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cinctly summarize western history as it relates to theatre in convenient chunks, and to deal with variations in the paradigm in a coherent fashion. However, despite the authors' cautionary notes to the reader about the dangers of distortion through abbreviation, there Is a perhaps unavoidable tendency toward simplification, which disguises the complexity of the past. Ironically, it also undercuts the difficulty of the task of the historian which the authors outlined so well initially. In part, this drift or inclination may be a product of the inclusivity requirement mentioned earlier. Still, this volume is probably a comfort to anyone who feels inundated by the wealth of material and uncertain about how to assess essential information from the merely interesting. Particularly valuable are the questions included in each section (except the contemporary, alas) which frame the conceptual questions about the preceding material. Saraleigh Carney Pleasures of the Belle Epoque: Entertainment and Festivity in Turn-of-theCentury France Charles Rearick Yale University Press; 240 pp.; $29.95 (cloth) What distinguishes this title from the run-of-the-mill picture book of the Folies-Bergdre and other fin-de-siecle French entertainments is author Rearick's ability to situate these leisure-time activities within a penetrating analysis of French society, focusing particular attention on its moral values and class hierarchies. Chapters such as "The Music Halls: A New Democratic Culture?" and "The Right to be Lazy and to Enjoy" show a generally well-intentioned effort on the part of the new leaders of the Republic to promote a bourgeois paradise for rich and poor alike with the result that only the well-off had the time, energy and money to enjoy the Music Halls, circuses, theatres, and fairs Intended for a more "democratic" participation. Profusely illustrated and pleasingly designed, Pleasures of the Belle Epoque contains a lot more than its coffee-table appearance would indicate. Adam Parfrey Essays on German Theater Edited by Margaret Herzfeld-Sander Continuum; 356 pp.; $10.95 (paper) As part of its German Library series, Continuum is planning 100 volumes of writings from the medieval period to the present. This volume-no. 83-is one among several that have already appeared, Including collections of fairy tales, fiction, plays, and criticism by writers as diverse as Schiller, Kleist, Keller, Fontane, Rilke, and Enzensberger. Essays on German Theater, as itseditor Margaret Herzfeld-Sander writes in her introduction, is a chronological grouping of texts that represent the important ideas of each historical period, and the aesthetic debates, impor118 ...


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