BD — Literature and Literary Studies
Lexikon der deutschen Science Fiction und Fantasy 1870-1918 [Lexicon of German Science Fiction and Fantasy, 1870-1918]. Nessun saprà [pseudonym for Klaus Geus]. Oberhaid: Utopica, 2005. 314 p. 22 cm. (Materialien und Untersuchungen zur Utopie und Phantastik, 1). ISBN 3-938083-01-8: EUR 68 [05-1-104]
The author explains the selection of 1870 as the starting point by noting that this is the beginning of “mass literature,” while the ending date of 1918 more likely has to do with another planned volume. This latter date is problematic, not least because many of the writers in the current volume wrote after 1918, and some far more voluminously, so one anticipates that they will appear again. The work treats “more than 400 authors and 800 works.” The author section contains numerous entries for pseudonyms. The header of each article has the name and life dates of the author; many of the missing dates represented by question marks could have been located.
Most articles are short, and consist of a biography, a list of primary works (quite varied in execution), and a bibliography of the secondary literature. A number of essential works are, however, omitted from the secondary literature; furthermore, some abbreviations used are not found in the bibliography of sources. Authors such as Franz Kafka are treated as representatives of “high” literature, but one would be better informed on him by other sources. There are also articles for individuals active in the genre, such as publishers, illustrators, directors, and composers, but these seem to be mere filler. [sh/dsa]
Lexikon der Fantasy-Literatur [Lexicon of Fantasy Literature]. Ed. Hans Joachim Alpers. Erkrath: Fantasy Productions, 2005. 508 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN: 3-89064-566-6: EUR 60 [06-1-046]
Lexikon der Horrorliteratur [Lexicon of Horror Literature]. Ed. Hans Joachim Alpers, Werner Fuchs, and Ronald M. Hahn. Erkrath: Fantasy Productions, 1999. 400 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN: 3-89064-556-9: EUR 45.50 [06-1-047]
It would have been preferable to hold this review until the appearance of the related third volume, Lexikon der Science-Fiction-Literatur [Lexicon of Science Fiction Literature] (1) since one could have discussed the three related works together. The challenge of differentiating between the three genres, and the resulting overlaps, are discussed at length in the forewords and introductory materials.
The selection and concept are the same for both volumes. All authors who wrote works in these genres (2) for which there are German editions (whether translations or not) are included, as well as a modest number of the most “important” foreign authors for whom no translations exist as yet. The scope of the articles varies widely, from detailed biography with photo and an introduction of the major works to simply a name and the notation “German-language author.” It is worthwhile to look up an author in both volumes, as one may have a more informative article. For all authors, only works belonging to the genre at hand are included.
The appendixes offer alphabetical lists of pulp paperback series with sample covers and publication data, as well as lists of major literary prize winners and extremely short lists of secondary literature, which lack references to most of the known bibliographies and lexicons in these areas.
Currently, these are the most comprehensive lexicons for works in these genres in German. The decision to list only primary works for the authors reduces the utility of the works significantly, as the inclusion of secondary literature is standard for any author lexicon. [sh/dsa]
Literatur und Kultur der Arbeitswelt: Inventar zu Archiv und Bibliothek des Fritz-Hüser-Instituts [Literature and Culture of the Working World: An Inventory of the Archive and Library of the Fritz Hüser Institute]. Ed. Rainer Noltenius. München: Saur, 2005. 424 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-598-11199-1: EUR 98 [06-1-048]
The Fritz-Hüser Institut for German and International Labor Literature, one of the smaller literary archives in Germany, has experienced steady growth in its collection of annual reports, information bulletins, monographic series, various individual works, and catalogs of its more than 130 exhibitions in many countries of Europe, in Japan, and in the USA. While prior Institute publications index parts of the collection, Literatur und Kultur der Arbeitswelt for the first time attempts to present the most comprehensive overview of their library and archival holdings.
In his introductory essay Rainer Noltenius, Chief of the FHI and successor to Fritz Hüser, details the history of the institute and its collections, the changes to the collection profile, and the outlook for the Archive’s future work. A note to users covering how to use this work, an index of abbreviations, and a bibliography precede the following collections.
The first main section, Archival Collections, includes personal collections (1.1), collections of materials from Unions and Organizations (1.2), as well as libraries (1.3). The numerous personal collections are listed under various groupings, including Writers/Literary Personalities, Worker-Esperantists, Free Thinkers, and Unions and Organizations, Gutenberg Book Guild, and Christian Labor Movements, Vagabonds and the Homeless. The collections of news clippings, brochures, pamphlets, etc. are classified under the heading: “Literature and Culture of the Worker in the Modern World” and are arranged by keyword and include approx. 1000 files. Similarly, “Personal Collections” contain mostly letters and clippings belonging to approx. 1200 individuals, including artists, literary figures, journalists and politicians. Finding aids to the collections and references to holdings outside of the Institute are provided where known. Occasionally, the descriptive holdings are supplemented with a selection of documents about the collection, donor, or work.
The second section, “Library Holdings,” covers 26,500 books and 1,350 periodicals, all of which are classified by 21 main categories. Scope notes provide information about the depth of the collection and its unique classification scheme. In particular cases, this note is followed by an alphabetical list of names, authors, artists, composers, etc. Bold type and column headings help orient the reader.
The volume includes four indexes: a periodicals index, subject index, personal name index and place index. The comprehensive holdings for the library and archive are so detailed and clearly illustrated that through the index users will encounter surprising finds and gain unexpected insights. The few small errors in no way detract from the solidity of the work. Only in the index to the library holdings does one begin to feel that the editors are trying to document too much, but this work serves to illustrate the history of the collection. [ga/jmw]
Gottfried-Benn-Bibliographie: Sekundärliteratur 1957-2003 [Gottfried Benn Bibliography: Secondary Literature, 1957-2003]. Christian M. Hanna. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006. xxxi, 299 p. 25 cm. ISBN 978-311-018666-6: EUR 98 [06-1-050]
Intended as a continuation of Edgar Lohner’s Benn bibliography (Wiesbaden, 1958) covering the period between 1912 and 1956, this work lists 2,521 citations alphabetically by author. Exhaustiveness is aimed at, although it is conceded that this is difficult to achieve for articles and reviews in newspapers and the periodical press. Coverage is biased toward secondary literature from Northern, Western and Southern Europe, and the United States. Not included are paratextual material from within the primary sources, encyclopedia articles, and entries in literary histories. Perhaps most troublesome is the neglect of online sources. Title information, which follows no obvious standard, is on the whole satisfactory, although no information is provided on the extent of monographs; and often the page numbers of newspaper articles are lacking. With regard to layout, the adoption of the method common in OPACs of using pictograms to represent publication types is of questionable value. Problematical is the absence of cross-references between titles and reviews of titles. Indexes are provided of works, people and things, and periodicals. Particular attention is lavished on the first two of these, which aim to index the contents of the secondary literature, not just the titles. In sum, this is a highly competent work by an experienced Benn bibliographer. It is only to be regretted that it appeared too early to be able to take account of secondary literature published in the context of the fiftieth anniversary of Benn’s death in 2006. [sh/cjm]
Kommentierter Katalog der nachgelassenen Bibliothek von Johannes Bobrowski [Annotated Catalog of the Private Library of Johannes Bobrowski]. Dalia Bukauskaitė. Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2006. lxviii, 764 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-88476-747-X: EUR 69.50 [06-1-051]
The private library of Johannes Bobrowski (1917-65) has survived intact in Bobrowski’s former house in Berlin-Friedrichshagen, Ahornallee 26. This catalog lists the 1,887 bibliographic items in Bobrowski’s library by author or title, according to the German cataloging rules for academic libraries. It contains extensive annotations, including citations in bibliographies, shelf location, and marks of provenance and dedications. Particularly detailed information is supplied on the traces of Bobrowski’s reading of the books in his collection—for example, passages highlighted and annotated by him, bookmarks and insertions. If consulted in conjunction with an identical edition of the work in question, this catalog can feasibly replace archival study of Bobrowski’s collection. Supporting materials include extracts from Bobrowski’s letters and notebooks. The catalog also includes an extensive introduction. Catalogs of the private libraries of writers, philosophers, historians etc. (see, for example, Bernhard August von Lindenau in RREA 11:113, Marx and Engels in RREA 7:51, and Montesquieu in RREA 11:67) are of variable importance in terms of the contribution they make to an understanding of their owners. In the case of Bobrowski, whose works have an especially rich intertextual vein, this contribution should prove substantial. [sh/cjm]
Droste-Bibliographie 1981-2003 [Droste Bibliography, 1981-2003] Ed. Jochen Grywatsch. Bielefeld: Aisthesis-Verlag, 2005. xx, 472 p. 21 cm. (Veröffentlichungen der Literaturkommission für Westfalen, 16; Bibliographien zur deutschen Literaturgeschichte, 15). ISBN 3-89528-511-0: EUR 45 [05-1-114]
Bibliographic control of the literature by and on Droste is in fine shape thanks to the efforts of the Annette-Droste-Gesellschaft. The work at hand continues the bibliography covering the years prior to 1980 that appeared in two volumes in 1983-1985 within the critical edition of her works and letters. The structure and internal organization of this previous work were retained. There is nothing negative to say about the bibliographic descriptions; the annotations are useful as well and there are indexes for personal names (author and treated person) and works (divided by genre). It is a pleasure once again to take in hand not only a typographically well-designed, but a “normal” and useful bibliography, as opposed to one of the commonly found bibliographies rendered nearly useless by complicated notations.
