The ruins of representation: shadow survivance and the literature of dominance.
The traces are shadows, shadows, shadows, the natural coherence of archshadows, visions, and memories in heard stories. The postmodern shadows counter paracolonial histories, dickered testimonies, simulations, and the banal essence of consumerism; at the same time, trickster pronouns, transformations, and the shimmers of tribal consciousness are heard in literature.
"The representation of history becomes the history of representation," Linda Hutcheon wrote in The Politics of Postmodernism. She pointed out that the "issue of representation in both fiction and history has usually been dealt with in epistemological terms, in terms of how we know the past."
The representations of the tribal past are more than mere human mimesis and more than the aesthetic remains of reason in the literature of dominance. The posers, of course, must concentrate on the sources of incoherence that trace causation in transitive histories. The cold simulations of tribal cultures, or the paracolonial pretensions that precede a tribal referent, are the most common representations in histories. Simulations are new burdens in the absence of the real and the imposture of presence.
The archshadow is the consciousness of natural reason, the silence and animate shadows over presence. The shadow is that sense of intransitive motion to the referent; the silence in memories. Shadows are neither the absence of entities nor the burden of conceptual references. The shadow is the silence that inherits the words; shadows are the motions that mean the silence, but not the presence or absence of entities. Archshadows are honored in memories and the silence of tribal stones. Shadows and the postmodern are the natural trace of liberation in the ruins of representation.
There are at least four postmodern conditions in the critical responses to Native American Indian literatures: the first is heard in aural performances; the second condition is unbodied in translations; the third is trickster liberation, the uncertain humor of survivance that denies the obscure maneuvers of manifest manners, tragic transvaluations, and the incoherence of cultural representations; the fourth postmodern condition is narrative chance, the cross causes in language games, consumer simulations, and the histories of postexclave publications.
These four conditions turn a diverse discourse on tribal literatures: the uncertain testimonies, the remanence of shadows, and tribal transvaluations; the enigmatic nature of meniories, imagination, and autobiographies; the translation of nicknames, picture fictions, or memorial expressionism, and shamanic visions; the tragic flaws and denials of tribal wisdom in the literature of dominance, and the morass of social science theories; the enervation of modernism; the rise of simulations and manifest manners, that vernacular of racialism and continuous elaborations on the rights, responsibilities, and the dubious duties of dominance.
These postmodern conditions are both oppositional and noetic mediations on narrative chance. These conditions are an invitation to tribal survivance. The traces of natural reason and the shadows of coherence have endured over science in the humor of cotribal stories.
"Science has always been in conflict with narratives," wrote Jean-Frangois Lyotard. "I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives." Science, translation, and the discoveries of otherness in tribal cultures, are the histories of racialism and the metanarratives of dominance. The foundational theories of the social sciences have denied natural reason, tribal memories, and the coherence of heard stories. Lyotard argued that "knowledge has become the principle force of production over the last few decades."(1) The literature of dominance maintains the scientific models and tragic simulations of a consumer culture.
"Scientific knowledge has lost its objective privilege and its epistemology has collapsed into incoherence," wrote Will Wright in Wild Knowledge. He argued that science is "concceptually wrong, wrong about nature and wrong about knowledge." Coherent knowledge "must begin to articulate its inherent reference to language as a formal structure, rather than to some particular form of language as magical access."(2)
Linda Hutcheon pointed out that accession to the past in fiction and histories is through the traces of "documents, the testimony of witnesses, and other archival materials. In other words, we only have representations of the past from which to construct our narratives or explanations. In a very real sense, postmodernism reveals a desire to understand present culture as tlie product of previous representations."(3) This narrow accession would burden the narratives of chance and the shadows of tribal survivance.
The ironies and humor of the postmodern are heard in tribal narratives; the natural reason of tribal creation has never been without a postmodern turn or counterpoise, a common mode that enlivened the performance and memories of those who heard the best of their own experiences in stories. The shadows of the heard and that touch of coherence in natural reason persists in the postexclave literature of resistance, and in the stories that are to d after federal exclaves and reservations.
