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Reviews 11 radical bookstores, jazz, and Beat poetry. In the best of these essays Rolfe emerges as a passionate collector of fact and gossip, a nostalgic bohemian with an engaging affection for such out-of-the-way corners of southern California as Newhall and Saugus. The book’s anti-scholarly approach does have limits, however. When Rolfe uses printed sources they are sometimes out of date or discredited, so that he innocently mentions Jack London’s alleged suicide, as if that canard had not been refuted long ago. The physical production of the book is also poor, with many typographical errors, and a binding so flimsy that the book fell apart as I read it. CHARLES L. CROW Bowling Green State University And the Viewfrom the Shore. Literary Traditions ofHawaii. By Stephen H. Sumida. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991. 330 pages, $30.00.) Stephen Sumida’s And the Viewfrom theShorecomes to us at a fortuitous and volatile point in American history. In the book’s incisive commentary on the much chronicled time when and since Hawaii entered western history with its so-called discovery by Captain James Cook in 1778, it parallels the activity surrounding the Columbus Quincentennial—the commemoration of his “dis­ covery” of the Americas. In this light, this book could not have come out at a better time—when the voices of indigenous and other non-white peoples are finally receiving national attention. Sumida offers an eye-opening reading of the historical, social, political, linguistic, and literary contexts and texts of Hawaii. He recovers these levels of reality from the silence and stereotypes imposed on Hawaii since discovery. The book is groundbreaking in its exploration of American literature viewed from the perspective of the oral and literary traditions of Hawaii. Sumida notes that ironically, the novel Hawaii, by tourist writer James Michener, has been re­ garded as the most influential, or often the sole text in the Hawaiian tradition, at least from the view of the U.S. mainland. Sumida challenges this kind of representation of Hawaii as avacationer’sparadise with a race of “Golden Men” as limited and patently racist. He does this by examining Hawaii, its people and stories from multiple perspectives. There are the outsider’s perspectives of the Hawaiian shores articulated by the visiting writer, the missionary, and the colonist. But more importantly, there is also the viewfrom the shore: Hawaii as home and complex polyethnic culture articulated by the local community. From each perspective, Sumida does meticulous, insightful readings of works ranging from those of Twain and Melville to Hawaiian song and poetry (“mele”), to Cathy Song, Milton Murayama and other Local writers. He catego­ rizes the works as part of either the heroic or pastoral literary tradition, or for 78 Western American Literature Local literature, shows how it must often involve a hybrid form of these oppos­ ing traditions. Sumida gives a good description of Local aesthetics which involve, at center, a sense of community, history and polyethnicity. In all, he consistently makes excellent comparisons and points out important differences between Local, mainstream American, and Asian American literature. And while he only gestures toward other “regional” and Native American literatures, readers are encouraged to further recover (not “discover”) connections between worlds on their own. SHARON S. SUZUKI University ofArizona The HomePlot: Women, Writing, andDomestic Ritual. By Ann Romines. (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1992. 320 pages, $45.00/$15.95.) Romines expands the usual mid-nineteenth-century scope of scholarship on literary domesticity in her discussion of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Willa Cather, and Eudora Welty. Selecting writ­ ers who represent regional variety and a tradition “which both perpetuates and questions the ongoing practice of domestic culture,” Romines explores both the thematic and stylistic range of domestic fiction as it develops from nineteenth -century realism to the modernism of Cather and Welty. Cather is the only writer of the American West included. Although Romines intends to explore affirmations and critiques of domesticity, her reading of Cather typifies her greater attention to affirmation. Romines ex­ plains that Cather’s establishment of lasting relationships with women dimin­ ished the anxiety about entrapment in heterosexual domesticity that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 77-78
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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