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BOOK NOTES ancestors came from Aquitaine, boldly asserts a role in the first lines. The poem must create its own context and generate its own energy, and one way is through the shifts in grammatical mood that Strauss points out—from the declarative, to the imperative, to the interrogative, and back to the declarative in each of the four successive stanzas ofthe sonnet. Since the poem has been associated with Eliot for many readers, it is interesting to know that Paul Eluard once owned a manuscript version. One can only speculate on the ways in which other poets may have reacted to it—for instance Rimbaud and Hart Crane. At any rate, Strauss has made a literary hero ofNerval, and by his account the poet effectively challenged the great metaphysical void ofhis time, preparing the way for other poets and theorists. Celso de OliveiraUniversity ofSouth Carolina JOSEPHINE DONOVAN. Women and the Rise ofthe Novel, 1405-1726. New York: St. Martin's, 1999. xiii + 176pp. In A Room ofOne 's Own, Virginia Woolfnotes that "books continue each other," and Josephine Donovan's extraordinary work shows that ideas do the same thing. Relying on Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin's theories about the novel and Ian Watt's seminal 7%e Rise ofthe Novel, Donovan has added an important text to the evergrowing canon on the history and formation ofthe novel. Donovan's contribution is particularly significant because she concentrates on the contribution ofwomen writers to the evolution ofthe novel genre, an approach that departs from the work that has been done on women as consumers ofthe novel. Donovan also challenges those theorists and historians ofthe novel who have previously located women's literary production within the context ofthe sentimentalist tradition. Rather than present a comprehensive survey, the author focuses her analysis primarily on women writers whom she places within the realist tradition, and thus she has chosen Christine de Pizan, Marguerite de Navarre, Maria de Zayas, Margaret Cavendish, Delarivier Manley, Mary Davys, and Jane Barker for her primary attention. Donovan's goal is "to chart the degrees by which Western women's literary silence was broken" (146). Concentration on these women enables her to show succinctly yet thoroughly how the writers' use of both the framed-novelle genre and casuistry contributed to the creation of"particularized literary characters, thereby introducing one of the novel's most unique features" (5). In addition, the emphasis on individual cases is shown to foster the notion ofthe novel as a form of ethical knowledge which Donovan calls "the most defining attribute ofthe novel" (5). Donovan argues that the women writers under discussion affirm female agency and subjectivity through modes ofcritical irony, satire, non-Latinate rhetoric, indirect discourse, and "an attitude of ureverent realism" (ix). These modes, in turn, have been recognized by Bakhtin as constitutive ofthe novel's essentially subversive character. Donovan's arguments are elegantly presented in nine chapters, each having a different focus; the author always returns, however, to the same primary material, which is interpreted according to the particular context ofthe chapter. This method makes Women and the Rise ofthe Novel very readable and accessible to a large audience, because Donovan states her thesis and gives helpful and relevant plot summaries at the same time. In addition, this method makes the book a good candidate for supplementary use in appropriate college or university courses. While Vol. 25 (2001): 190 ??? COHPAnATTST individual chapters advance the overall premise, they are also discrete units, which could be assigned reading to accompany class lectures and discussions. Donovan's book remains lively and erudite from beginning to end. The author quotes all primary material in English, but she also provides the original French, Spanish, or Italian. Her secondary sources include Margaret Doody, Gérard Genette , Lucien Goldmann, Hegel, Domna Stanton, and many others whom the reader can access swiftly through an index. Donovan's main source, to which the book's title alludes, is Ian Watt. She often refers to the "dean ofauthorities on the 'rise ofthe novel'" and expands Watt's ideas by showing how the framed-novelle, a genre that he overlooked, is in fact a progenitor ofthe realist novel (73). Donovan traces the beginnings ofthe...


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