The Droste bibliography will be continued online in annual editions; it remains to hope that a printed cumulation can appear at appropriate intervals. [sh/dsa]
Metzler-Goethe-Lexikon: Personen, Sachen, Begriffe [Metzler’s Goethe Lexicon: People, Facts, Concepts]. Ed. Sabine Matthes. 2d rev. ed. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2004. 514 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-476-02016-9: EUR 29.95 [06-1-052]
The first edition of this lexicon was published in 1999 on the 250th anniversary of Goethe’s birth (see RREA 5:117). The second edition is thinner by seventy pages; the first edition, according to the foreword, was out of print relatively quickly, and the publishers and authors took advantage of the opportunity to trim some articles that seemed dispensable and to add others that, in their opinion, helped to cast Goethe in a 21st-century light. The volume contains some 1,200 articles, from à la carte to Zypresse. A chronicle of the writer’s life and works plus a bibliography for further study follow the alphabetical entries. Taking samples from this second edition of the lexicon and comparing them with parallel examples from Gero von Wilpert’s Goethe-Lexikon (very positively reviewed—see RREA 4:110) reveals that Wilpert’s work concentrates much more heavily on historical personalities with some sort of relationship to Goethe, on geographical entities(both real and fictive), and on specific details of literary activity. While both lexica could be said to have adequately covered the literary works themselves, the impression with Metzler’s lexicon is that literary themes, activities and attitudes were drawn from Goethe’s autobiographical writings rather than from the actual works themselves. Thus, it seems best suited for general questions. The problems of imprecision in the entries are central. This reviewer found many serious flaws with the lexicon in his review of the first edition, which he then enumerated as suggestions for improvement in a Frankfurter Allgemeine review. Nevertheless, the enumerated mistakes were retained in the second edition: Metzler seems to follow the easiest policy, that of ignoring critics. When it comes to lawsuits, however, the publishing house is more responsive: a few articles from the first edition accused of plagiaristic origins are missing in the second. In the bibliography for further study, the Metzler lexicon exhibits a bias against works from more than 40 years ago; yet precisely some of the earlier works are still unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and precision. In sum, the Wilpert lexicon is superior for presenting information on literary sources and research findings, while this Metzler volume is suited to broad and general questions. Even in its second edition, this lexicon does not meet the standards we have come to expect from Metzler after its essential contributions to Goethe scholarship in decades past. [wh/rdh]
Yvan Goll: a Bibliography of the Primary Works. Andreas Kramer & Robert Vilain. Oxford; Bern: Lang, 2006. 377 p. 23 cm. (British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature, 26). ISBN 3-906766-46-2; ISBN 0-8204-5332-3: EUR 62.60 [06-1-053]
Anyone who attempts to compile a reasonably complete and trustworthy bibliography of the works of the French-German writer, playwright, poet, journalist and translator Yvan Goll (1891-1950) faces obstacles of a special kind. These have been enumerated in the introduction to the above title: there exists no critical edition of Goll’s works, which he published under many different pseudonyms (sometimes collaborating with his wife, Claire Goll) and in several languages—French, German, and later English. One also needs to consider the abundant revised versions and translations of his work into additional languages. In addition, Goll tended to publish in anthologies and obscure journals and newspapers not just in Europe, but on almost every other continent.
The authors of the present volume have enormously benefited from access to the Goll archives, the bulk of which, albeit not wholly immune to damages inflicted by the war, has been preserved in Germany and France. Therefore, it is not surprising that the previous bibliographies of Goll (13 titles have been listed in Chapter 1 in chronological order) have been unable to live up to the requirements that have been set forth here.
In chapter 2, the authors list the few existing editions of Goll’s collected and selected works. Chapter 3 consists of five sections: autonomous publications (published while the author was alive as well as posthumously); contributions to journals and books; edited books and journals (with detailed tables of contents); translations (independently published and appearing in books or journals); and letters. Chapter 4, which treats the dissemination of Goll’s works, discusses posthumous first editions and reprints, translations into 20 different languages, and his collaborations with musicians.
The indices enumerate titles (and first lines, in case of poetic works), the names of authors whose works had been translated by Goll, and the recipients of his letters. Unfortunately, an index of known translators of his work is absent.
It is clear that this bibliography comes as close to its goal of comprehensiveness as possible. At the same time, we cannot rule out the possibility that, in view of the byzantine publication history of many of Goll’s works, more of them (reprints or even original texts) might be discovered in obscure publications in the future. [sh/as]
Die Brüder Grimm in Berlin: Katalog zur Ausstellung anläßlich des hundertfünfzigsten Jahrestages seit der Vollendung von Band I des Grimmschen Wörterbuches im Jahr 1854, 5. Juli-28. August 2004 in der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin [The Brothers Grimm in Berlin: Exhibition Catalog on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Completion of the Grimms’ Dictionary in 1854 …]. Stuttgart; Leipzig: Hirzel, 2004. 208 p. ill. 30 cm. ISBN 3-7776-1305-3: EUR 25 [06-1-054]
This catalog is of an exhibition held at Humboldt University in Berlin in 2004, which then traveled to various other cities in Europe. The contributions are by 14 top-ranked Germanists and museum specialists, most connected in some way with Humboldt University. There is an impressive list of sponsors, and the preface was signed by the president of the German Bundestag. Like the exhibition itself, the catalog is divided into eight chapters: (1) a description of the social milieu and residences in which the brothers lived in Berlin (with a bird’s-eye view of the city); (2) the scholarship of the Brothers Grimm; (3) previously unpublished documents regarding the move to Berlin; (4) the works completed in Berlin, with particular emphasis on later editions of the fairy tales; (5) essays and lists of the Grimm library, most of it still intact; (6) data from letters, writings and contemporaries about the Berlin that the Brothers Grimm knew; (7) more weighty essays on the brothers’ major philological accomplishment, the multi-volume, OED-like, German Dictionary; and (8) epilogue and posthumously discovered works now housed in the Haldensleben Museum. Though from the essays we might expect dual emphases on the German Dictionary and the Grimm Library, we see at first glance that primacy is reserved for images. The lovingly assembled layout includes 232 illustrations and seven full plates of images, among them comparative facsimiles of the brothers’ handwriting and pictures of their library.
This catalog is not a scholarly manual. In a time of Grimm-Renaissance it does, however, offer a wealth of material for various target groups—from the professional Germanist to the interested layman—corresponding to the multi-layered interests of the Brothers Grimm. It serves as an excellent supplement to the scholarly literature. Local pride and competitiveness, even in the realm of Grimm scholarship, do not stop at the gates of the alma mater. This is shown, among other things, by the fact that this catalog does not even once mention the catalog of Grimm posthumous papers published in 1997 by Ralf Breslau (see RREA 9:81) at the State Library in Berlin, just a few steps away from Humboldt University. [wh/rdh]
Stefan Heym: eine Bibliographie zur Primär-und Sekundärliteratur [Stefan Heym: A Bibliography of the Primary and Secondary Literature]. Henk de Wild. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2006. 560 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-631-55503-2: EUR 78 [06-1-056]
This bibliography of texts by and about the East German writer Stefan Heym covers the primary literature (part 1), conversations and interviews (part 2) and the secondary literature (part 3) published up to 2004. As Heym’s literary remains have not been made public since his death in 2001, the bibliographer notes that the “primary literature” section must be regarded as incomplete.
