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88Rocky Mountain Review Women's Movement's tendency "at all stages of its history ... to alienate public sympathy and to blur the issues with Amazonian emotionalism toppling over into the absurd" (334). Apart from this one "toppling over" into his own emotionalism, Slater's book is a valuable contribution to Dickens studies. He does not so much startle the reader with grand and new ideas as provide a balanced, reasoned display of the evidence about Dickens' women, in his life and in his fiction; sorting the sensible and well founded from the sensational and speculative, he provides a new appreciation of writer and work. CAROL A. MARTIN Boise State University EVERT SPRINCHORN. StrindbergAs Dramatist. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982. 332 p. It is a commonplace that August Strindberg used the events and emotions from his own biography for his plays and fiction. Professor Evert Sprinchorn in his Strindberg As Dramatist goes beyond this crude observation to show Strindberg's intellectual development and its importance to his dramatic creativity and imagination. Further, Strindberg's ideas and life interacted to a degree not at all usual in a modern writer. Whatever attracted him in his reading and thinking he tested in his experience, sometimes with comic and almost always with unhappy results for himself and those close to him. He also relentlessly examined his experiences literally in terms of the sorts of ideas most other writers, Yeats for example, found useful as metaphor. Sprinchorn argues that this extreme attitude, which some have taken to be madness, resulted in the ruthless honesty and profound perception of Strindberg's best work. Reality and abstractions being what they are, Strindberg's intensity also produced contradictions in his life and his work that could not be resolved through bizarre behavior, distorted images of reality, or hysterical language. To Strindberg's credit he allowed the contradictions to stand as a part of his fundamentally dual view of experience. Like so many of the best modern authors, Strindberg must be read in quantity, in order to see how one work complements and qualifies another. Sprinchorn's book is a valuable, even essential contribution to the understanding of Strindberg's plays. He has made excellent use of Strindberg's journals and letters in tracing his intellectual shifts and discoveries. Unhappily , Strindberg As Dramatist is not well written. Its organization and development are not clear or certain; it seems cobbled together from articles and class lecture notes. Sometimes superficial, sometimes assuming a detailed knowledge of Strindberg's work, it wavers between excessive plot summarizing and using better known works of other writers (Albee and Sartre) to substitute for clear textual analysis of Strindberg's dramatic achievement as opposed to his ideas. Sentences and phrases like "Strindberg plumbed the depths of his being" and "If The Father is not genuine tragedy, neither are the Greek tragedies" seem unworthy of the best of this book. The Book Reviews89 photographs and black and white drawings that are reproduced are nice, but they are left largely unrelated to the text. Sprinchorn's too close identification with Strindberg leads him to assume that Strindberg's intentions are the same thing as achievement. Many of these faults could have been eliminated by a good editor. DONALD HABERMAN Arizona State University LAURENCE URDANG and FRANK R. ABATE, eds. Idioms and Phrases Index (First Edition). Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1983. 1169 p. Here are three volumes — atotal ofnearly 1700 pages — each page with more than 200 idioms and idiomatic phrases: a demonstration of what a computer can do. One thinks at once of the tedious labor that was expended by editors of concordances of the King James Bible, or Chaucer or Shakespeare, and by comparison the almost mindless activity that goes into an editing effort like this one. The editors have taken some three dozen standard compilations of phrases and have listed them alphabetically, in each instance specifying the catalog where one can find further and more particular information. The editors make no attempt whatever to define the entries. The various catalogs of idioms take care of that. In other words, this is simply a vast index, and admittedly the first of a series, since other compilations...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-2833
Print ISSN
1948-2825
Pages
pp. 88-89
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-06
Open Access
No
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