restricted access Eighteenth-Century Fiction on Screen, ed. by Robert Mayer (review)
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178 ly focused. In the first section, ‘‘Sociality and Sensibility,’’ for example, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick provocatively theorizes from a passage in A Sentimental Journey (‘‘Sexualism and the Citizen of the World,’’ stripped of its Wycherley half), while John Mullan displays his genial intimacy with eighteenth-century habits of reading in an extract from his Sentiment and Sociality. In the final section, ‘‘Narrative and Form,’’ J. Hillis Miller speculates about narrative middles in a 1978 essay, ‘‘no doubt the seminal deconstructive account,’’ according to Mr. Walsh, while Christopher Fanning, in the most recent (1998) and one of the most historically specific essays, considers the spatial layout of Sterne’s page. In ‘‘Feminism/Gender/Sexualities,’’ Melvyn New in ‘‘Job’s Wife and Sterne’s Other Women’’ respectfully skirmishes with Ruth Perry’s feminist critique of Tristram, ‘‘Words for Sex.’’ On ‘‘Sterne and the Body,’’ Juliet McMaster on the uncrystallized body in Tristram Shandy rubs shoulders with Carol Houlihan Flynn on that body exercised. For the oldest topic in Sterne criticism exceptsex —‘‘Sources, Imitation, Plagiarism’’— Heather Jackson’s 1975 study of Sterne’s appropriations of Burton in one portion of Tristram Shandy overlaps with Jonathan Lamb’s more Shandean exploration of Sterne’s system of imitation. Suggesting the concordia of this discourse, Mr. Walsh supplies Prefaces for each section, an excellent up-to-date annotated Bibliography , and a brief Introduction on Sterne’s relation to theory (especially in the 1980s and 1990s). A protean term, theory can mean an individual reader’s presuppositions, perhaps tactical and not necessarily formulated , or a particular literary theory like Viktor Shklovsky’s. In a phrase like ‘‘Sterne and ‘Theory,’’’ the Introduction ’s first subtitle, it gestures toward something larger, the cluster of different disciplines that critics now call, without any modifier, theory. Mr. Walsh’s best pairings combineatheoreticaltremorthat reorients criticism with a subsequent remapping of the terrain. Ms. Perry’s cogent feminist challenge, for example, provokes Mr. New’s thoughtful scholarly reply. Yet the section title is not ‘‘Feminism ’’ but ‘‘Feminism/Gender/Sexualities ,’’a portmanteau term that shows how successfully theory has created complex areas of scholarly investigation that link gender, sexuality, social identity, and textuality . Although placed elsewhere, Ms. Sedgwick on homosociality or Ms. McMaster and Ms. Flynn on the body could have been grouped under the samerubric. A full response to Sterne and theory rather than theorieswoulddroppiecesnot engaged with theory, making room for, say, ‘‘an important and subtle study’’Mr. Walsh praises but omits, Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean’s ‘‘Of Forceps, Patents , and Paternity.’’Yet complaint seems churlish, for Mr. Walsh is a discriminating and generous critic. Green critics will reliably movefromthisvolumetotherecommended readings; gray ones will appreciate the pieces previously available only in miscellaneous collections. David Oakleaf University of Calgary Eighteenth-Century Fiction on Screen, ed. Robert Mayer. Cambridge: Cambridge , 2002. Pp. xiv ⫹ 226. $65. Mr. Mayer’s Introduction to this volume carefully maps the field of adaptation , going beyond the narrow concerns of ‘‘fidelity studies,’’which basically ask whether the film got the book right. Because of the scope of these eleven essays, a substantial range of European literature 179 has been covered, from Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders to La Religieuse and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The book, useful for teachers and scholars of both film and literature, features a helpful Filmography, Bibliography, and Index (primarily of names), as well as nineteen black-and-white illustrations. Cynthia Wall’s insightful essay on the spaces of Clarissa illuminates ‘‘femininity as claustrophobia,’’ part of the gothic legacy of the eighteenth century. Her work finds an interesting companion piece in Margaret McCarthy’s essay on formative spatial relations in Wim Wenders ’s Wrong Move (a loose adaptation of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister), and an instructive counter in Peter Cosgrove’s ‘‘The Cinema of Attractions and the Novel in Barry Lyndon and Tom Jones,’’ which attends to the ways film spectacle can distract from the narrative and become its own end. Among the more overtly political essays , Janet Sorensen’s analysis of Rob Roy offers timely exposure of the reactionary strategy of producing ‘‘white ethnicity ’’ in a nostalgic mode. In her view, the celebration of a mythical Celtic past in Michael Caton-Jones’s film serves to...


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