Native American Indian literatures could be read as the eternal shadows of the heard rather than as mere evidence, and as the serious wisps of natural reason in postmodern tribal narratives. These narrative wisps are the stories that one tells, that one hears, that one acts out," wrote Lyotard, "the people does not exist as a subject but as a mass of millions of insignificant and serious little stories that sometimes let themselves be collected together to constitute big stories and sometimes disperse into digressive elements."(4)
Social science narratives, those unsure reins of incoherent paracolonialism, overscore the tribal heard as cultural representations. David Carroll argued that any "narrative that predetermines all responses or prohibits any counter-narratives puts an end to narrative itself, by making itself its own end and the end of all other narratives."(5)
Johannes Fabian, the anthropologist, conceded in the introduction to Language and Colonial Power that he lost his faith in the assumption that language is a representation of a real world. That assumption has been one of the foundations of the social sciences and colonial dominance. Concessions and antitheses are an invitation to a discourse on racialism, but at the same time the "assumptions" of foundational representations have become the simulations of the real and serve a consumer paradise in the literature of dominance.
The wild unities of heard stories and the pleasures of performance are unbodied in translations. The shadows and tribal experiences that are heard in stories, and variations on natural reason, are transformed in publications that are seen as cultural representations. The conditions of postmodern identities must sue for more than revisions in the newhistoricism.
Native American Indian literatures have endured the manifest manners of translation for more than three centuries. The sudden closures of the oral in favor of the scriptural are unheard, and the eternal sorrow of lost sounds haunts the remains of tribal stories in translation. Brian Swann, in an edited collection of essays on translation, explained that given "the history of this hemisphere, to settle for the dignity of mystery is far preferable to any claim of definitiveness."(6)
Modernism is a persuasive disguise of pretentious individualism and the tragic flaws of historicism; the postmodern condition is a counterpoise in wild knowledge and language games, an invitation that would undermine the power of translation, representation, and simulations. What is published and seen is not what is heard or remembered in oral stories. Postmodern narratives are poses, and the poses are neither representations nor the terminal sources of aesthetic modernism. The printed word has no natural evolution in tribal literatures. The heard words are traced in silence, the archshadows of tribal memories, and the printed words reach over presence and absence to the shadows of trees, water, air, and hear stone, hide, and paper, as words have been heard forever in tribal stories.
The representations of the heard are simulations, no more than nuances in the best translations. Representation and the obscure maneuvers of translation "produces strategies of containment." These strategies are "deployed across a wide range of discourses, allowing us to name translation as a significant technology of colonial dominations," Tejaswini Niranjana has argued. "Paradoxically, translation also provides a place in |history' for the colonized." The histories are texts in the literature of dominance, and the shadows of the heard emerge from the difference and traces of the texts.(7)
Jacques Derrida turns hi difference to overread the dash, variance, and indeterminate traces that misconstrue the past representations of presence and absence in written literature. The causal compromises of objectivization in transitive actions are the terminal poses of presence and past. The archshadows arise in tribal silence and are heard in that aural distance to the chance concept, the reach of lonesome silence between the signifier, signified, and their signs; the traces and differance of meaning are dashed and deferred to the slience of other texts in the literature of dominance. Shadows are that silence and sense motion of memories over the sign; shadows are not the burdens of conceptual references. Shadows and difference in other texts threaten the representations of presence and the run on simulations.
Not even the tease of trace and difference is answerable to the tone and dissemblance of scriptural, hermeneutical, and representational translations of the heard stories. The shadows are heard in names and stories but not as mere representations. The shadows of tribal memories are the active silence, trace, and difference in the literature of dominance.
The "charge of |linguistic idealism' has probably been the accusation most frequently leveled against deconstruction over the years," wrote Richard Wolin in The Terms of Cultural Criticism. "Derrida's approach to criticism, argues Foucault, remains exclusively textual. As an interpreter and critic, he leads us into the text from which, in turn, we never emerge."(8)
"Not only is there no kingdom of differance, but differance instigates the subversion of every kingdom. Which makes it obviously threatening and infallibly dreaded by everything within us that desires a kingdom," Derrida wrote in "Diff6rance."(9) Jacques Derrida is an indirect reflexive trace to his own diffirance and absence in deconstruction. Shadows are over the sounds, words, and traces. The shadows and traces are silence, but shadows and silence are not the trace. Shadows are motion not presence, shadows touch no presence or absence over sound and sentences.