This bibliography is richly annotated and cross-referenced among the sections. Unfortunately, page references are missing in many of the newspaper citations. Until Heym’s unpublished material is made available, this will be the definitive bibliography and an indispensable guide to research on Heym. De Wild has also published bibliographies on East German writers Christa Wolf (1995—see RREA 2:109) and Franz Fühmann (2003—see RREA 9:79), both with Lang. [sh/kw]
Gottfried-Keller-Bibliographie [Gottfried Keller Bibliography]. U. Henry Gerlach. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2003. xix, 339 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-484-10849-5: EUR 48 [06-1-057]
Those familiar with the Hebbel-Bibliographie, 1910-1970 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1973) and Conrad-Ferdinand-Meyer-Bibliographie (Tübingen, 1994—see RREA 3:136) by Professor Henry Gerlach (University of Illinois) will welcome his comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Gottfried Keller. Complementing Charles C. Zippermann’s Gottfried Keller-Bibliographie: 1844-1934 (Zürich, 1935), Gerlach’s work covers publications from around 1930 to 2000. Based on the extensive collection in the Swiss National Library and supplemented by contributions from Asian colleagues, the exhaustive coverage of the bibliography is proven by comparisons with standard reference sources such as Heiner Schmidt’s Datenbank Quellenlexikon: … deutsche Literatur-und Geistesgeschichte; internationale Bibliographie 1945-1990 [Source Lexicon Database… for German Literary and Intellectual History; International Bibliography, 1945-1990] (Duisburg, 2004—see RREA 10:95). Citations are given in MLA style and are often annotated and supplemented with citations to reviews. A few minor criticisms—missing pagination for some citations, omission of translators from the index, and the lack of a title index—do not detract from the overall value of the work. [sh/ab]
Daniel Casper von Lohenstein: (1635-1683); Bibliographie zu Leben und Werk (bis 2000) [Daniel Casper von Lohenstein (1635-1683): Bibliography on his Life and Works to 2000]. Gernot U. Gabel. Hürth: Edition Gemini, 2005. 112 p. 23 cm. ISBN 3-922331-46-7: EUR 29 [06-1-058]
This new Lohenstein bibliography, by the author of Daniel Casper von Lohenstein: A Bibliography (Chapel Hill, 1973), lists both primary and secondary literature published before 2000. It compares favorably with Julian Paulus and Robert Seidel’s [Martin] Opitz-Bibliographie 1800-2002 (Heidelberg, 2003) in that the citations are listed not in chronological order, but according to publication type, with secondary literature following primary literature within each section. The author aims for exhaustive coverage of the Lohenstein literature. The ca. 1,300 citations are therefore very brief; no annotations are provided. Whilst this brevity poses no problem regarding citations to secondary literature, the same cannot be said of the citations to primary sources in this work, some of which are so scanty as to be of little scholarly value. [sh/cjm]
Karl-May-Chronik [Karl May Chronology]. Dieter Sudhoff and Hans-Dieter Steinmetz. Bamberg; Radebeul: Karl-May-Verlag. 18 cm. ISBN 3-7802-0170-4 (set): EUR 99.90 [06-1-059]
Vol. 1. 1842-1896. 2005. 544,  p. ill. ISBN 3-7802-0171-2: EUR 19.90
Vol. 2. 1897-1901. 2005. 510,  p. ill. ISBN 3-7802-0172-0: EUR 19.90
Vol. 3. 1902-1905. 2005. 574,  p. ill. ISBN 3-7802-0173-9: EUR 19.90
Vol. 4. 1906-1909. 2005. 619,  p. ill. ISBN 3-7802-0174-7: EUR 19.90
Vol. 5. 1910-1912. 2006. 624,  p. ill. ISBN 3-7802-0175-5: EUR 19.90
Companion volume: User guide; index of holdings locations; bibliography; persons index; works index. 2006. 143 p. ill. Free-of-charge with volume 5.
Sudhoff’s DFG-supported Karl May chronology differs markedly from a previous publication from the pen of Volker Griese, his 2001 Karl May: Chronik seines Leben [Karl May: A Chronology of his Life] (see IFB 01-2-298). Whereas Griese’s work and those of earlier Karl May researchers are necessarily based on secondary literature alone, Sudhoff’s is the first to benefit from full access to the Karl May archive in Bamberg. In addition to a comprehensive review of archive materials housed in Bamberg, Sudhoff also integrates materials from other public and private archives as well as an extensive array of publications pertinent to Karl May and his works. Sudhoff’s work, like Griese’s, is structured chronologically, but includes more in-depth information, such as detailed citations and a listing of holding locations. Each volume contains 16 unnumbered pages of photographs.
Published simultaneously with volume 5, a companion volume (Begleitbuch) provides key indexes: an index of holding locations divided into primary and secondary literature; bibliography, excluding the titles listed in part one and omitting Internet resources; index to persons; index to works, including works planned, title variations, and translations. Scholars will find Sudhoff’s work useful. Moreover, the newly granted access to the archive in Bamberg may now provide the impetus for eventual publication of a historical-critical edition of Karl May’s works. [sh/jb]
Walther-Bibliographie 1968-2004 [Walther Bibliography, 1968-2004]. Manfred Günter Scholz. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2005. 185 p. 22 cm. (Walther-Studien, 3). ISBN 3-631-54272-0: EUR 39.80 [06-1-061]
This subjective and objective author bibliography of Walther von der Vogelweide, covering 37 years, is a continuation of the bibliographer’s earlier Bibliographie zu Walther von der Vogelweide (Berlin, 1969). The new bibliography repeats titles published in 1968 and contains some earlier titles not included in the previous work. It lists 1,214 numbered titles examined by the author and attempts to be comprehensive. The chapters vary considerably in length: Chapter 3—New Media—lists only one title, Walther von der Vogelweide im www (it should also have listed the URLs for the most important Internet sources; and Chapter 9—Publications on Walther’s Works—lists 548 titles. The entries contain all the desired bibliographical information, and the annotations list reviews as well as the location of passages about Walther. References to titles cited elsewhere make the bibliography easy to use. At the end is an index of authors and reviewers. Scholz is also the author of Walther von der Vogelweide, 2d corrected and rev. ed. (Stuttgart, 2005), which has a bibliography of about 580 titles. In short, this is an author bibliography as one would wish it to be. [sh/gh]
“Consolatio philosophiae” volgare: volgarizzamenti e tradizioni discorsive nel Trecento italiano [The Vulgar “Consolatio philosophiae”: Vulgarizations and Discursive Traditions in the Italian Trecento]. Silvia Albesano. Heidelberg: Winter, 2006. 215 p. 24 cm. (Studia romanica, 132). Heidelberg University dissertation, 2005. ISBN 3-8253-5110-6: EUR 39 [06-1-062]
The vulgarizations of the 13th and 14th centuries played a decisive role in the formation of the new vernacular literary culture in Italy. The form of the vulgarization varied according to the original language and genre of the text, the education and cultural orientation of the translator, and the intended public. The author attempts to demonstrate the various types of vulgarization of the same text and to analyze and compare the different processes. She chooses as her sample text the widespread and influential work Consolatio philosophiae of Boethius, which was translated into Italian at least 12 times in the Trecento. From these she chooses four to examine closely: (1) an anonymous Venetian vulgarization from the beginning of the 14th century that presumably originated from a French model in the hands of a Franciscan order, (2) the vulgarization by the canon Grazia di Meo da Siena, finished in 1343 and handed down in at least eight manuscripts, (3) the vulgarization by the Dominican Giovanni da Foligno (before 1386), which has at least seven text copies, and (4) the translation into prose and verse by the Florentine notary Alberto della Piagentina (between 1322 and 1332), which survives in at least 44 manuscripts.
The vulgarization of Piagentina is the closest translation, which attempts to reproduce the structural and stylistic characteristics of the original text. The author defines this type as a transposition of a discursive tradition into another language, leading to the creation of a new discursive tradition in the vulgate. The other three vulgarizations, on the other hand, attempt to transfer the text into another cultural and literary system. The author gives many quotations that demonstrate the narrative technique of the translators and the new formulations of the myths that they create that diverge from the tradition of antiquity. [bg/mjc]
Initia carminum latinorum saeculo undecimo antiquiorum: bibliographisches Repertorium für die lateinische Dichtung der Antike und des früheren Mittelalters [Bibliographic Catalog for Latin Poetry of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages]. Ed. Dieter Schaller and Ewald Könsgen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. [06-1-063]
Supplement volume. Ed. Thomas Klein. 2005. xlvii, 492 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-525-25614-0: EUR 99
The volume under review is designated as a supplement to the volume published under the same title in 1977. That volume offered information on the authorship, date, standard edition(s), translations, commentaries, manuscript tradition, bibliography, and interpretation of the Latin poetry of late antiquity up to the beginning of the 11th century. The supplement not only presents extensive new information on previously included material plus information on discoveries made since the original publication, but also amounts to an updated version of the entire Repertorium. The complete, enumerated alphabetical list of initia [incipits] appearing in the original volume is reproduced in the supplement. Newly discovered incipits have been inserted into the alphabetical sequence and assigned a number plus a letter, e.g., Nr. 10 is followed by Nr. 10a. It would have been better for the long bibliographies within some individual entries to have been organized either chronologically or alphabetical by author rather than the quite arbitrary order in which they appear.
This supplement is an excellent aid offering a wealth of updated information on the Latin poetry of the early middle ages. One is especially thankful for references to seldom-covered anonymous poetry that as a rule does not get included in dictionaries like Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon [German Literature of the Middle Ages: Encyclopedia of Authors] (see RREA 6:113) or the useful but slow to appear Compendium auctorum latinorum medii aevi (500-1500) [Compendium of Medieval Latin Authors] (see RREA 7:119). [ch/rc]
Metzler-Lexikon Weltliteratur: 1000 Autoren von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart [Metzler Dictionary of World Literature: 1,000 Authors from Antiquity to the Present]. Ed. Axel Ruckaberle. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2006. ISBN 3-476-02093-2: EUR 129.95 [06-2-233]
Vol. 1. A-F. 2006. xxvii, 497 p.
Vol. 2. G-M. 2006. 507 p.
Vol. 3. N-Z. 2006. 483 p.
