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HUMANITIES 399 forgotten women translators. Focusing on criticism coming from both inside and outside feminist circles, she quotes Eugene Nida's critical remarks on feminist biblical translations; Rita Felski's and Robyn Gillam's 'attacks' on feminist experimentalism; and GayatriSpivak's critiqueofneocolonizing , homogenizing translations of Third World women's literature. Finally, von Flotow usefully summarizes possibilities of further research on gender and translation, from the historical-comparatist to contemporary perspectives on the production and reception of texts. She ends with a glossary of key terms. Given the ambitious scope of her study and the limited space provided, she inevitably runs into some difficulties. There is perhaps too little here on translation as seen from 'minority' perspectives, which can be provided by cultural studies and postcolonial studies. Von Flotow's perspective on gender and translation tends to be Eurocentric, which cannot be remedied by references to La Malinclze, one anthology of Indian writing, and Spivak (the latter evoked in the context of 'being democratic with minorities'). The problems of race, ethnicity, class, even sexuality, are barely touched upon as part of power dynamics in cross-cultural translation. It seems that von Flotow is determined to abide by gender as a major category of feminist analysis, the category which for her seems to be fractured only by differences of nationality, language, and culture among Western women. Her illustration of 'women's cultural and political diversity' is limited to Cixous's North American reception and different expressions of gender in English and German. Similarly, von Flotow's definition of feminism is narrowed to a historically recurrent movement which 'seeks to improve the lot of women in society' (Glossary). Reproducing at length rather obscurantist criticism of what she calls 'avant-garde' feminist writing, including translations of Nicole Brossard, without sufficiently contextualizing the political significance of this kind of experiment, she risks perpetuating a false opposition between 'elitist' and 'accessible' writing, or between 'theory' and 'activism.'┬ĚNevertheless, von Flotow's Translation and Gender delivers on its promise of a concise and comprehensive introduction to feminist approaches to translation. It should be particularly helpful to those who are new to this field. For others, it still remains useful by offering a review of unpublished conference materials and asking provocative questions about feminist translation strategies. (EvA c. KARPINSKI) Ajay Heble, Donna Palmateer Pennee, and J.R. (Tim) S~ruthers, editors. New Contexts ofCanadian Criticism Broadview Press. 404. $23.95 Canadianists were never as committed to the New Criticism as Canadian scholars of other literatures in English. Contexts ofCanadian Criticism, edited 400 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 by Eli Mandel, appeared in 1971, evidence of a broader, more historically contextualized notion of literary studies and also as a signal that the kind of thinking which now informs Canadian studies and cultural studies was on its way. In his introduction, Mandel said, 'Remarks on patterns of literary and critical development really do need to be framed by essays on historiography and on social, as well as culturat history ... all those contexts within which discussions of literature in this country take place.' Since then, however, Canadian life has become much more complicated and recognition of its complications and diversity' has become a major project of literary and cultural criticism. No critic, today, could be confident enough that she had grasped the whole picture to be able to use the phrase 'all those contexts.' The best we can do is to take account of the narrowest contextual field our consciences will allow and our capabilities can handle. It is hugely useful that the editors of New Contexts ofCanadian Criticism have produced a book that is both a homage to Mandel's prescience and an acknowledgment that times have changed. Mandel's sixteen contributors are replaced by twenty-four, including, instead of an introduction, individual essays by the editors, the only material not already published elsewhere. All of Mandel's contributors had white faces and only one was a woman. In New Contexts we hear from males and females, academics and journalists, of several racial or national origins. Some of the essays tend to scholarship; some tend to polemic; most are interesting and informative in their own right. The problem is that they...


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pp. 399-401
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