"Presence is reduced to signs of itself-to traces," wrote Raymond Tallis in Not Saussure. "We never touch presence unmediated by signs -immediate presence, presence itself. Mediation is primary, immediacy but an impossible, elusive dream."(10)
The trace is a nickname that leaves a presence in literature. The shadows are the silence in heard stories, the silence that bears a referent of tribal memories and experience. The shadows are active memories, and the memories of heard stories. The shadows are intransitive, an animate action in the silence of stories. The word agawaatese is heard in the oral stories of the anishinaabe, the tribal people of the northern woodland lakes. The word hears silence and shadows, and could mean a shadow, or casts a shadow. The sense of agawaatese is that the shadows are animate entities. The shadow is the unsaid sense in names, the memories in silence, and the imagination of tribal experiences.
Luther Standing Bear, for instance, wrote in My Indian Boyhood that the "Indian very seldom bothers a bear and the bear, being a very self-respecting and peaceful animal, seldom bothers a human being."(11) The bear is an archshadow in tribal memories and heard stories. The sound, silence, and shadows of the bear are animate and intransitive. The shadows silence, and unsaid essence of bears, end in signification; shadows and silence have no representations, presence or absence.
The bear is "so much like a human that he is interesting to watch. He has a large amount of human vanity and likes to look at himself," wrote standing bear. "Before we had looking-glasses, we would look at ourselves in a clear pool of water. This the bear does, too, and I suppose he thinks, |Well, I'm not such a bad-looking fellow,' for he walks away after an inspection of himself as if quite satisfied, and as for myself I do not see why he should not be. He is wise and clever and probably knows it."
The bear is an archshadow in the silence of tribal stories, the memories and sense that are unsaid in the name. Luther Standing Bear hears the shadow of the bear in his memories; the bear is a shadow and has no presence in heard stories or in the silence of the written name. The bear he hears, reads, and writes is a shadow of the bear, not the real bear, not a mere concept of the bear, but the shadow memories of the bear. The shadow, not the bear, is the referent and the trace to other stories.
"The bear is not only a powerful animal in body, but powerful in will also. He will stand and fight to the last. Though wounded, he will not run, but will die fighting. Because my father shared this spirit with the bear, he earned his name," wrote Standing Bear. The shadows in the name are the memories in the shadow of the bear and the silence in translation. The name is heard and read, and there are traces and differance that defer the meaning, but without the stories of the bear and the name the shadow has no memories in the silence of translation.
N. Scott Momaday, in The Way to Rainy Mountain, wrote that his tribal grandmother "lived out her long life in the shadow of Rainy Mountain, the immense landscape of the continental interior lay like memory in her blood. She could tell of the Crows, whom she had never seen, and of the Black Hills, where she had never been. I wanted to see in reality what she had seen more perfectly in the mind's eye, and traveled fifteen hundred miles to begin my pilgrimage."(12) Aho, his grandmother, heard stories of the long migration of the tribe, and these stories became her memories in imagination, so that she could hear the shadows of a landscape that she had never seen. The archshadows are the creations of the tribe, and shadows are memories that are heard in stories. Shadows, memories, and imagination endure in the silence of translation.
Momaday honors the memories ofhis grandmother and touches shadows in his imagination; shadows that trace the stories in three scriptural themes. The stories in The Way to Rainy Mountain are not representations of a tribal culture or the presence of sacred traditions; the stories uncover the intransitive shadows of tribal survivance.
Native American Indian literatures have been overburdened with critical interpretations based on structuralism and other social science theories that value incoherent foundational representations of tribal experiences. Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat pointed out in Recovering the Word that structuralism, a "concern for principles of organization and function" dominated their edited collection of critical essays on Native American literatures. The "Indian as an individual is not much examined in these essays."(13)
Claude Levi-Strauss and Alan Dundas have been cited more than Mikhall Bakhtin, Jean-Frangois Lyotard, orjacques Derrida in the historical and critical studies of tribal literature; the theoretical persuasions have been more structural and representational than postmodern in the past few decade of translation and interpretation.
Foundational theories have overburdened tribal imagination, memories, and the coherence of natural reason, wit simulations and the cruelties of paracolonial historicism. Anthropologists, in particular, were not the best listeners or interpreters of tribal imagination, liberation, or literatures.
The elusive and clever trickster characters in tribal imagination are seldom heard or understood in translation. Missionaries and anthropologists were the first to misconstrue silence, transformation, and figurationin tribal stories; they were not trained to hear stories as creative literature and translated manystories as mere cultural representations. Victor Barnouw, for example, wrote that from trickster stories "we can learn something about the belief systems of the people." He misconstrued the trickster as "a real person whom they respected although they also laughed at his antics."
