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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 of idioms are bound to come sooner or later. All of this raises once again the question of how the user of English — or any other language — deals with idioms. How do we sort out, for instance, items like bucket seat, kick the bucket, bucket shop, bucket ofbolts, and a score of others that have very little to do with buckets at all? The Index does not engage in such inquiry, except in a brief foreword by Professor Richard W. Bailey of the University of Michigan. On the other hand, for the person interested in pursuing the philosophical ramifications of idiom, this is, to borrow another idiom, a "gold mine." J.J. LAMBERTS Arizona State University JAYNE L. WALKER. The Making of a Modernist: Gertrude Steinfrom THREE LIVESto TENDER BUTTONS. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984. 167 p. Walker focuses in this short critical exposition upon what is arguably the most revolutionary period in Stein's linguistic experimentation. The author rejects using Stein's own essays as a guide to the theoretical concerns that catalyzed her writing between 1905 and 1912. Instead, this book focuses on Stein's major works of fiction and poetry during that period which Walker claims "have barely begun to be read" (xvii). 90Rocky Mountain Review Two vital queries present themselves in examining this skeletal outline of Walker's focus. Why have Stein's own explications of her work been forcefully ignored by Walker? And how often is Walker given to making authoritative pronouncements of dubious value? One might wish to contest the author's assumption that Stein's essays offer the reader no means of sharing in the process of comprehending her literary method. Stein's lectures on campuses during her whirlwind American tour of 1934 apparently opened doors for any number of once confounded readers. The fruits of Stein's remarks were published by the University of Chicago as Narration and by Random House as Lectures in America. Any Stein reader would do well to critically examine both texts before accepting Walker's assumption that Stein's later critical writings "have more polemical force than theoretical precision" (xiv). The generalizations which so liberally pepper this study range from the embarrassingly facile to the intellectually myopic. In a quasi-mystical non sequitur, she dismisses all earlier Stein criticism, claiming that earlier books "short-circuit any serious effort to decipher her texts in their own terms" (xiii). What does Walker do in contrast? She introduces ideas from Matisse, Picasso, linguistic and semiotic thinkers to her Stein explication. In short, she brings to bear upon the Stein corpus as much of a multidisciplinary approach as any other Stein critic. Yet she claims a singular stance for her work. Perhaps her dedication to Stein's texts "in their own terms" (xiii) is best realized in Walker's manner of dropping out of consideration various biographical facts of particular weight in Stein's life...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-2833
Print ISSN
1948-2825
Pages
pp. 89-90
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-06
Open Access
No
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