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HUMANITIES 203 to textual corruption by reporters, but to other defects in the manuscript from which the first quarto was printed. There is at any rate too much about the play's early printing history and the nature of its only surviving original text that remain obscure. Therefore stick to the original text whenever any sense can possibly be made of it. In the form we have it, Pericles is a much better play than benighted critics and directors led us to believe in the past. . It is an argument that some will surely find persuasive and which those who do not agree should welcome for its forthright reasoning. Why yet do I disagree? I cannot accept the intimation that the most miserable of the play's scenes, wretched in writing and dramatically, yet present essentially what the most faSCinating of all dramatists, Shakespeare, himself wrote. The fact that those scenes can go quite well in the theatre does not persuade me otherwise, for I have heard actors elsewhere, and skilful reciters of verse too, move audiences with trash. As for the editors' rejection of many emendations of the quarto text that have been accepted by most modern editors, it is good to be prompted to think these troublesome readings over once more, but in some cases I expect not to be alone in failing to recognize the meaning. The editors interpret the play with enthusiasm as a dramatized fairy tale, assisted by their learning and by their theatre experience. Their response stimulates us to see Pericles once more in new ways. This is the second major edition by Canadians that reflects a deep attachment to this play. It is notable also for its emphasis on Canadian productions, but the section on modern stage history surely should have included mention of some American (for example, at Ashford, Oregon, and in New York) besides British ones. (F. DAVID HOENIGER) H.L. Meakin. John Donne's Articulations of the Feminine Clarendon Press. xiv, 272. $69.00 John Donne's Articulations of the Feminine is a good contribution to the feminist rereading of Donne's writing. Using the work of Luce Irigaray, H .L. Meakin covers several manifestations of the feminine in Donne: the Muse, Eve, Sappho, and Elizabeth Drury of The Anniversaries. The chapter on the Muse figure describes how the British Muse is more physical and robust than her Continental equivalents. Reading '5apho to Philaenis,' Meakin shows how the poem celebrates love and sexuality separate from the .procreative function. In a consideration of Eve as a maternal figure in Donne's work, Meakin demonstrates how Donne elides his cultural debt to women by describing his own creativity as maternal. Finally, Meakin contests that The Anniversaries was built 'around and upon the dead body of Elizabeth Drury,' manifesting 'the present absence of the feminine.' 204 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 The book offers a rich brocade of interpretive readings and dexterous use of multiple discourses: theoreticat hlstoricat theological. However, Meakin needs a more firm justification for anchoring the study in Irigaray, who is not the only critic to engage with representations of the feminine, or even the best one. Even a comparatively early text such a Mary Ellmann's 1968 Thinking about Women could help on this front. It is not always clear whether Meakin's book is an investigation of sexual inequality, or the principle of the feminine (as distinguished from Donne's famous 'masculine persuasive force'), although part of this ambiguity is the result of Irigaray's own oscillation between these two poles. As a minor point, Meakin notes that there are some uncanny similarities between Donne and Irigaray, including a fascination with angles, an interest in the symbolism of thresholds, and a commitment to the experience of nearness. More of a focus on these kinds of resonances would have helped ground the similarities between Irigaray and Donne, and would have been enjoyable to pursue. These qualifications aside, the book contributes to the study of gender difference in the early modern period, serving as a lively revisitation of many of the classic themes of Dorme scholarship: his position within the emergent marketplace, his relations with his female contemporaries, the relationship of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 203-204
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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