Barnouw reduced the oral trickster stories that he heard to unreasonable social science evidence and cultural representations; moreover, an analysis of the storyteller concluded that "there was evidence of emotional dependency and also some confusion about sex." This outrageous interpretation was based on a Rorschach record.(14)
Karl Kroeber pointed out that anthropologists and "folklorists, whose disciplines are not directed toward appreciation of superior artistry, usually play down, or ignore, the individual distinction of creative accomplishment in ethnographic material."(15)
Moreover, anthropologists have used the inventions of ethnic cultures and the representations of the tribes as tropes to academic power in institutions. "The critical issue, so far as concerns t e anthropologist as author, works and lives, text-building, and so on, is the highly distinctive representation of being there' that Tristes Tropiques develops, and the equally distinctive representation, invertive actually, of the relationship between referring text and referred-to world that follows from it," wrote Clifford Geertz. "To put it brutally, but not inaccurately, Levi-Strauss argues that the sort of immediate, in-person |being there' one associates with the bulk of recent American and British anthropologyis essentiallyimpossible: itis either outright fraud or fatuous self-deception. The notion of a confinuity between experience and reality, he says early on in Tristes Tropiques, is false: |there is no continuity in the passage between the two."(16)
Native American Indian imagination and the pleasures of language games are disheartened in the manifest manners of documentation and the imposition of cultural representation; tribal testimonies are unheard, and tricksters, the wild ironies of survivance, transformation, natural reason, and liberation in stories, are marooned as obscure moral simulations in translations.
Andrew Wiget, for instance, declared that the behavior of the trickster is "always scandalous. His actions were openly acknowledged as madness by the elders who performed the stories with obvious relish on many winter evenings. Yet these same respected voices would solemnly assert the sacredness of these very tales, which always involved the most cavalier treatment of conventionally unassailable material like sexuality or religion." Wiget, a literary scholar, bears the worst of colonial historicism in his interpretations of trickster figuration in tribal literature. "To many Westerners reading these stories for the first time, it seemed at best a puzzling inconsistency and at worst a barbaric mystery that in many tribal mythologies this idiot and miscreant was in some unaccountable way also the culture hero."(17)
Wiget, in turn, could be read as a modern moral censor, an overman of occidental binaries and the tropes to academic power. The tone of his critical review, and the use of the words scandalous and barbaric, would prescribe a righteous paracolonial presence in tribal stories. The trickster is a language game, a wild cross causal neotic liberation, not a measure or representation of invented cultural values.
Wiget is a sincere exponent, to be sure, but he has undermined the natural reason and creative power of tribal literatures with his use of structuralism and other social science theories; he has that, and much more, in common with other scholars who have translated and interpreted tribal literatures.
Wiget comes closer to modernism and the social sciences than to other critical theories in his interpretations of tribal literature; he separates tribal stories with morphologies and genre representations. In Native American Literature covers the tribal world from oral narratives to the novel in six short chapters. Alas, he announced that "trying to find some clear and universal criteria for distinguishing different types of narrative has been the ever-elusive goal of folklorists and anthropologists." He asserted that oral cultures were not static but at the same time he explained that "there has been no single effort to order and assess that literature."(18)
The Native American Indian "implicitly acknowledged he could continue living only in the white man's representation of him," wrote the historian Larzer Ziff. "The process of literary annihilation would be checked only when Indian writers began representing their own culture."(19) However, even then most readers and critics influenced by structuralism, modernism, and the dualism of subject, object, or otherness, have more confidence in the paracolonial discoveries and representations of tribal literatures. Familiar simulations have more in common with the philosophies of grammar and translations than with shadows and the silence of heard stories in the unbearable fields of tribal consciousness.
Translation, in another sense is a monothematic representation of silence and distance. Published stories move in silence over time, and that silence is never secure. Clock time is dominance, and those who research the unsaid in time are marooned in the ruins of representation. The shadows of heard stories are not bound by the measures of time and space. The first "hermeneutical motion" of translation is "initiative trust, an investment of belief, underwritten by previous experience," George Steiner wrote in After Babel. "If culture depends on the transmission of meaning across time, it depends also on the transfer of meaning in space."(20)
The "power of language is one of N. Scott Momaday's most enduring themes," Wiget wrote about House Made of Dawn. "Momaday is breaking new ground with his intensely personal, poetic narratives, which essay the principal dilemma of an urbanized, thoroughly acculturated Indian: how to retain ontinuity with one's cultura heritage though displaced from the community that sustain it. The very strctures of these works express the dynamic by which the psyche internalizes the mythic, historical, and culturalcomponents ofidentity."(21)
Winter in he Blood by James Welch is "a hopefulbook," wrote Wiget. "In the mock-epic struggle to rescue the mired cow, there are signs of a recovery of commitment to life to replace the internalized distance."(22) The consumer notion of a "hopeful book" is a denial of tragic wisdom and seems to be a social science paradise of tribal victims.
