Red on Red

Author: Craig S. Womack
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816630226
Format: PDF, ePub
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How can a square peg fit into a round hole? It can't. How can a door be unlocked with a pencil? It can't. How can Native literature be read applying conventional postmodern literary criticism? It can't. That is Craig Womack's argument in Red on Red. Indian communities have their own intellectual and cultural traditions that are well equipped to analyze Native literary production. These traditions should be the eyes through which the texts are viewed. To analyze a Native text with the methods currently dominant in the academy, according to the author, is like studying the stars with a magnifying glass. In an unconventional and piercingly humorous appeal, Womack creates a dialogue between essays on Native literature and fictional letters from Creek characters who comment on the essays. Through this conceit, Womack demonstrates an alternative approach to American Indian literature, with the letters serving as a "Creek chorus" that offers answers to the questions raised in his more traditional essays. Topics range from a comparison of contemporary oral versions of Creek stories and the translations of those stories dating back to the early twentieth century, to a queer reading of Cherokee author Lynn Riggs's play The Cherokee Night. Womack argues that the meaning of works by native peoples inevitably changes through evaluation by the dominant culture. Red on Red is a call for self-determination on the part of Native writers and a demonstration of an important new approach to studying Native works -- one that engages not only the literature, but also the community from which the work grew.

The Voice in the Margin

Author: Arnold Krupat
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520068278
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Argues that native American writers should be included in the body of American literature

Art as performance story as criticism

Author: Craig S. Womack
Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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Pick up a work of typical literary criticism and you know what to expect: prose that is dry, pedantic, well-meaning but tedious-slow-going and essentially humorless. But why should that be so? Why can't more literary criticism have a political edge and be engaging and fast-paced? Why can't it include drama, personal narrative, and even humor? Why can't criticism become an artistic performance, rather than just a discussion of art? Art as Performance, Story as Criticismis Craig Womack's answer to these questions. Inventive and often outrageous, the book turns traditional literary criticism on its head, rejecting distanced, purely theoretical argumentation for intimate engagement with literary works. Focusing on Native American literature, Womack mixes forms and styles. He is unafraid to combine meticulous research and carefully considered historical perspectives with personal reactions and reflections. The book opens with a short story, ;The Song of Roe Náld, ; in which a Native filmmaker loses control of his movie project, in part because of his homoerotic attraction to its star. The following chapters, or ;mus(e)ings, ; include original dramas, while others more closely resemble traditional literary criticism, such as essays discussing the lesser-known plays of Lynn Riggs and the stories of Durango Mendoza. Still other chapters defy easy categorization, such as the piece ;Caught in the Current, Clinging to a Twig, ; in which Womack interweaves historical analysis of the state of the Creek Nation in 1908 with a vivid recreation of the last day on earth of Creek poet Alexander Posey. Throughout the book, the author offers his take on such controversial issues as the Cherokee freedmen issue and the ban on gay marriage. In being different, Womack seeks to breathe new life into literary analysis and in-troduce criticism to a wider audience. Radical, groundbreaking, and refreshing, Art as Performance, Story as Criticismreinvents literary criticism for the twenty-first century.

The Native American Renaissance

Author: Alan R. Velie
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806151315
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The outpouring of Native American literature that followed the publication of N. Scott Momaday’s Pulitzer Prize–winning House Made of Dawn in 1968 continues unabated. Fiction and poetry, autobiography and discursive writing from such writers as James Welch, Gerald Vizenor, and Leslie Marmon Silko constitute what critic Kenneth Lincoln in 1983 termed the Native American Renaissance. This collection of essays takes the measure of that efflorescence. The contributors scrutinize writers from Momaday to Sherman Alexie, analyzing works by Native women, First Nations Canadian writers, postmodernists, and such theorists as Robert Warrior, Jace Weaver, and Craig Womack. Weaver’s own examination of the development of Native literary criticism since 1968 focuses on Native American literary nationalism. Alan R. Velie turns to the achievement of Momaday to examine the ways Native novelists have influenced one another. Post-renaissance and postmodern writers are discussed in company with newer writers such as Gordon Henry, Jr., and D. L. Birchfield. Critical essays discuss the poetry of Simon Ortiz, Kimberly Blaeser, Diane Glancy, Luci Tapahonso, and Ray A. Young Bear, as well as the life writings of Janet Campbell Hale, Carter Revard, and Jim Barnes. An essay on Native drama examines the work of Hanay Geiogamah, the Native American Theater Ensemble, and Spider Woman Theatre. In the volume’s concluding essay, Kenneth Lincoln reflects on the history of the Native American Renaissance up to and beyond his seminal work, and discusses Native literature’s legacy and future. The essays collected here underscore the vitality of Native American literature and the need for debate on theory and ideology.

