Published in Journal of Hispanic Philology 6.1 (Autumn, 1981 ), 73-74.
James R. Chatham and Carmen C. McClendon, with the collaboration of Enrique Ruiz-Fornells and Sara Matthews Scales. Dissertations in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. An Index of Dissertations Completed in the United States and Canada. Volume Two: 1967-1977. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1981.
In 1970, Chatham and Ruiz-Fornells published the first volume of this reference work, in which they indexed th 1783 dissertations on Hispanic languages and literatures completed between 1876 and 1966. In a review published of that volume (in Hispanófila, No. 47 , 89-90], I commended the compilers for their care and accuracy, which led to an exceptionally useful volume. In this second volume, covering 3527 dissertations, the compilers have produced a tome equally as accurate and, in this reviewers opinion, even more useful. We Hispanists can congratulate ourselves, once we have finished thanking the compilers for their efforts, on having a reference work available for which there is no equivalent in most other fields.
That American dissertations are adequately indexed in the Cumulative Dissertation Index is a common, though unfortunately inaccurate notion. That index, which contains more errors than its sophisticated production methods would suggest, is merely a mechanical index of titles. Since titles are often not completely accurate descriptions of contents (think of De la edad conflictiva, Hacia Cervantes, or Materia Mirabile, to cite some recent books), a title index is of limited value. Chatham and McClendon have incorporated in this work a painstaking analytical index. Gestures and Physical Phrases in Medieval Castilian Epic Poetry, for example, in indexed under phrases, medieval, epic, gestures, and poetry, Spanish, early. The compilers have helpfully systematized the references to literary works by placing these all under the author, with cross-references from every title.
A few more cross-references, however, would have been useful. It is helpful to find Hazel Généreux Carrascos edition of the Guitón Honofre indexed under picaresque, but some neophyte might well have found it useful for there also to be a reference at picaresque to the Lazarillo. Género chico should have been indexed under zarzuela. Many interested in chivalric literature might look under Amadís, but few would think to look under Cirongilio, and thus would miss Ray Greens edition, which would not be the case if it were found under chivalric literature.
Nevertheless, this index will turn up surprises for the scholar under almost any major topic, especially since many dissertations on topics not commonly thought to deal with Hispanic literature Mexico, Modern Literature, and the Search for Soul, The Treatment of Music in the German Picaresque Baroque Novel) are included. [p. 74]
As in the previous compilation, reference is made to the published version fo dissertations whenever this information has come to the compilers attention. Since the published version of a dissertation is almost always more useful than its original form (a fact almost willfully ignored by University Microfilms, which sells unsuspecting libraries packaged sets of dissertations), this information, available from no other source, doubles the value of this book. A few additions: D-10 should include reference to the editors critical edition, Madrid: José Porrúa Turanzas, 1975. T-79 was published by Puvill in 1979. C-47 should include a reference to the Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Texts and Concordances publication, which includes, I believe, this edition. Under M-16 a reference should be made to the authors El salvaje y la mitología, el arte y la religión (Miami: Universal, 1975).
This is a volume which, like its predecessor, belongs in any library which will be used for research on Hispanic topics.