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

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 Cuckoo’sNestdoes some ofthese things. In lieu ofoffering a historical and philosophical context, the introduction presents a cursory summary of the content of the essays to follow—no study questions. The selection of essays is uneven and far from a broad cross-sampling of major work. Terence Martin’s excellent interpretation from Modem Fiction Studies is in­ cluded, as is Elizabeth McMahan’s strong statement of the feminists’objections to the novel. But four of the fifteen essays are taken from the special double issue of Lex et Scientia, one from Literature and Psychology, one from Literature and Film Quarterly, and one (a cartoon strip) from Mad Magazine, thus one third of the book has a pronounced non-literary or pop-culture bias. One essay is even a kind ofecumenical sermon (from The Christian Century) using Cuckoo's Nest and Slaughterhouse Five as homiletic texts. No material is included from the three scholars who have written critical monographs on Kesey’swork, though they are identified and their books briefly annotated in the bibliography, which is adequate but not as inclusive as its headnote would suggest. I once traded with a bait shop called Fats Tackle Box (Fats didn’t hold with apostrophes),where a commercial fisherman named Buckler would often taunt Fats about his competitor’s business practices. “Old Taylor guarantees his baits, fat man,”he would say. “Are these worms guaranteed?” “Damn right,”Fats would reply. ‘They’re guaranteed to be exactly as good as they are. One hundred percent.”As Buckler chuckled his way out the door, Fats would add, “If they ain’t, you bring ’em back and I’ll double-check ’em for you.” This casebook is guaranteed to be exactly as good as it is. M. GILBERT PORTER University ofMissouri Reviews 347 Ace ofHearts: The Westerns ofZane Grey. ByArthur G. Kimball. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1993. 278 pages, $27.50.) The thesis of this confused, contentious, and condescending treatise is that Zane Grey was a writer of romance. It is not, despite the author’s claim, an original idea, but the book’s crippling flaw is its lack of a clear definition of the term, which appears at various times as simple boy-gets-girl love interest, pruri­ ent eroticism, or the high romance ofHugo or Stevenson. Kimball seems almost completely unfamiliar with Grey’s own writings on the subject: his two 1924 American Magazine articles and “My Answer To The Critics,” in The Zane Grey Collector#* (1978). These writings might have helped him locate Grey accurately where Grey himself thought he fit as a writer of romance. They also would have indicated something of Grey...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 346-347
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.