In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 345 thoughtfully into the psyches of both Mrs. Harris and the often forgotten Mrs. Kronborg, and she perceptively connects the motif of androgyny in Thea’s Wagnerian roles with Thea’s own personality. Her discussions of Cather’s last four novels, while brief, are sound. Kaye’s analysis of Cather’s major novels is weakened, however, by being almost blindly thesis-driven. After connecting Alexandra with Ovid’s Ceres, Kaye inconsistently declares that the “absence of a Ceres figure underscores Cather’s rejection ofwomen as well as female roles.”Even more disturbing are Kaye’s lapses in textual accuracy. For example, the Anglo-Saxon who appears with Louis Marcellus in Professor St. Peter’s tableau is NOT Kitty McGregor, as Kaye asserts, but rather her husband Scott, and nowhere in The Song ofthe Lark does Cather use “Freddie,” as Kaye does, to refer to the masculine Fred Ottenburg. In addition to employing a different purpose and methodology from Kaye’s, Shaw’sstudy differs in its use of supporting evidence and in conclusions drawn from that evidence. I do not always agree with Shaw’sconclusions, but he keeps his focus clearly on the fiction itself, exploring in detail Cather’s use of point of view and imagery and identifying patterns of allusion and symbolism. In My Antonia,for example, Shaw relates the symbolic patterns ofsubmergenceemergence and darkness-light to the theme of conflict. In Death Comesfor the Archbishop, he focuses on three apparently minor female characters— Magdalena Scales, Isabella Olivares, and Old Sada—as sources of Cather’s psychic identification and creative tensions. The imagery of the snake and the cave, with its stone lips, suggests to Shaw multiple symbols of Cather’s conflicts and fears—symbols of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and death/rebirth. Drawing from feminist critics such as Sharon O’Brien, both Shaw and Kaye conclude that Cather was a lesbian uncomfortable with her identity, Kaye emphasizing the destructiveness of heterosexual passion in Cather’sfiction and Shaw emphasizing her growing discomfort with all sexual passion. Both works will elicit strong reader reactions—pro or con—from Cather scholars. ANN MOSELEY East Texas State University O Pioneers! By Willa Cather. Scholarly Edition edited by Susan J. Rosowski and Charles W. Mignon with Kathleen Danker. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. 391 pages, $45.00.) In addition to providing a definitive edition of Cather’s second novel, published in 1913, this first ofthe Cather Scholarly Editions sets a high standard of quality in its historical and textual apparatus. Cather’svibrant text is comple­ mented by meticulous explanatory notes, illustrations, analysis of textual con­ struction, and lists of variations and emendations. David Stouck’s comprehen­ 346 WesternAmerican Literature sive and cogent “Historical Essay” proves, however, the most useful of the scholarly elements. Gracefully summarizing the materials, methods and con­ texts surrounding the creation and publication of O Pioneers!, Stouck’s essay captures not only the life ofCather’stext, but also provides insight into Cather’s imagination and artistic process. It demonstrates the unifying energy of Cather’swriting, the wholeness of her art as it develops from the many sources, and the artistic commitment that found its first great expression in Cather’s second “first”novel. This edition may seem immoderate in its level of scholarly detail, but its apparatus does not intrude. Rather, text and context reveal the splendor of O Pioneers! and enrich both the experience and study of Cather’s extraordinary prose. KEVIN A. SYNNOTT The Sage Colleges A Casebook on Ken Kesey'sOne Flew Over The Cuckoo’sNest. Edited by GeorgeJ. Searles. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992. 209 pages, $27.50.) Casebooks achieved their greatest prominence in America in the 60s as aids for the teaching of the undergraduate research paper and as modes for focus­ ing on the various kinds of activism on our college campuses that characterized the decade academically. Conventionally, such collections defined a subject (e.g., desegregation, the military/industrial complex, the death penalty, The Catcher in the Rye) in historical and philosophical context, identified seminal issues, provided a representative sampling of key essays on the subject, formu­ lated questions for analysis and writing, and supplied a comprehensive bibliog­ raphy. This casebook on...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 345-346
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.