Native American Literature: Towards a Spatialized Reading by Helen May Dennis

By Helen May Dennis

Native American Literature underwent a Renaissance round 1968, and the present canon of novels written within the past due 20th century in American English via local American or mixed-blood authors is assorted, interesting and flourishing. regardless of this, only a few such novels are authorised as a part of the wider American literary canon.

This publication bargains a worthy and unique method of modern local American literature. Dennis’s contemplation of house and spatialized aesthetics is compelling and persuasive. Considering local American literature inside of a modernist framework, and evaluating it with writers corresponding to Woolf, Stein, T.S Eliot and Proust leads to a precious and enriching context for the chosen texts.

Vital studying for students of local American Literature, this publication also will supply solid grounding within the topic for people with an curiosity in American and 20th century literature extra generally.

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In The Sacred Hoop Allen comments in typically categorical style: The closest analogy in Western thought is the Einsteinian understanding of matter as a special state or condition of energy. Yet even this concept falls short of the American Indian understanding, for Einsteinian energy is believed to be unintelligent, while energy according to the Indian view is intelligence manifested in yet another way. (60) While this confrontational prose might risk alienating the ‘Western’ reader, I would argue that the experimental/experiential method of The Woman Who Owned the Shadows has the opposite effect.

And in all those stories she told me who I was, who I was supposed to be, whom I came from, and who would follow me. 36 Ephanie’s case In this way she taught me the meaning of the words she said, that all life is a circle and everything has a place within it. That’s what she said and what she showed me in the things she did and the way she lives (sic). (46) The stories tell the daughter who she is and what her place is in the circle of being. Crucially, it is in Part 3 that Ephanie acts as a functional and adequate mother to her own daughter by beginning to pass on the knowledge she has acquired so painfully, but that will be essential for Agnes’ understanding of her own place in the world.

There are a number of fragments that seem to relate imaginatively to the overall themes, but that don’t seem to connect at the level of characterization and plot construction.

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