Native American Literature

Author: Sean Teuton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199944520
Format: PDF, ePub
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North American Indigenous literature began over thirty thousand years ago when Indigenous people began telling stories of emergence and creation, journey and quest, and heroism and trickery. By setting Indigenous literature in historical moments, Sean Teuton skillfully traces its evolution from the ancient role of bringing rain and healing the body, to its later purpose in resisting European invasion and colonization, into its current place as a world literature that confronts dominance while celebrating the imagination and resilience of Indigenous lives. By the time Europeans arrived in North America Indigenous people already understood the power of written language and the need to transmit philosophy, history, and literature across generations and peoples. Seeking out multiple literary forms such as sermon, poetry, and novel to serve differing worldviews Indigenous authors have shaped their writing into North American Indigenous literature as we recognize it today. In this lucid narrative, Sean Teuton leads readers into Indigenous worlds. He describes the invention of a written Indigenous language, the first Indigenous language newspaper, and the literary occupation of Alcatraz Island. Along the way readers encounter the diversity of Indigenous peoples who, owing to their differing lands, livelihoods, and customs, molded literature to a nation's specific needs. As Teuton shows, Indigenous literature is one of the best places for understanding Indigenous views about land and society and the role of humanity in the cosmos. In turning to celebrated contemporary authors such as Thomas King, Leslie Silko, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and James Welch, Teuton demonstrates that, like Indigenous people, Indigenous literature continues to survive because it adapts, both honoring the past and reaching for the future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Drowning in Fire

Author: Craig S. Womack
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816521685
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Josh Henneha has always been a traveler, drowning in dreams, burning with desires. As a young boy growing up within the Muskogee Creek Nation in rural Oklahoma, Josh experiences a yearning for something he cannot tame. Quiet and skinny and shy, he feels out of place, at once inflamed and ashamed by his attraction to other boys. Driven by a need to understand himself and his history, Josh struggles to reconcile the conflicting voices he hearsÑfrom the messages of sin and scorn of the non-Indian Christian churches his parents attend in order to assimilate, to the powerful stories of his older Creek relatives, which have been the center of his upbringing, memory, and ongoing experience. In his fevered and passionate dreams, Josh catches a glimpse of something that makes the Muskogee Creek world come alive. Lifted by his great-aunt LucilleÕs tales of her own wild girlhood, Josh learns to fly back through time, to relive his peopleÕs history, and uncover a hidden legacy of triumphs and betrayals, ceremonies and secrets he can forge into a new sense of himself. When as a man, Josh rediscovers the boyhood friend who first stirred his desires, he realizes a transcendent love that helps take him even deeper into the Creek world he has explored all along in his imagination. Interweaving past and present, history and story, explicit realism and dreamlike visions, Craig WomackÕs Drowning in Fire explores a young manÕs journey to understand his cultural and sexual identity within a framework drawn from the community of his origins. A groundbreaking and provocative coming-of-age story, Drowning in Fire is a vividly realized novel by an impressive literary talent.

The Common Pot

Author: Lisa Tanya Brooks
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816647836
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Literary critics frequently portray early Native American writers either as individuals caught between two worlds or as subjects who, even as they defied the colonial world, struggled to exist within it. In striking counterpoint to these analyses, Lisa Brooks demonstrates the ways in which Native leadersa including Samson Occom, Joseph Brant, Hendrick Aupaumut, and William Apessa adopted writing as a tool to reclaim rights and land in the Native networks of what is now the northeastern United States.

Our Fire Survives the Storm

Author: Daniel Heath Justice
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816646395
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Once the most powerful indigenous nation in the southeastern United States, the Cherokees survive and thrive as a people nearly two centuries after the Trail of Tears and a hundred years after the allotment of Indian Territory. In Our Fire Survives the Storm, Daniel Heath Justice traces the expression of Cherokee identity in that nation’s literary tradition. Through cycles of war and peace, resistance and assimilation, trauma and regeneration, Cherokees have long debated what it means to be Cherokee through protest writings, memoirs, fiction, and retellings of traditional stories. Justice employs the Chickamauga consciousness of resistance and Beloved Path of engagement—theoretical approaches that have emerged out of Cherokee social history—to interpret diverse texts composed in English, a language embraced by many as a tool of both access and defiance. Justice’s analysis ultimately locates the Cherokees as a people of many perspectives, many bloods, mingled into a collective sense of nationhood. Just as the oral traditions of the Cherokee people reflect the living realities and concerns of those who share them, Justice concludes, so too is their literary tradition a textual testament to Cherokee endurance and vitality. Daniel Heath Justice is assistant professor of aboriginal literatures at the University of Toronto.