with a hybrid class structure and multi-modal projects. Its driving force is the radical shift in today's means of communication. Educators who prefer to lead with sound pedagogy rather than to react to these changes should consider lessons learned. 1) Conduct broad research. 2) Consult experts in Information Technology. 3) Build a learning community of teachers. 4) Design rubrics for evaluating multimodal projects. 5) Enlist students as agents of change. 6) Conduct evaluation. 7) Present a proposal to administrators. 8) Disseminate results.

Book Reviews

Author, Reader, Book: Medieval Authorship in Theory and Practice,
ed. Stephen Partridge and Erik Kwakkel. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 2012

Reviewer: Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona

Michael Moon. Darger's Resources. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.
Reviewer: Daniel Shank Cruz, Westminster College