Past Issues

Spring 2003, Volume 36, Number 1

Rtmark: Viral Activism and the Meaning of "Post-Identity"

Dennis W. Allen

Rtmark is only the tip of the iceberg of a loosely configured network of culture jammers and anti-corporate anarcho-activists, ranging from San Francisco's Billboard Liberation Front, which, as its name suggests, alters billboards to reflect anti-corporate messages, to Adbusters, the Vancouver-based quarterly edited by Kalle Lasn that encourages what Lasn calls "meme warfare," to Whirlmart, a group that takes over megastores, pushing empty shopping carts through the aisles in a "reclamation" of the space of capitalism.

Deleuze/Parnet in Dialogues: The Folds of Post-Identity

Charles J. Stivale

As a result of overlap and folding of thoughts and concepts shared by two interlocutors who are in fact a crowd, an in-between of thought comes to the fore through the folds of friendship, that is, through the resonances, differences, and repetitions available only within the intimacy of mediation.

What Remains: (De)composing and (Re)covering American Identity in As I Lay Dying and the Georgia Crematory Scandal

Jessica Baldanzi and Kyle Schlabach

While most American historiography works to compose coherent narratives out of what's been decomposed, just as the forensic experts in Georgis are composing the identities of the corpses and the stories of their pasts, many celebrated American literary classics work in the opposite direction, to decompose seemingly coherent national narratives.

Becoming Minoritarian: Post-Identity in Toni Morrison's Jazz

Christa Albrecht-Crane

The dynamic of the city, its music, its dancing, the joy of spring and sunshine suggest an uncontainable energy that can be felt at street corners, in shops, in houses, on playgrounds, and in people's minds. This energy emerges from within social stratification and, not without acknowledging the pain and misery of social oppression, reveals that more is at work than subjectification.

Applause and Hiss: Implicating the Audience in Samuel Beckett's Rockaby and Catastrophe

Craig N. Owens

Samuel Beckett's plays Rockaby (1980) and Catastrophe (1982), performed as part of the President's Forum at the 2002 M/MLA convention in Minneapolis, dislodge the subject from its moorings in place and time by dislodging the actors from their moorings in the actor's method.

"I find / I found myself / and / nothing / more than that": Textuality, Visuality, and the Production of Subjectivity in Tom Phillips' A Humument

James L. Maynard

By illustrating each page of W. H. Mallock's 1892 novel, A Human Document, so that only select clusters and rivers of the original words are still visible, Phillips reorients the reader's attention to the page as a material frame for the construction of meaning and subjectivity.

Virgin Doves: Dryden's Poems to Women

Kevin J. Gardner

As the duchess creates harmony out of political discord, so also she creates poetic harmony out of the cankered discord of Dryden's harsh velar ("k") and alveolar ("d") stops.

Dead Authors, Born Readers, and Defunct Critics: Investigating Ambiguous Critical Identitites in A.S. Byatt's Possession

Ann Marie Adams

What critics have been less likely to recognize is how this seemingly liberatory work actively constrains the narrative pleasures it affords.

The English Discipline in the 1990s and Beyond: Perspectives of a New Graduate Student

Gregory Nicholson

Those who decry the over-professionalization of graduate students may be correct in asserting that we are not knowledgeable enough or mature enough for publication, but they do us a disservice if they would deny us the opportunity to have knowledge of or involvement in the current state of the discipline.

Book Reviews

The Soledades, Gongora's Masque of the Imagination. By Marsha S. Collins. (Alexander J. McNair)

Since their earliest manuscript dissemination in the court circles of Philip III (1612-1614), Luis de Gongora's Soledades have been the object of admiration and derision.

The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson. Edited by Wendy Martin. (Karen Lee Osborne)

Scholars will find another bit of encouragement to reconsider Dickinson's work as imbricated in materiality, as a cultural production rather than exclusively the product of an isolated poetic genius.

Constructing Mark Twain: New Directions in Scholarship. Edited by Laura E. Skandera Trombley and Michael J. Kiskis.

A Historical Guide to Mark Twain. Edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin. (Mary Uhl)

Do the essays in these collections offer the fresh perspectives and iconoclastic thought that Hamlin Hill once called for?

Flannery O'Connor: A Life. By Jean W. Cash. (Marshall Bruce Gentry)

Cash prefers relating Flannery's more charming departures from sainthood, such as the moments when she shocked Kate Flannery Semmes, showing up at Semmes' house to show off a childhood dancing outfit with her mouth filled with snuff, or failing to notify Semmes about the contents of her first novel. Semmes spent days in bed to recover from the shock of Wise Blood and then sent formal apologies to each of the clergymen she had given copies.

John Guare: A Research and Production Sourcebook. By Jane Kathleen Curry. (Gene A. Plunka)

Particularly impressive is Curry's research conducted at the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, where she was able to read Guare's unpublished plays: Did You Write My Name in the Snow?, The Golden Cherub, Manna from Heaven, A New Me, The Thirties Girl, The Toadstool Boy, and To Wally Pantoni We Leave a Credenza.

The Future of Foreign Language Education in the United States. Edited by Terry A. Osborn. (Julie A. Lirot)

With profound budget crises, universities are faced with cutbacks that continue to reflect the results of political, social, and cultural power struggles through the historic selection of which languages are to be offered and which will disappear from curricula, perhaps forever.