In Search of Sunjata: The Mande Oral Epic as History, Literature, and Performance (review)

In Search of Sunjata: The Mande Oral Epic as History, Literature, and Performance (review) given its elliptical presentation, readers unfamiliar with Goodrich will as likely be confused as engaged by it. Essay collections are nothing if not leaps of faith. Editors imagine the results, but do not control them. In several ways, however, Kahn and Hutson could have made things easier for their readers. A firmer editorial hand would have discouraged pieces written to specialist rather than to broader audiences. Imposing and explaining some organizational scheme would have helped readers see the threads connecting one essay to another. An introduction providing a foundation in the earlier histories of rhetoric and law would probably have been more useful than one focused on recent critical trends. And in a collection premised on an `and,' the editors could have made a more explicit case for why the `and' matters, why intertwining rhetoric and law will help scholars generally better understand the early modern West. These changes would have made the collection more accessible, but that is not to suggest that readers should steer clear. This is an important intervention in an under-studied area. Its best essays are superb and every one offers scholars something new to think about. Cynthia Herrup Duke University In Search of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

In Search of Sunjata: The Mande Oral Epic as History, Literature, and Performance (review)

Comparative Literature Studies, Volume 40 (3) – Feb 9, 2003

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4212
Publisher site
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Abstract

given its elliptical presentation, readers unfamiliar with Goodrich will as likely be confused as engaged by it. Essay collections are nothing if not leaps of faith. Editors imagine the results, but do not control them. In several ways, however, Kahn and Hutson could have made things easier for their readers. A firmer editorial hand would have discouraged pieces written to specialist rather than to broader audiences. Imposing and explaining some organizational scheme would have helped readers see the threads connecting one essay to another. An introduction providing a foundation in the earlier histories of rhetoric and law would probably have been more useful than one focused on recent critical trends. And in a collection premised on an `and,' the editors could have made a more explicit case for why the `and' matters, why intertwining rhetoric and law will help scholars generally better understand the early modern West. These changes would have made the collection more accessible, but that is not to suggest that readers should steer clear. This is an important intervention in an under-studied area. Its best essays are superb and every one offers scholars something new to think about. Cynthia Herrup Duke University In Search of

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Feb 9, 2003

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