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158 SHOFAR Winter 1999 Vol. 17, No.2 chapters." Those chapters, and the issues ofmodernism and post-modernism, come in for major attention in several essays, especially Brian McHale's on "Henry Roth in Nighttown, or, Containing Ulysses" (a nice pun that McHale explicates) and an essay on modernism on the lower East Side by Karen R. Lawrence. In a brilliant, synoptic, 6O-plus page concluding essay by Werner Sollors called "'A World Somewhere, Somewhere Else': Language, Nostalgic Mournfulness, and Urban Immigrant Family Romance in Call It Sleep," Sollors continues his original explorations of the links between modernism and ethnicity, as well as providing the freshest and fullest reading ofthe novel to date. Leslie Fiedler, fIrst among the stellar critics/scholars in the volume, contributes a moving essay on "The Many Myths ofHenry Roth," that in short compass embraces the psychological and theological elements of the book, concluding with a poem he wrote upon fIrst reading the novel, in which the Yin and Yang, the contradictory elements of the work, are united. The Italian scholar Mario Materassi, who for many years during Roth's obscurity did heroic service seeking out and encouraging him and who was to a large extent a chief stimulator of Roth's revived creativity in his old age, contributes an important essay on Roth's use of what he calls a "Shifting Urbanscape: Roth's 'Private' New York," which helps make sense of the shifting perspectives in the book. Ruth Wisse, fIrst Professor of Yiddish Literature at Harvard, contributes a discerning essay called "The Classic ofDisinheritance," in which the loss ofa sustaining community produces in David Schearl a type ofexistential hero. All in all, the essays in the collection build on what has been said and discovered about Roth and his great novel, but in original and exciting ways push into new territory. It is to be read carefully and treasured. Jules Chametzky Department of English University of Massachusetts The Sinai: A Physical Geography, by Ned H. Greenwood. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997. 148 pp. $35.00 (c); $16.95 (p). This book is a must for anyone interested in the Sinai, particularly its impressive physical characteristics. Since the restoration ofthe peninsula to Egyptian control early in the 1980s, precious few monographs on this fascinating region have been published. Greenwood's account is thorough and up-to-date. This is a short book that may be readily consumed in an afternoon. It is well written and well paced. The book has seven chapters: Sinai, Search for a Geographic Entity; Plate Tectonics and the Geology ofSinai; Geomorphology and Drainage; Weather and Book Reviews 159 Climate; Soils of Sinai; Biogeography of Sinai; and a summary chapter entitled "May They Eat Lamb in Paradise." Greenwood is an outstanding physical geographer, with particular expertise in geomorphology and soils. His enthusiasm and the quality of writing and presentation are strongest in the chapters on geology, geomorphology, and soils. Happily, these are subjects which get insufficient treatment in most other monographs on Sinai, so they alone justify the purchase of the book. In "Geomorphology and Drainage" the author introduces a very useful map ofthe peninsula's geomorphic regions and systematically describes their principal characteristics. A north-south vertical cross-section of the peninsula, several large-scale maps, and numerous black-and-white photographs (including satellite images) provide strong reinforcement to the succinct written depiction. The chapter on soils paints a very detailed portrait of a land that will be difficult to conquer in the name of agriculture. Greenwood's chapter on biogeography begins strongly, with heartfelt acknowledgment to Dr. Mohamed Kassas, the great Egyptian botanist who accompanied the geographer on field excursions in Sinai in 1989. The excellent primer on Sinai's surprisingly diverse flora draws from the experience ofKassas and his colleagues at the Cairo Herbarium, and also builds on the outstanding presentation ofAvinoam Danin in Desert Vegetation ofIsrael and Sinai. The cross-referencing of floristic communities with geographic regions is particularly well done. The section on animals is less satisfying. Only a few representative species ofeach group are mentioned, and antique drawings rather than photographs accompany the text. There is no discussion of the conservation and management of wildlife...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 158-160
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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