Approximately half of the nearly 1,100 entries in this dictionary are drawn from five other recent Metzler author lexica (see, for example, RREA 9:242, 9:213, and RREO 94-3/4-435); the remaining entries are newly written. As is usual with broad-ranging reference works such as this, objections can be raised to the coverage—here, notably, the very limited treatment of African and Asian authors. This work is aimed more at a general than academic audience. Thus, a pragmatic approach is taken to the choice of authors, with emphasis being placed on writers with particular influence in Germany; no references to secondary literature are provided. There are some signs of a lack of clear editorial policy: in particular, inconsistencies in the treatment of information on editions of works, and on film adaptations. Readers seeking a more comprehensive and scholarly dictionary of world literature would be better served by the 4th edition of Wilpert’s Lexikon der Weltliteratur (Stuttgart, 2004—see RREA 10:77). [hjb/cjm]
Poets Laureate in the Holy Roman Empire: a Bio-Bibliographical Handbook. John L. Flood. 4 vols. Berlin [et al.]: de Gruyter, 2006. 2,528 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-11-018100-5; ISBN 3-11-018100-2: EUR 448 [06-2-234]
This bio-bibliography by noted English Germanist John L. Flood opens with a useful chapter on the history of the poet laureate. The institution has its roots in antiquity and the practice was most forcefully revived in the Middle Ages by the laureation of Francesco Petrarch in 1341. The first poet laureate of the Holy Roman Empire was Zanobi da Strada who was honored in 1355. The practice enjoyed increasing popularity in the following three centuries. Kaiser Friedrich III crowned 23 poets in the period from 1440 to 1493. Maximilian I. cemented the practice by founding the Collegium Poetarum et Mathematicorum in 1501, to represent poetry and writing as the fifth faculty at the University of Vienna next to Theology, Law, Medicine and Philosophy. The 17th century saw an increase in the number of poet laureates because university rectors were granted the right to bestow the honor. Between 1601 and 1700 there were 799 laureations of writers, and the number of poets laureate dropped to 88 between 1701 and 1804.
The bio-bibliography consists of 1,345 entries in alphabetical order for poets laureated within the Holy Roman Empire and adjacent territories between 1355 and 1804. Each entry is numbered, followed by the poet’s name, variations on the name, birth date and date of death, date and place of laureation, name of the conferring official, information about life and work, and a portrait, if available. Each entry contains a bibliography that includes holdings information for works, and citations to substantial biographies and other secondary literature. Lesser know or Latinized versions of a poet’s name are cross listed in the index to the name by which the writer is most commonly known. About 20 percent of the named poets cannot be found in major biographical dictionaries like the DBI, the Deutscher Biographischer Index.
The back matter includes: a list of poets crowned by the pope, poets whose existence could not be documented, and English poet laureates; a chronological list of laureations from 1455-1804, a chronological list of emperors, potentates and other conferring authorities, and the founding years of German universities; a list of places of laureation in alphabetical order, a list of abbreviations and illustrations, and various addenda that could not be incorporated in the body of the dictionary.
The dictionary presents itself as a point of entry for further research on the poets listed, but there is no evidence that this is an active area of research at this time. The lasting value of these bio-bibliographic volumes work may well be their utility as a comprehensive reference work on the subject of poet laureates in the Holy German Empire. [sh/hm]
Harenberg-Kulturführer Schauspiel [Harenberg Cultural Guide to Drama]. Ed. Dietmar Falk. 4th ed. Mannheim: Meyers Lexikonverlag, 2007. 799 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-411-76164-7; ISBN 3-411-7664-4: EUR 50 [06-2-237]
As in the previous editions with the title Harenberg-Schauspielführer, the articles are alphabetically arranged by name (Herbert Achternbusch-Carl Zuckmayer) and cover over 500 works by 157 dramatists. The scope of the work ranges from ancient Greek to the contemporary; the youngest author included is Marius von Mayenberg (b.1972), with his 1998 play Feuergesicht. The emphasis of this volume is, however, the classics and specifically the classical modern. The front-runner, not only on the stage but also in this guide is Shakespeare with 32 of his 36 plays represented. Among the other playwrights whose work is not nearly as well represented are: Botho Strauß with 14 works included, Brecht (13) Ibsen (12), Chekov and Handke (9), and Jelinek and Strindberg (7).
The articles are very informative. They begin with a short biography, followed chronologically by the featured works. They also include the dates of premieres, and in the case of non-German playwrights the date of the debut performance in German, casts of characters, plot summaries, and notes for further reading. The articles close with information about the text editions and where applicable, the film adaptations. The many images include portraits of the authors, photos of scenes, stage design sketches, and theater posters. A glossary of technical terms from Absurdes Theater to Zwischenspiel, an index of works (arranged alphabetically and including the article), index of abbreviations, index of images and user’s guide are provided at the end of the volume. The list of contributors can be found on the verso of the title page.
The Harenberg Cultural Guide to Drama is a useful reference work for anyone interested in literature or theater. Compare the fourth edition to the third, fully revised and expanded edition published in 2004 (see RREA 11:93), and it quickly becomes clear how many regrettable omissions there are. Entries for 298 dramatists and 780 of their works appear in the 3d edition, compared to 157 dramatists and 500 works in the 4th. Similarly, the 3d edition boasts 1,296 pages of content compared to 799 pages here. The uniformity the Harenberg series strives for is to blame. Those in possession of the third edition should be careful not to replace it with this edition. The 12-CD supplement to this edition (see RREA 11:94) contains audio excerpts of plays. [hjb/jmw]
Harenberg-Kulturführer Roman und Novelle [Harenberg Cultural Guide to the Novel and Novella]. Ed. Dietmar Falk. Mannheim: Meyers Lexikonverlag, 2007. 799 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-411-76163-6: EUR 50 [06-2-238]
This Harenberg guide includes entries for more than 500 texts by 360 authors from world literatures, more than 70 of whom write in German. Authors covered begin in Antiquity with Homer and run up through contemporary authors, including Chinua Achebe and Stefanie Zweig. In this volume, an entry for a challenging piece of literary prose can be found alongside popular works such as romance and adventure novels, the latter of which the literary establishment would rather do without. Obviously controversial is that most recent works of contemporary literature (since 1990) have not been entered into the canon. Arguably, such controversies could have been avoided had the editor of this section exercised some restraint and included only current authors. In the case of Michel Houellebecq, why the editor didn’t choose to include his most wellknown novels, Elementary Particles and Platform, but instead opted for Houellebecq’s first book, Whatever: A Novel and most recent work, The Possibility of an Island, is a question only the editor can answer.
Then entries are arranged alphabetically by author’s name, then chronologically by publication date. Each entry begins with a short introduction to the author (name in bold), followed by a short biography, then by the works. The articles about individual works include the date of the first edition, the number of pages, and in the case of non-German language authors, the original title, year of publication, and year of its translation into German. The section titled “Form” arranges entries by genre, e.g., novel and short story, and is then subdivided by era. The articles themselves include a discussion of origin, subject and reception, though this is by no means consistent. Where applicable, film adaptations are included. The numerous illustrations include portraits of authors, film stills and jacket covers, and info boxes provide further information, such as summaries and criticism. At the end of the volume, there is a glossary of key subject terms, an alphabetical list of works, an index of abbreviations and an index to the illustrations. A list of collaborators is included as a loose leaf.
Harenberg has once again produced an informative work that provides access to major works of literature. While the literary connoisseur would prefer Kindler’s, which is the gold standard, the layperson seeking brief, practical information will find this handbook useful. [hjb/jmw]
Lexikon der internationalen Krimiautoren: von Agatha Christie bis Donna Leon, Ed McBain bis Henning Mankell, Georges Simenon bis Minette Walters, Eric Ambler bis Tom Clancy; die volle Dröhnung [Dictionary of International Crime Fiction Authors: From Agatha Christie to Donna Leon, Ed McBain to Henning Mankell, Georges Simenon to Minette Walters, Eric Ambler to Tom Clancy; The Total Fix]. Alex Flückiger. Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2005. 613 p. 22 cm. ISBN 3-8334-3306-X: EUR 36 [06-2-239]
The author of this book, who has no other listings in the OPAC of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, begins the book in brief and disorganized fashion with some arbitrary, subjectively defined genre and subgenre categories. The dictionary is characterized chiefly by subjectivity in the selection of authors and “trendily” formulated judgments (sample: “People who don’t give a crap about this delicate subject won’t care much for the rest of Thomson’s books, either.”) British, Irish, U.S. and Canadian authors take up nearly half the book, with authors from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia making up the rest. Articles include author names and pseudonyms, birth and where applicable, death dates, and information on each author’s life and work, written in a manner for which “uncouth” is a generous description, followed by the titles and years of available German translations. There is no bibliography of sources consulted.
