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humanities 165 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Anderson, Susan Swan, and Stompin= Tom Connors. And, of course, there are separate essays, both excellent of their type by Louise Dupre and E.F. Dyke respectively, for French and Aboriginal writing: eclectic, relentlessly eulogistic, and (well) separate. Given this ambitious range and variety, the collection sustains a commendably high level of scholarship and stylistic flair. Highlights include Susan Swan=s wittily self-referential and innovative keynote entry on >the writers= conscience= as well as Steenman-Marcusse=s adroit analysis of autobiographical topoi in Swan=s own novel The Biggest Modern Woman in the World; Robert Druce=s elegant deconstruction, again through biographical topoi, of Patrick Anderson=s poetry; Eric Miller=s splendid threnody on >Elizabeth Simcoe and the Fate of the Picturesque=; Kathleen Venema=s diligent mapping of Wiebe=s rhetorical strategies in A Discovery of Strangers on those of English-Canadian exploration texts; Hans Bak=s fascinating reconfiguration of Johnston=s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams as historical tragedy; Martin Reinink=s sophisticated cautionary analysis of metaphor and metonymy in the inventio of literary history; and the intelligent negotiation by J.M. MacLennan and John Moffatt of Stompin= Tom Connors=s songbook as a commonplace book synecdochal of Canada=s regional angst. Unsatisfactory as this brief list must be, it will serve perhaps to justify my contention that a cleavage of promise and delivery exists between title and content. The strength of the collection lies in the wide scope of writing it accommodates, not in the range or depth of rhetorical theory it essays. Despite frequent footnoting of Homi Bhabha and Jacques Derrida, there is little evidence about the footnotes that rhetoric has undergone any rethinking since Cicero. That analogy is at all problematical; that sequence always argues consequence; that open systems cannot be ordered in the absence of what classical rhetoricians called decorum B such matters have little visibility here. Only Martin Reinink is self-conscious about the act of critical commentary as itself rhetorical, and few contributors venture much beyond topos-hunting, especially biographical and topographical topoi; some contributors evidently identify the retelling of narratives as >rhetorical analysis.= Perhaps the next Leiden conference might address >What is rhetoric?= B a genuine rhetorical question. (MICHAEL DIXON) Lorraine York. Rethinking Women=s Collaborative Writing: Power, Difference, Property University of Toronto Press. x, 206. $50.00, $24.95 In Rethinking Women=s Collaborative Writing: Power, Difference, Property, Lorraine York challenges the >strong tendency to celebrate women=s collaborations unproblematically and idealistically.= By reading >women=s 166 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 collaborations as ideological projects that harbour various ideological potentials, some more hierarchical, some more liberatory and subversive,= York is able to argue convincingly against the idealization, and also as she puts it, the fetishization of women=s collaborative work. Yet, York=s historicist approach does not result in a history or a narrative of progress from single authorship to collaboration. Rather, by placing the practice of collaborative writing in a historical context, she exposes persistent concerns over territory, privacy, property, and ownership. Although not intended as a history of collaboration, the study=s investigation of the historical contexts for collaboration helps to make its argument. Drawing on the work of Jeffrey Masten, York notes that, as early as 1647, the partnership of playwrights Beaumont and Fletcher was considered somewhat >odd,= presaging the homophobic response that would characterize nineteenth-century approaches to literary collaboration. But it is in the Romantic period that, according to York, the bonds between ownership, copyright, and individual authorship were sealed and the image of the solitary male visionary began to represent authorship. For York, nineteenth-century literary collaborations constitute a complex form of resistance to the Romantic ideal, while responses to collaborations by women, such as Michael Field, illustrate how gender expectations further solidify the position of single authorship in the period. Despite the >Death of the Author= announced by Roland Barthes and confirmed by Michel Foucault in the twentieth century, anxieties about property and territory in the creative process continue to shape the way collaborative work is carried out and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 165-167
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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