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Book Reviews235 ing Symbolism to the stage. Lively's introduction enables the reader to comprehendjust how revolutionary Rachilde's dramaturgy was, and, in addition, to realizejust how "unladylike" and troubling her themes were for the day. Useful to the study ofthe late nineteenth and early twentieth-century literature, and also useful to contrasting male and female perceptions ofthe surrounding world, Rachilde's plays, despite her claims ofnot being a feminist, touch on issues that still remain at the crux ofany feminist discussion. With the exception of Voice ofBlood (La Voix du sang), all of the plays deal with the intertwining of sex and violence. The presence of Voice ofBlood, however, is necessary to this volume as it was among the first symbolist plays represented at Paul Fort's Théâtre d'Art, and heralds Rachilde's early and continued contributions to the movement. Pleasure (Volupté), The Painted Woman (La Femmepeinte), The Prowler (Le Rôdeur), all raise questions about both male and female sexuality, and also force us to consider the element of fear and the depth to which it governs our response to the other sex. The Transparent Doll (La Poupée transparente) takes an interesting look at maternal instinct and its potential link to insanity. This play offsets the near insanity ofthe male character in The Painted Woman. Madame La Mort, although the last play of the collection, further highlights Rachilde's spirit of innovation when, by creating what she termed "a cerebral drama" in which the action of the play has "no locale," we again gain insight into just how her techniques challenged the existing theatrical conventions. With perhaps the exception of two moments in Pleasure, the translations are smooth, the language natural. This collection ofplays, introduced as it is by Lively's dear and engaging introduction, serves as a new departure point for further study ofRachilde and of symbolist theater, and is also a valuable contribution to the existing scholarship on Rachilde. Julia diLibertiElmhurst College Ginette Adamson and Eunice Myers, eds. Continental, Latin-American and Francophone Women Writers. Volumes IH and IV. University Press ofAmerica, 1997. A multifarious grab-bag, an eclectic bazaar—impressions conjured by the amiably self-described "heterogeneity" ofthese two volumes. Each tome offers a widely diverse collection ofpapers originally delivered at the Wichita State University Annual International Conference on Continental, Latin-American and Francophone Women Writers, a gathering organized in order to introduce and create an exchange ofideas on unknown women writers. The editors, who are also the organizers of this conference, have stipulated a sole caveat—that the essays treat women who write in a language other than English. Volume III contains papers on five German authors, five Spanish-language writers, and twelve Frenchlanguage figures; and Volume IV, one, eight and eighteen respectively, plus a single Brazilian topic. The entries have been arranged first by language and coun- 236Women in French Studies try or region of the author treated and then by chronological order. Composed themselves in English, French, Spanish or German, the majority ofthe articles are informative, occasionally provocative, clearly written, andjargon-free Volume HI contains ten pieces in English, eight in French, two each in Spanish and German; and Volume IV twelve in English, thirteen in French and three in Spanish. The range oftopics and approaches is broad, varying from in-depth considerations of a single work to thematic analyses across several texts in an author's oeuvre to informative historical presentations offorgotten or little-known authors. Familiar figures appear among those who will be entirely new to most readers, as one may readily observe by considering just the French-speaking authors who have been included: Anne Hébert, Marie-Claire Biais, Gabrielle Roy, Annie Ernaux, Marcelle Tinayre, Marie Susini, Paule Constant, Mariama Ba, Marguerite Yourcenar, Nathalie Sarraute, Andrée Chedid, Joyce Mansour (volume 3); and Hélisenne de Crenne, Louise Labé, Marguerite de Navarre, Rachilde, Françoise de Grafigny, Claire de Duras, Marguerite-Virginie Ancelot, Marie-Thérèse Humbert, Paule Constant , Béatrice Commengé, Chantai Chawaf, Isabelle Eberhardt, Françoise Ega, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Yolande Villemaire, Nicole Brassard, Madeleine Monette, Elise Turcotte (volume 4). A project ofthis nature and scope is bound to be both blessing and...


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