The Lexikon der internationalen Krimiautoren does not constitute an international complement to the Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Krimi-Auoren (see RREA 11:97). Scholarly libraries can do without it. [sh/rb]
Illustrierte Bibliographie der Kriminalliteratur 1796-1945 im deutschen Sprachraum [Illustrated Bibliography of Detective Literature, 1796-1945, in the Germanspeaking Countries]. Mirko Schädel. 2 vols. Butjadingen: Achilla-Presse, 2006. 510, 512 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-928398-92-X (set): EUR 198 [06-2-240]
This bibliography pertaining to detective novels and crime novels written in German is important, because very little bibliographic research has been done regarding the literature of this genre prior to World War II. The work is arranged alphabetically by author, and contains a title index and a series index. It is not clear which entries are based on personal examination and which are drawn from other bibliographies. It is hoped that a revised edition will include more detailed indexes. The reader is also referred to Dieter Kästner’s Bibliographie der Kriminalerzählungen: 1948-2000 [Bibliography of Mystery Stories] (see RREA 8:113). [sh/ldl]
Deutscher Humanismus 1480-1520: Verfasserlexikon [German Humanism, 1480-1520: Author Lexicon]. Ed. Franz Josef Worstbrock. Berlin: de Gruyter. 24 cm. [06-2-242]
Vol. 1, fasc. 1. Adelmann von Adelmannsfelden, Bernhard—Burkhard von Andwil. 2005. xxiii, 311 cols. ISBN 3-11-017572-X: EUR 68
Vol. 1, fasc. 2. Buschius, Hermann—Engel, Johannes. 2006. 313-632 cols. ISBN 978-3-11-019064-9; ISBN 3-11-019064-8: EUR 68
In 1978 the first volume of the 2d edition of the Verfasserlexikon (VL) was started as the Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters [German literature of the Middle Ages] and was completed with the last alphabetically arranged volume 10 in 1999 (see RREA 6:113). Since then not only has an addendum appeared, but a supplementary volume called Verfasserlexikons der Frühen Neuzeit [Author Encyclopedia of the Early Modern Period] will appear in the distant future. The VL contains entries for German authors up to 1520 but covers Latin-writing German authors only to 1480, thus excluding any mention of German Humanism. German Humanism 1480-1520 lists over 200 entries for authors whose works were published in both Latin and German between 1480 and 1520. Even some little-known writers are listed. Some of the articles have been previously published or updated from their original. Most of the articles are at least four columns long, and the article collaborators are impressive. Each article begins with a summary in section 1, and section 2 subdivides the author’s works into the appropriate type: German, Latin, or bilingual, and categories are also provided for works that are not literary (e.g., medicine, mathematics, and natural sciences). These articles end with a list of further research works one can consult. [sh/sas]
Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur [Lexicon of Contemporary German-Language Literature]. Ed. Thomas Kraft. Rev. and updated ed. München: USM, 2005. 1 PC CD-ROM in container + Handbook. 24 cm. (Systhema). ISBN 3-8032-2906-5: EUR 69.90 [06-2-243]
This CD-ROM represents the revised and updated digital version of the Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1945 (see RREA 10:82), which is in turn based on the Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur founded by Hermann Kunisch, which has appeared in numerous paperback editions with the title Neues Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1945 (see RREO 94-1-057). The CD-ROM includes articles on 818 authors. Writers from nearly every genre are included, with the exceptions of television scriptwriters, writers of purely popular literature, and newer feminist authors.
All articles are signed and follow the same pattern: portrait (for many), biographical sketch, prizes, creative periods, and a characterization of their work. In general, they offer a short but good overview of life and work. Some articles appear not to have been updated, as works from recent years are lacking. Articles have a bibliography of significant works, but lack secondary sources. There are, however, web links through which one can find such sources. The search functionality is well constructed and allows the full range of search options.
The full content of the Lexikon is only available after the user registers online, which takes little time. The CD may be used at most on two PCs. This is a useful work, but cannot approach the Kritisches Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (see RREA 9:341) in breadth and depth. [hjb/dsa]
Metzler-Literatur-Chronik: Werke deutschsprachiger Autoren [Metzler’s Literature Chronicle: Works by German-language Authors]. Volker Meid. 3d expanded ed. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2006. 792 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-476-02132-8; ISBN 3-476-02132-7: EUR 19.95 [06-2-244]
This third edition runs to the year 2005 (1st ed., 1994—see RREO 94-2-284) and adds 36 new work characterizations, bringing the total to over 1,200 works. One could argue about the selection and the critical assessments, but Meid’s choices make sense in his context. All eras are represented by their most important works, including philosophical works. Works of women writers could be better represented; for example, of the 158 works listed for the time period 1970-2005, only 28 are by women.
The Literatur-Chronik is a worthwhile aid for students as it makes literary works and periods more accessible, encouraging students to think critically about literature and the canon. From the perspective of a student, however, it is regrettable that the entries lack sources for an available edition of the work as well as citations for relevant secondary literature. General secondary literature, however, as well as indexes for both works and persons, is included. [hjb/dsa]
Goethe in English: A Bibliography of the Translations in the Twentieth Century. Derek Glass. Leeds: Maney, 2005. xix, 345 p. 24 cm. (Modern Humanities Research Association bibliographies, 2). ISBN 978-1-904350-32-3; ISBN 1-904350-32-1: £ 54 [06-2-247]
This exemplary bibliography documents Goethe’s 20th-century reception in the Englishspeaking world via a comprehensive and well-organized inventory of translations into English published in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and throughout the Commonwealth countries. Although confined to works published in the 20th century, the scope extends to 20th-century reprints of 19th-century editions, which has the advantage of drawing renewed attention to important early translators of Goethe, such as Thomas Carlyle, Frederick Gotzberg, and G.H. Noehden, some of whose works Goethe himself knew. Counting reprints and new editions, Glass’s bibliography includes 1,500 titles. Formal bibliographic descriptions are thorough and accurate throughout.
Glass indexes the full range of publication types, from multivolume editions and selected works volumes to editions of individual works and individual translations within anthologies and periodicals; even translations of poems appearing in English-language monographs are covered here. A well-conceived structure and extensive, insightful annotation facilitate the reader’s navigation of the abundance of material. Chapters are organized by genre (e.g., Poems, Verse Epics, Plays, Correspondence), with subsections for the types of publications in which the work appears; within these sections, the translations are ordered chronologically. Glass’s bibliography appeared posthumously and the editors who prepared it for publication were not entirely consistent in reflecting the chapter structure in the column headings, which unfortunately forces the reader to refer back and forth to the table of contents. Glass provides a title index to individual works as well as indexes for translators and editors.
Glass’s bibliography will be a valuable aid to scholars in tracing the historical development and current state of the reception and impact of Goethe’s work in English. The bibliography will also help translators, editors, and publishers identify remaining gaps in the translation of Goethe’s works, as well as translations that are in need of updating. [ss/kw]
Arno Schmidt, Auswahlbibliographie: wissenschaftliche Sekundärliteratur nach Titeln und Themen [Arno Schmidt, Selective Bibliography: Scholarly Secondary Literature by Title and Topic]. Robert Weninger. 2d, expanded ed. München: Edition text + kritik, 2006. 118 p. 21cm. (Bargfelder Bote: Sonderlieferung). Previous title: Arno Schmidt-Bibliographie. ISBN 978-3-88377-854-9: EUR 16 [06-2-248]
This is the second edition of Weninger’s 1995 Arno Schmidt bibliography; it covers the secondary literature on Schmidt published through mid-2006, not including reviews, obituaries, lexicon entries, and similar types of brief articles. Weninger emphasizes the bibliography’s intended “user-friendliness and clarity.” It is divided into fifteen sections, with entries ordered chronologically within the sections: (A) general and introductory treatments; (B) treatments of individual works; (C) treatments of multiple works; (D) biographical material; (E) special topics, literary and biographical; (F) treatments of language, style, aesthetics, structure, technique, etc.; (G) methodological questions, on the critique of the critique, and research reports; (H) statements by and relations with contemporary writers; (I) German-language literature; (J) non-German literature; (K) reception and impact; (L) glossaries, indexes, line-by-line commentaries, etc.; (M) editorial material; (N) bibliographies; (O) websites.
Weninger’s bibliography is considered much easier to search than the Bibliographie Arno Schmidt (Bielefeld, 1994—see RREO 94-3/4-454, RREA 3:132, RREA 5:125, RREA 7:113 RREA 9:87, RREA 10:92), whose author, Karl-Heinz Müther, strives for comprehensiveness. Weninger’s bibliography makes heavy use of abbreviations, but these are easily decipherable. Pagination is not given for monographs. The bibliography does not include an author or subject index, but the latter is not really necessary, given the granular subject structure and the duplication of entries across subject sections. [sh/kw]
Englische Literaturgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts: eine neue Darstellung aus der Sicht der Geschlechterforschung [History of English Literature of the 20th Century: A New Representation from the Perspective of Gender Studies]. Ina Schabert. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2006. xiii, 467 p. 18 cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 397). ISBN: 978-3-520-39701-0; ISBN 3-520-39701-3: EUR 25 [06-2-250]
Ina Schabert, Professor of English Literature in Munich, offers in this volume a history of 20th-century English literature as a dialogue between male and female authors, readers, and critics. Thus, as opposed to a conventional privileging of male authors and male value judgments, she presents a multi-voiced variant taking into consideration gender-studies scholarship. Rather than privileging female authors, though, the volume develops a cultural history of English literature. Following an introductory overview of the history of England in the 20th century and of gender studies scholarship, the main portion of the book proceeds chronologically. The first three decades of the century are characterized as the era of classical modernism; the years 1930-1970 witness the “rise and fall of engaged literature”; the closing decades represent the period of postmodernism. Within the chapters the societal associations of literary form are treated as “hetero-social literary networks.” The volume presents a well-written, jargon-free overview of fundamental literary genres of 20th-century English literature grounded in modern theoretical thinking that encourages reading of this body of work through new eyes. [tk/dfb]
Dictionnaire de la poésie française [Dictionary of French Poetry]. Jacques Charpentreau. Paris: Fayard, 2006. 1,173 p. 25 cm. ISBN 2-213-62485-2: EUR 49 [06-2-250a]
An RREA Original Review by Sue Waterman (Johns Hopkins University)
The author of this vast and useful volume describes his project succinctly in his short introduction: “Ce dictionnaire est un miroir où l’art de la poésie vient se refléter grâce aux poèmes que j’aime.” [This dictionary is a mirror where the art of poetry comes to reflect itself, thanks to the poems that I love.]
