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Reviews 157 forced an uneasy impression of sameness in the tones of many of those presented in that medium. Yet, taken one by one, Thomas Moran’s watercolors were, are, evocative and rewarding. He had the faculty of pulling the viewer “into a miniature world of suggested immensity” (26). There is no doubt that he did justice to the sublimity of the frontier region. “The American West,” Clark points out, “yielded the perfect landscape for the expansionist, patriotic, and romantic nineteenth-century mind embodied in Thomas Moran” (21). WILLIAM GARDNER BELL U.S. Army Center of Military History Bret Harte: A Reference Guide. By Linda D. Barnett. (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1980. 427 pages, hardbound, $38.00.) This comprehensive reference guide is a most welcome addition to G. K. Hall’s rapidly growing list of quality reference volumes. Barnett has made a major revision of her Harte secondary sources listing that appeared in the Summer and Fall, 1972, issue of American Literary Realism. Errors have been corrected, needed additions have been included, and her listing (through 1977) cites some significant recent Harte scholarship, such as the Fall, 1973, Bret Harte Issue of Western American Literature. Starting with 1865, the entries are conveniently arranged chronologically. Besides English and American material, some French and German items are also included. Barnett is a careful, patient worker, and her annotations arc excellent — crisp, accurate, and descriptive rather than judgmental. Her introduction is somewhat too cautious for my taste, but she does accurately survey this massive compilation of evidence on the subject of Bret Harte’s literary reputation, Bret Harte: A Reference Guide is a valuable book because it presents hard evidence in a clear and easily retrievable manner. Hardly any Ameri­ can writer has been more damaged by incorrect impressions, convenient, off-hand half truths, and vested antithetical interests. Barnett documents w'hat really happened; how Harte was and is received critically. While we need not sit by the front door in anticipation of a Bret Harte revival, it is encouraging to note that Barnett’s documentation shows that most critics of the past dozen or so years do not feel compelled to flail Harte for hypocrisy, sentimentality, misplaced values, or diction with a purple glow. No longer considered a leading enemy of and threat to culture, Harte is receiving a small but steady stream of books, dissertations, and articles that analyze his work using a variety of more objective approaches. A picture of Harte as a complex and contradictory figure, rather than an unfortunate historical 158 Western American Literature symptom, is beginning to emerge. Barnett’s solid research here considerably helps to further this much needed reestimation. The book’s unfortunate and eye-catching price may ensure that you would consider ordering this item for your school’s library, but not for your own study. PATRICK D. MORROW, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand New Native American Drama: Three Plays. By Hanay Geiogamah. (Nor­ man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980. 133 pages, $4.95.) Historically, plays about Indians and Indian life such as Robert Rogers’ Ponteach, or the Savages of America (1766) and J. N. Barker’s The Indian Princess; or La Belle Sauvage (1808) did little to illuminate Indian culture. And as a major character within drama, the Indian’s life on the stage was short-lived. By the 1830’s, Indian drama had reached its height of popularity with Edwin Forrest in the title role of John Augustus Stone’s Metamora, or the Last of the Wampanoags. Indian writers have, for the most part, avoided drama and centered their talents on poetry and prose. Consequently, Hanay Geiogamah’s New Native American Drama: Three Plays is timely and welcome. Whereas the earlier plays perpetuated stereotypes and burdened the stage with the accoutrements of Indian life, Geiogamah creates full characters and inte­ grates native song, dance, ceremony, and philosophy within the drama. While the quality of “Body Indian,” Foghorn,” and “49” varies, they repre­ sent one of the first attempts to create an Indian reality for the stage. Of the three plays, “Foghorn” is the weakest. The play consists of eleven scenes or vignettes that depict a variety of attitudes, stereotypes, and misconceptions...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 157-158
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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