Lindhoff presents the first German work on the development of feminist literary criticism by explaining poststructuralist terms and delineating individual critical theories. She fails, however, to give an overview of clearly defined directions of development and does not throw any light on the complexity of the theories. She feels that the psychological phenomenon of hysteria is a key to the central problems of feminist literary criticism, and because of this limited focus, does little to give a clear picture of the various trends in feminism and their significance for literary criticism.
The works by Morris and Humm, in contrast, form a much better basis for introducing the study of feminist literary criticism. They assume no previous knowledge of the subject, and both offer a clearly structured overview of the trends in feminism as well as their reflection in feminist literary criticism. Humm's Reader's Guide is the more current of the two and contains a bibliography of primary texts along with suggestions for further reading. Morris's Literature and Feminism offers excerpts from feminist works to form a basis for close readings.
Humm's Dictionary of Feminist Theory, with over 600 entries, presents a critical overview of the central positions and developmental paths within the diversity of feminist theory and provides a 27-page bibliography. [rni/mjc]
A Reference Reviews Europe/IFBA original review
A new Franco-Italian publisher has undertaken a promising numbered series, entirely in French, of selective, selectively annotated bibliographical monographs under the co-direction of two Italian gallicistes, Claudio Galderisi and Enrico Rufi, and an entirely French "Comité scientifique". Titled Bibliographie des Écrivains français, this series, as explained in the General Editors' prefatory "Mode d'emploi," is to be devoted primarily to author bibliographies (e.g., no. 2 will be on Christine de Pizan) but also to anonymous works (Les Cent Nouvelles nouvelles) and to topics (Littérature et libertinage a l'âge classique); some entries will be in more than one volume. The original schedule of one per month has, it seems, been since delayed.
Each number is to comport the following rubrics: Introduction; Manuscripts and Translations; Bibliographical Studies; Biographical Studies; General Studies; an indefinite number of Thematic Chapters; Varia; Book Reviews; Desiderata; aside from the primary works and reviews (which will be in alphabetical order), each section will be arranged chronologically and conclude with a list of work in progress. As in tourist or restaurant guides, an icon of merit (here a pair of eyeglasses) will be attributed to "particularly interesting" titles. The following indices will be offered: of descriptors, exceptional titles, theses, authors and book review authors.
Coinciding with the centenary of Cohen's birth, Schaffner's bibliography opens with a two-and-a-half page Introduction that quickly surveys Cohen's oeuvre and its academic critical reception. There are 409 entries plus 7 book reviews; of the 409, 323 had been published by the writing of the Introduction.
In the entries on the secondary literature, Schaffner assigns to the major entries one or two descriptors such as "Geste des Juifs", "Schlemiel", "Absolu" or "Poésie." He sets out 5 thematic chapters, each with a brief synthetic introduction: "La Tradition littéraire", "Judaisme, Sionisme", "Orient et Occident", "Amour, Femmes, Psychanalyse", and "Comique, Études de Style."
In addition to the prescribed rubrics, Schaffner also includes a list of 57 printed and broadcast interviews by Cohen, and 59 reviews of Cohen's works (the concluding section of book reviews lists only reviews of secondary works or of the Pléiade editions of Cohen's works). Aside from these sections, Schaffner cites only a couple of secondary works prior to 1968, the date of Cohen's best-known work, Belle du seigneur. The cut-off date for the bibliography seems to have been in very early 1995. In a rapid one-page glance at Desiderata, Schaffner mentions themes or aspects of Cohen's work that merit further attention.
The bibliographies come with a 3.5 inch (9 cm) diskette containing the printed text; the copy reviewed here was accompanied by a Windows-formatted diskette with text in Microsoft Word 6.0. The only mention of technical specifications is on the disk itself, not in the printed monograph. A CD-ROM version of 12 titles is to be offered for separate purchase, the first being available in 1997. The editors promise updates every five years.
Schaffner, a member of the recently-formed Atelier Albert Cohen, is a sympathetic, well-informed surveyor, and provides a worthwhile guide to the literature. But one wonders how many buyers - institutional or individual - will be willing to pay for citations, even annotated, at 10 cents a pop. The machine-readable copy of the text does not add much value to the classified arrangement and 5 indices of the printed version. While meritorious in and of itself, this ambitious project appears to rest on questionable marketing grounds. One can only wish it well, but also maybe farewell.
Jeffry Larson (Yale University)
5. 1994/95 (1993). - 369 p. - DM 39.80
1995/96. - VI, 163 p. - ISBN 3-85407-044-6
Cheap paperback fiction of the dime novel variety, excluded as a matter of course from academic and public libraries, is only held - and that rarely - in libraries of copyright deposit, but it is enthusiastically sought after by collectors. Peter Wanjek, the compiler of this bibliography (95-4-578, above), lists libraries, catalogs, indexes and collectors among his sources, but stresses that the volume cannot claim to be totally comprehensive and accurate. The main source of information would seem to be lists on the book covers themselves, these including both titles published and in preparation. 420 series are listed, with details of title, subtitle, imprint, authors, format and average number of pages, and with an illustration of a representative cover. There follows a numerical listing of each series, with details of authors where these vary and indications of irregularities in the numbering. Numbers are left blank where volume titles are not known. Although the earliest date of coverage of this bibliography coincides with the beginnings of the genre, publication of such series did not end in 1945. After the war there may be fewer series, but they have longer runs of titles, and coverage in copyright depository libraries is better.
Bibliographical coverage of this post-war material is included in the other two works listed, though they are primarily intended as price catalogs for collectors and dealers. The Allgemeiner deutscher Roman-Preiskatalog groups individual numbers by price category, listing with sample illustrations, details of place, publisher and publication date, original price, average pagination, format, reprints and numbering irregularities, and brief annotations on content. The current edition, which has a new publisher, has four smaller sections after the main listing of post-1945 titles. These cover pre-1945 titles, titles from the GDR, and series not available to the general book trade but produced for commercial lending libraries.
The catalog of Austrian dime novels corresponds to its German counterpart, but includes titles of individual works and offers more detailed annotations. The first three editions dealt exclusively with pre-war literature, but this 4th edition of 1995/6 has three sections (pre-1945, post-1945, reprints). Academic interest in this field of literature is increasing, as Germanists search for new and recondite subject areas in which little research has been carried out so far. Collecting and conservation issues will need to be addressed by the relevant copyright depository libraries, especially as prices for older material are rising sky-high. [sh/dkl]
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