Indeed, the entries in this dictionary are amply “illustrated” by many poems of the author’s choosing, from medieval to 21st-century poets. Thus this dictionary, as the author also tells us in his introduction, is pleasant to read or to leaf through (“agréable à lire ou à feuilleter”). One could even call it an anthology, to the extent that every page includes at least one poem. Still, its value lies not in its illustration of French poetry, but rather in its explication of the many genres, mechanics, tropes, rhetorical devices, and schools of French poetry. Entries on individual poets, however, are not included.
As a dictionary, instead of chronological or thematic arrangement, this work takes the very arbitrary order of the alphabet as its structure, so that one can, in the space of a few pages, read about cacophonie, cadaver exquis, cadence, calembour, and calligramme. Hence its intrinsic serendipity makes it exceedingly interesting and fruitful to open the book in any place and begin reading. One can just as easily look up a poetic device, such as imitation, or a genre, such as élégie, and read a detailed history of the term. Both methods of use, perusal and direct look-up, are equally valid, and both yield their own particular rewards.
Each entry is a mini-history of the term. For example, the entry on “Personnification” gives a brief definition of the term and an explanation of how it differs from a similar technique, allegory. It goes back to a very early example in French poetry, Le Roman de la Rose [The Romance of the Rose], describing how it is used in that poem and quoting a brief excerpt. Then it moves up to the 16th century, Ronsard and the Renaissance, again with a description, explanation, and example. Personification in the 18th century (Chenier), 19th century (Hugo and Gautier), and 20th century (Péguy and Aragon) illustrate various aspects of the trope. Thus one is led, chronologically, through French poetry. This organization and content is typical in the entries of this dictionary.
An index at the back lists poets, writers, musicians, painters, and others who have been quoted in the volume or whose works have been used as illustrations in the various entries. Since individual poets are not included as entries in the dictionary, this index is useful for discovering, at a glance, the concepts, themes, and techniques associated with a particular poet. So, for instance, under Guillaume Apollinaire, one finds: “Acrostiche,” “Alexandrin,” “Amour,” “Ballade,” “Bestiaire,” “Calligramme,” “Farce,” “Parodie,” and so on. A table of contents of the terms covered would also be very useful but is lacking. While this might seem redundant, since the entries are in alphabetical order and locating them is thus quite easy, it would be very interesting to see, at a glance, exactly what is (and is not) included in the dictionary, what kinds of terms are defined, and how they fit together.
Still, it is a very important work, a useful tool for any student of French poetry, and one that very assiduously sticks to French poetry, in all its many manifestations and permutations, as the examples are all from French literature and literary history. This deliberate focus allows for a very thorough, synthetic treatment.
There are several recent works that could be compared to this dictionary. The Dictionnaire de poétique [Dictionary of Poetics] by Michel Pougeoise (Paris, 2006) has a similar alphabetical arrangement of poetic terms and devices, figures of rhetoric, and genres. It provides fewer examples of actual poems, less on the history and development of the elements of poetry, and no index, but a convenient system of cross-references and a lengthy preface make it a useful complementary work.
Henri Morier’s Dictionnaire de poétique et de rhétorique [Dictionary of Poetics and Rhetoric], 5th ed. (Paris, 1998) is a massive work, with many diagrams, graphs, and examples in the alphabetical entries, which primarily treat technical poetic terms. One does not find poetic themes here, as in the work under review, but poetry receives a thorough deconstruction into its many elements.
More recently, the Dictionnaire de poésie de Baudelaire à nos jours [Dictionary of Poetry from Baudelaire to the Present], ed. Michel Jarrety (Paris, 2001) has the obvious limitation of date coverage. Its primary focus is on poets (signed entries), in contrast to the other dictionaries mentioned here. It also treats journals and reviews of poetry, schools of poetry, francophone poetry (Africaine, Belge, Québécoise, etc), and a few poetic themes and devices (discontinuité, prosodie, rime, etc.). It is very useful for lesser-known poets.
What makes the Dictionnaire de la poésie française an interesting and important new work is its thorough and chronological treatment of each entry. The examples of poetry accompanying each entry illustrate the continuity inherent in French poetry. From medieval ballades, to romantic ballades, and up to Max Jacob’s and Raymond Queneau’s ballades, a chain is forged among writers of very different styles. If alexandrins were written in the 16th and 17th centuries, so too were they written in the 19th and 20th, and the kinship patterns of French poetry emerge from these juxtapositions. An organic picture of French poetry takes shape and is reinforced with each entry’s weaving of the past to the present.
Dictionnaire du roman policier, 1841-2005 [Dictionary of the Detective Novel, 1641-2005]. Jean Tulard. Paris: Fayard, 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-62590-4; ISBN 2-213-62590-5: EUR 35 [06-2-250b]
An RREA Original Review by Michelle Emanuel (University of Mississippi)
Two years after Claude Mesplède’s definitive, two-volume Dictionnaire des littératures policières [Dictionary of Detective Fiction] (Nantes, 2003), Jean Tulard has produced a single volume that, though more portable, is ultimately a bit disappointing.
Before launching into the dictionary’s entries, Tulard’s introduction considers the development of the detective novel and its subgenres from newspaper (feuilleton) origins in 1841 through the time of the volume’s publication in 2005. The classic detective story, also known as the roman à énigme or whodunit, had become a codified genre before the World Wars, as infamously defined by S.S. Van Dine’s twenty rules (1928), and began to split into subgenres such as hardboiled, suspense, and espionage after 1930. As the Cold War intensified, so did the popularity of espionage novels where guilty parties are punished. The second half of the 20th century saw film adaptations of detective novels as well as more novels by women. Tulard specifically mentions the “queens” of detective fiction, including Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, and P.D. James among others, who contributed to the “féminisation” of the genre. To illustrate the global appeal of detective fiction, he cites an issue of Le magazine littéraire [The Literary Magazine] entitled “Le planète polar” [Detective Planet]. Other French works on the history of the genre, including those, for example, by Régis Messac, Roger Caillois, André Vanoncini, and Mesplède, are also acknowledged. The Bibliothèque des littératures policières (BiLiPo) [Library of Detective Fiction] in Paris, the perfect starting point for any research project on detective fiction, is acknowledged in both the introduction and its own entry.
Tulard’s work considers 164 years of crime fiction, from Perry Mason and Nero Wolf to Hercule Poirot and Jules Maigret, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett to Ruth Rendell and Patricia Cornwell. The author entries include extensive bibliographies and filmographies, with French translations of each title. North-American and European writers dominate most of the entries, with occasional entries from Latin America. Literary giants who have dabbled in the genre, from Guillaume Apollinaire to Julia Kristeva and Robert Louis Stevenson, are also listed and may surprise readers. The title entries are in French with the original language title in parentheses, which can be confusing if looking by title for a non-French work. Each title entry includes a plot summary of varying length.
Unfortunately, however, the entries are plagued by inconsistencies. Tulard’s cutoff dates seem to be inconsistent from entry to entry. Though the volume is touted as including entries through 2005, Patrick Pécherot’s 2003 Belleville-Barcelone (published in Gallimard’s Serie noire, the best-known series of crime fiction in French publishing) is not included, nor is Larry Brown’s death in 2004 acknowledged in his entry. Publishers neither are mentioned in the title entries nor receive their own entries, despite the word “éditeurs” [publishers] on the cover. Series titles are not consistently listed. For example, Léo Malet’s 15-volume Les nouveaux mystères de Paris [The New Mysteries of Paris] is not listed by itself, but each title in the series has its own entry. Yet while Le soleil naît derrière le Louvre [The Sun Rises behind the Louvre] is correctly identified as the first novel of that series, Malet’s best-known novel, Brouillard au pont du Tolbiac [Fog on the Tolbiac Bridge], is not listed as being part of the series. In the entry on Malet, he is not identified as the father of the French roman noir [hardboiled novel], despite having this status in nearly every work cited by Tulard in his introduction. The dictionary’s inconsistencies also extend to unfortunate typos, such as “Luadlum” instead of Ludlum (Robert) in the entry for The Osterman Weekend.
