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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 tant to German culture then. In this respect, the book is true to its aim, gathering important documents-essays, notes, letters, interviews-from Lessing, Lenz, Hegel to Nietzsche, Lukacs, Hofmannsthal and, finally, to Horvith, Brecht, Frisch, Kroetz and MUller. The wide range of essays, and attention given to dramatic form, confirm the common view that German theatre is an integral part of German culture, indeed it is the very forum in which the German people debate their history as a people. Looking over the illustrious list of contributors to this volume, there are two modern omissions that are regrettable, not because the collection can't carry on without them, it can, but rather the presence of these authors-Marieluise Fleisser and Robert Walser-should be known to American readers. Fleisser is the undocumented force behind the new realism American audiences only know through Kroetz, and Walser the exquisite creator of anti-fairy tale plays. BGM Inner Landscapes:The Theater of Sam Shepard Ron Mottram University of Missouri Press; 172 pp.; $7.95 (paper) Sam Shepard: The Life and Work of an American Dreamer Ellen Oumano St. Martin's Press; 174 pp.; $12.95 (cloth) Sam Shepard Don Shewey Dell; 191 pp.; $3.95 (paper) Much of Sam Shepard's aura of mystery is due to his consistent refusal to discuss his personal life with the press. But such reticence does not beget privacy, and may only whet public curiosity. Despite none of these authors having direct access to their subject, each writes extensively about the man and how his biography is reflected in his plays, differing mostly in the style they use to tell their tale. Mottram's volume betrays its former life as...


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