Certain characters, including Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Georges Simenon’s Maigret, and Malet’s Burma, have their own entries. Archetypes such as journalists, lawyers, and serial killers are also listed, yet secretaries—frequently recurring characters—are not. While secretaries such as Malet’s Hélène and Carter Brown’s Mavis are acknowledged in the listing for “femmes [women] detectives,” where is Erle Stanley Gardner’s Della Street? She is mentioned in the entry on Perry Mason but does not have her own entry.
Although the 2,253 entries in Tulard’s Dictionnaire appear to be both credible and well-researched, their inconsistencies keep this study from being the authoritative source described on the back cover. While more compact than previous volumes, it is, ultimately, no match for the exhaustive works of Mesplède and others. Even though this dictionary provides good value for its price, it is not likely to become the preferred choice among reference works on the genre of detective fiction.
Jalons pour un dictionnaire des œuvres littéraires de langue française des pays du Maghreb [Preliminary Markers for a Dictionary of French-Language Literary Works of the Countries of Northwest Africa]. Ed. Ambroise Kom. Paris: L’Harmattan, c2006. 418 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-2-296-01698-9; ISBN 2-296-01698-7: EUR 29 [06-2-250c]
An RREA Original Review by Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley (Tulane University)
This work completes a three-volume dictionary project that began with Le dictionnaire des œuvres littéraires de langue française en Afrique au sud du Sahara [The Dictionary of French-Language Literary Works in Sub-Saharan Africa] (2 vols. San Francisco, 1996). As the preface and the term jalons in its title both indicate, these compilations do not claim to be exhaustive, but rather to allow for an appreciation of the depth and range of African francophone literatures and to provide a basis for their general history, in the context of that continent’s social and political history. The editor of all three volumes, Ambroise Kom (College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.), is the author and editor of numerous works on francophone, African, and African diaspora literatures.
The dictionary covers works of 20th-century francophone authors who live or lived in Northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia)—the Maghreb—including some of French descent (e.g., Annie Cohen, Jean Sénac, and Alain Vircondelet), as well as authors of North African background living in France, such as Tahar Ben Jelloun and Nina Bouraoui. Numerous women authors are discussed. The selection includes representative works of not only well-known authors (for example, Driss Chraïbi and Assia Djebar) but also a number of lesser-known ones, e.g., Jélila Hafsia and Amina Llassam. Various genres are represented, predominantly novels; the scope interprets literature broadly to include autobiographical accounts, published correspondence, and so forth, and to discuss popular detective fiction and children’s books as well as challenging metaphysical novels and densely allusive poetry.
Following a preface that briefly summarizes literary themes reflecting social, political, and cultural developments in the Maghreb and among North African immigrants in France, the main body of this dictionary is arranged alphabetically by title of work. Alphabetical indexes are provided for literary authors, contributors to the dictionary, and genres, in addition to a final table of contents by title.
The entries, all in French, typically range in length from one and one-half to three pages. Each one begins with a citation of the title, place of publication, publisher, date of first edition, pagination, genre, and name of author; pseudonyms are followed by real names. Years and countries of birth are generally given. A brief synopsis and identification of characters follow, together with an analysis of the literary and social significance of the work. Some entries refer to the place of the title in the author’s body of work, the circumstances of its writing, the literary current or models that influenced it, or other brief background considered relevant to understanding it. Occasional quotations are given, primarily for poetry. Citations of secondary sources are sometimes included within the discussions, but not as bibliographical listings. Every entry ends with the full name of its contributor, a handy feature that saves having to consult a list of initials.
The arrangement by individual literary work may seem an unexpected choice in place of the common grouping by author. Using the valuable author index, one can reconstruct a more composite discussion of a writer’s literary corpus—but the work of doing so is left to the reader. Apart from basic information on dates and places of birth and death, biographical information is inconsistently provided and may be scattered among multiple entries, as is the case, for example, with Sénac. Still, the focus on literary works has advantages, as it provides a full treatment of each title and allows for varying perspectives on authors, such as Rachid Boudjedra, whose works are discussed by different critics.
Individual entries sometimes appear to presuppose familiarity with the author, raising some question about the appropriate audience. For example, the discussion of Les eaux d’arrière-saison [The Waters of Late Autumn] begins by saying that Albert Bensoussen remains faithful to the first-person narrative choice so characteristic of him. A more serious reservation is the limited amount of general historical and cultural background given. The entries frequently allude to specific historical events, social trends, and ethnic subcultures without providing background information adequate for a reader unfamiliar with North African history and culture. While themes and approaches common in postcolonial criticism are well represented, more explanation of reasons for arabophone writers to choose French as a literary language would also have benefited users unfamiliar with this salient issue.
From their names, the contributors appear to be of diverse ethnic and national backgrounds; examples include Chantal Abouchar, Stephen Bishop, Guy Dugas, Lila Ibrahim, Adelaida Porras Medrano, Ambroise Têko-Agbo, and Gunther Verheyen. Information on their affiliations and areas of expertise would have been helpful. Author and contributor names are apparently based on the most common French spelling. In the indexes, cross-references with variant transliterations from the Arabic would have been ideal (e.g., from Ibn Ṣalāḥ, Rafīk to Ben Salah, Rafik; from Zaytūnī, Aḥmad to Zitouni, Ahmed). However, their lack is not a major problem, since the indexes are fairly brief.
Given the growing prominence of French-language African literature, in France and elsewhere, and the significance of Northwest Africa in French history and contemporary society, Jalons pour un dictionnaire des œuvres littéraires de langue française des pays du Maghreb addresses an important literary and cultural area. It succeeds admirably in its stated objective of illustrating the range and depth of francophone literature by authors in or from the Maghreb and in providing interesting, concise discussions of literary works. It is notable for its attention to lesser-known authors. Within its self-defined limits, this compilation would be useful as an introduction to the field. However, for many North American users, it would need to be supplemented by sources on the general history and culture of the 20th-century Maghreb.
This critical dictionary would complement Jean Déjeux’s Dictionnaire des auteurs maghrébins de langue française (Paris, 1984), which covers non-literary as well as literary works and is arranged differently—by country, then author—but which includes only occasional, one-paragraph annotations. Jalons is more current, as it discusses numerous works from the later 1990s, whereas Déjeux’s dictionary only covers works published through 1982.
Mondes francophones: auteurs et livres de langue française depuis 1990 [French-Speaking Worlds: French-Language Authors and Books since 1990]. Ed. Dominique Wolton. Paris: ADPF, Association pour la diffusion de la pensée française, 2006. 734 p. 24 cm. ISBN 2-914935-71-4; ISBN 978-2-914935-71-5: EUR 23 [06-2-250d]
An RREA Original Review by Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley (Tulane University)
This wide-ranging resource covers 4,360 authors and 4,650 French-language works in 133 countries on five continents, in literature, social sciences, and the humanities. While the imprints range from 1990 through 2005, the original year of a work’s publication could be earlier, for example, the 19th century. Bilingual editions, e.g., Dictionnaire français-khmer [French-Khmer Dictionary] (Paris, 2001), are included, as are translations, such as a 2005 anthology of South Asian Indian literatures translated into French.
Its stated purpose is to serve as an information and reference tool on the current state of francophone book publishing. In fact, the scope extends beyond books to include websites—including the joint LC/BNF La France en Amérique / France in America—in addition to directories of some media, educational, and research resources, such as CODOFIL, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.
An introductory discussion and list of general works on French-language writing provides general background. The main content is geographically organized, first by continent or region (for example, Latin America, the Indian Ocean region, and the Maghreb), then by country, sometimes concentrating on particular parts of a country, such as Québec within Canada, but without neglecting other areas of it. The editors make a point of including in their survey France and other European countries, which are not always incorporated into discussions of francophone writing.
Each section begins with a concise historical, interpretive, and bibliographic essay (or, occasionally, set of essays), to put recent publishing developments in each region into context. The main content consists of annotated bibliographies, with citations giving author, title, imprint, pagination, ISBN, date of current edition, and date of first edition when different. Annotations are brief, usually a single sentence to a paragraph.
Bibliographies cite both well-known and less well-known authors. For example, under Guadeloupe and Martinique, Aimé Césaire and Patrick Chamoiseau are each extensively represented; at the same time, one entry is given to Marise Fidore-Parichon and one to Eric Pezo, for his first novel. Authors are generally listed by their primary country of affiliation or origin, not necessarily their current country of residence or the place of publication, which frequently is Paris. For example, Joseph Mélèz-Modrzejewski, currently a professor at the Ecole pratique des hautes études de Paris and author of a historical work published by the Presses universitaires de France, is listed under Poland. French-language works of authors who did not write exclusively in French are included (e.g., Samuel Beckett under Ireland). In some cases, the person functioned as an editor rather than as an author, illustrated under Italy, where Giovanni Bonaccorso is cited for an edition of manuscripts of Flaubert published in Messina in 1995. The intent thus appears to have been to cast as wide a net as possible.
Currency has also been considered important. Quite recent publications are frequently cited, including a 2005 work by Equatorial Guinea author Donato Ndongo Bidjgo, and discussions cover, for example, the growth of Haitian French publishing in Miami.
Towards the end is a chronology, in reverse date order, summarizing key developments from 2006 to 1880, the year of the invention of the term “francophone.” The index consists chiefly of personal names; it includes a few institutions and serial publications (e.g., Annuaire du spectacle de la Communauté française de Belgique [Performing Arts Annual of the French Community of Belgium]) but no monographic titles or topics.
The publisher, Association pour la diffusion de la pensée française [Association for the Diffusion of French Thought], is a unit of the French government. The chief editor, Dominique Wolton (CNRS), was assisted by a group of 22 researchers and academics around the world, who are listed at the end with their affiliations and major areas of research and academic activity. Many, but not all, live in French-speaking countries.
The value of Mondes francophones lies considerably in its impressive scope and number of entries; even if some of the selections for inclusion may be surprising, they can be thought-provoking. Its quick-reference bibliographies are packed with citations and information, while the essays provide useful concise overviews of literary developments in the francophone world since 1990, valuable for reading and reflection. Furthermore, its compilers have made a serious effort to be as current as possible for a print publication. Mondes francophones appears to have no real equivalent in both scope and currency.
Given the quantity and density of content, title and subject indexes would have been helpful, particularly for locating entries for books when the user does not know the author’s name, as well as for identifying common trends and themes across regions—although a closing essay helps to pull them together to some extent. Despite this reservation, this ambitious project is to be applauded, and this resource can be recommended for academic collections, even those that do not focus on supporting extensive francophone programs.
Clavis scriptorum Latinorum Medii Aevi: Auctores Italiae (700-1000) [Key to Latin Writers of the Middle Ages: Authors in Italy (700-1000)]. Ed. Benedetta Valtorta. Firenze: SISMEL, Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2006. xxv, 307 p. 25 cm. ISBN 978-88-8450-225-4: EUR 58 [06-2-250e]
An RREA Original Review by Thomas M. Izbicki (Rutgers University)
This work is a bio-bibliography of Latin authors who worked in Italy between 700 and 1000 CE, arranged alphabetically by name of author. It was conceived as one of a series of works continuing the third edition of Eligius Dekkers and Emil Gaar’s Clavis patrum Latinorum: qua in Corpus Christianorum edendum optimas quasque scriptorum recensiones a Tertulliano ad Bedam [Key to the Latin Fathers from Tertullian to Bede to be Edited Best in Corpus Christianorum] (Steenbrugis, 1995). Authors who wrote in Italy within the range of years stated in the title are treated, even if they were not born in that region.
A brief biographical note for each author is followed by information on each of his works. Individual works are listed with excerpts from their openings and closings; lists of known manuscripts, including notes about known copies now lost; lists of known editions; and references to translations into Italian, French, English, or German. Use of this volume requires frequent consultation of the extensive tables of abbreviation in the front, as well as use of the indexes by authors-titles, manuscripts, and hagiographic texts, which are given their identifiers in Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina [Library of Latin Hagiography].
Der russische Gedichtzyklus: ein Handbuch [The Russian Poem Cycle: A Handbook]. Ed. Reinhard Ibler, Andrea Uhlig, and Valerius Beikel. Heidelberg: Winter, 2006. xix, 556 p. 22 cm. (Beiträge zur slavischen Philologie, 14). ISBN 3-8253-5253-6: EUR 65 [06-2-258]
This collection approaches Russian poetry from an unusual angle, presenting not single poems but the context in which they were placed by the author. Edited by a prominent scholar of the poetry cycle in Slavic literatures, it endeavors to draw attention to this often underappreciated literary phenomenon. Poetic cycles dating from the 18th century up to the modern times are presented lucidly and with a considerable amount of detail. Individual poems are seen to gain wider significance from the context of the whole cycle and from the order in which they appear in it. This should be factored in while interpreting and analyzing them.
The earliest cycles in modern Russian poetry were written by V.K. Trediakovskii (17031769). The genre steadily gained in significance throughout the 19th century, with notable examples produced by Batiushkov, Pushkin, Nekrasov et al. But it was in the modern times, between the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century that the cyclical genre reached its peak, although Soviet literary criticism often disparaged these experimental works as “formalistic”.
The relative significance of cycles in different literary epochs is reflected in the amount of space dedicated to those periods in the collection. While the first section, From classicism to Romanticism (mid 18th century-1830s) occupies just 49 pages, the subsequent ones (Post-Romanticism and Realism (1840s-1880s), Early Modern Period (End of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century), The Avant-garde (1910s-1930s) grow progressively larger. For example, the chapter on the Avant-garde takes up 159 pages. The last section, Modern Poetry (since the Second World War), is only 50 pages long.
In accordance with the definition of “handbook,” the chronologically arranged articles within each section have the same basic structure. After the author’s names and dates of birth and death follow selected poetry cycles, accompanied by detailed information about the history of their creation and publication and a discussion of textual variants. Next comes a lengthy interpretative essay, which attempts to bring out the overreaching theme of each cycle. The articles conclude with a brief list of references.
The volume is successful in producing a dependable overview of the genre through a judicious and representative selection of works. This significant contribution to literary studies is at the same time an accessible presentation of the Russian poetic cycle for the general public. [ks/as]
Diccionario literario Bompiani: de obras y personajes de todos los tiempos y de todos los países [Bompiani Literary Dictionary of Works and Characters from All Periods and Countries]. Ed. Martín de Riquer. 6th ed. 10 vols. Barcelona: Hora, 2006. 23 cm. ISBN 978-8-48595-002-7; ISBN 8-48595-002-X (set): EUR 500 [06-2-258a]
Diccionario Bompiani de autores: de todos los tiempos y de todos los países [Bompiani Dictionary of Authors of All Periods and Countries]. 6th ed. 3 vols. Barcelona: Hora, 2005. 23 cm. ISBN 978-8-48595-086-7; ISBN 8-48595-086-0 (set): EUR 110.58 [06-2-258b]
An RREA Original Review by Jeffry Larson (Yale University)
The Diccionario literario Bompiani (DLB) and its complementary Diccionario Bompiani de autores (DBA) are a translation/adaptation by a team of Spanish scholars (listed in the preface) of the original Italian works Dizionario letterario Bompiani delle opere e dei personaggi di tutti i tempi e di tutte le letterature and Dizionario letterario Bompiani degli autori di tutti i tempi e di tutte le letterature, which are annotated in Balay’s Guide to Reference Books (BE63). It is impossible to assess the amount of rewriting in 13 volumes. The scope of the works covered is quite wide, embracing not only literary and non-literary writings, but also other art forms, such as music and the fine arts— but not film (as is true of the Italian original). Entries in this DLB, all signed, give publication information, content analysis (synopses for literary works), and considered critical assessments, but no systematic references to secondary sources. Its ninth volume is devoted to characters, while its 10th volume omits the 200-page tabular synoptic chronology found in the Italian original but contains an index of original (non-Spanish) titles, a separate index of Greek titles, and an index of authors.
The DBA provides brief bio-bibliographies of the authors, offering more information about works not covered in the DLB. Unfortunately, Fernando Pessoa’s “heteronyms”— the poets he invented under the names of Alberto Caeiro, álvaro de Campos, and Ricardo Reis—make it into neither the volumes on authors nor the one for characters, even though the entry under Poesias de Pessoa in the DLB finds them to be “como personas reales” [like real persons].
The editors claim selectivity in covering living authors. The additions in content have been largely in the Hispanic domain, but not exclusively (for example, some medieval Arabic authors). Thus, there is the insertion of works by such contemporary Peninsular writers as Arrabal, Umbral, Gala, Tusquets, Felix Grande, Janés, Moix, Rodoreda, Mendoza, Azua, Gimferrer, Colinas, and Savater, and by such recent Spanish American authors as Vargas Llosa, Bryce Echnique, Fuentes, Cabrera Infante, Benedetti, Ramírez, Allende, Edwards, Roa Bastos, Esquivel, Cardenal, and Peri Rossi. These Hispanic authors are presumably the major reason most readers in the Western Hemisphere will consult this edition. In compensation, a few minor Italian authors and their works have been excised.
The DBA glosses over biographical controversy. For example, omitted are recent allegations of Silone’s role as a double-agent for the fascists, the responsibility of Spanish Nationalists for the murder of García Lorca, and the homosexual context of Pasolini’s death, while García Marquez’ revolutionary views are mentioned only in passing. The DLB does cover, as did the Italian edition, two works by “Che” Guevara, but nothing by his mentor, Fidel Castro, not even La Historia me absolverá [History Will Absolve Me].
The descriptions of works in the main volumes are particularly difficult to replicate in their totality. Still, much of the bio-bibliographical information for Hispanicists is available in such works as Navarro Durán’s Enciclopedia de escritores en lengua castellana [Encyclopedia of Writers in Castilian Spanish] (Barcelona, 2000), the Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003 (London, 2004), Verity Smith’s Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature (London, 1997; concise ed., 2000), and the 3-volume Diccionario enciclopédico de las letras de América Latina [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Latin American Letters] (Caracas, 1995), or on such as sites as the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes [Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library—http://www.cervantesvirtual.com]. Consequently, given the present harsh budgetary climate, this costly resource may well not find the market it would otherwise deserve. Recommended with reservations, mainly budgetary.
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