"She was lying on her side, up to her chest in mud," said the unnamed narrator in Winter in the Blood. The cow "had earned this fate by beingstupid, and now no one could help her. ... As she stared at me, I saw beyond the immediate panic that hatred, that crazy hatred that made me aware of a quick hatred in my own heart. Her horns seemd tipped ith blood, the dark blood of catastrophe."(23) She turned her head in the mud, one eye to the clouds. That laconic sense of chance and death bears tribal ironies and tragic wisdom; the characters and scenes are more than victims and mock separations.
Charles Larson studied three generations of fiction writers in American Indian Fiction. He started with a review of Queen of the Woods by Simon Pokagon, one of the first Native American Indian novels published at the turn of the last century, and ended with Ceremon by Leslie Marmon Silko. His book was the first serious critical interpretation of fiction by more than sixty authors identified as Native American Indians. Larson inherited the language games of racialism that determined tribal identities; the intricate blood quantum theories were uncertain and dubious measures of identities; so, in the end, he decided that the known "acceptance by one's peers" was a "more meaningful test of Indianness."(24)
Larson invented four categories to describe tribal novelists and their creative publications: assimilationists, reactionaries, revisionists, and qualified separatists. His inventions have more in common with the colonial dominace of political theories in the literature of dominance than with the wild memories and rich diversities of tribal literature.
The novelists Pokagon, John Oskison, the author of Wild Harvest, Black Davy, and Brothers Three, and John Mathews, the author of Sundown, are classified as assimilationists because, it seems, some of the characters in their novels lean toward the literature of dominance. "Taken together," Larson wrote, these and other anything but innovative," and "indistinguishable from hundreds of other fictional works of the time.... If we did not know that these men were Native Americans we might conclude from their novels that they werewhite."(25)
Larson must search for racial purities in tribal literature because his four categories are denials of crossblood identities and tribal survivance. He assumed, based on the novels he considered, that he would discover and understand the essential tribal experience. However, he dedicated more attention to the colonial conditions of determining tribal identities and enrollment documents on federal reservations than to criticism of racialism, the cruelties of relocation, the burdens of postexclave assimilation policies, and elitism in publishing.
"Suddenly he was dreaming," Mathews wrote in Sundown. Challenge Windzer "was riding at the end of a party of warriors, and the Pawnees were fleeing over the hill before them, calling in Pawnee, |Here comes Chal and his Osage Wolves.' He could see a white girl standing there on the prairie in long blue mantle like the mantle of the Virgin Mary, and she turned toward him as a savior. The reasons for her predicament were absent, but the dream was delightful. When she tried to thank him he frowned and walked away, but his dream-heart was full."(26)
Larson represented education as assimilation rather than survivance; his arrogance would humors the tragic flaws of savagism and slander tribal imagination. "Paradoxically," he asserted, "Pokagon, Oskison, and Mathews would not have written and published novels if they had not received the schooling they did and been assimilated (in their varying degrees) into the white man's world. And that, of course, is the crux of their dilemma. Their education took something away from them, yet their writing became a way of reconciling or exploring the problems of assimilation that each man met in his own distinct way."(27)
Larson reviewed Seven Arrows by Hyemeyohsts Storm as a historical revisionist novel, because it depicted survival and "aggressive confrontations" between tribal people and the dominant culture. He insisted that the issue of how representative a tribal author might be "to his people" is a question "best left to cultural anthropologists." Storm was denounced by some tribal elders for his personal interpretations of cultural traditions and for his pose as a member of the Northern Cheyenne. The paperbound edition of the novel was released over the objections of traditional tribal elders on the reservation. Such serious tribal matters are not the missions of anthropologists.
Larson pointed out that in "theory I believe that asking such questions is a futile exercise. In practice, however, some benefit may be derived from the answer simply because by and large we are dealing with ethnic materials that depict some aspect of the Indian-white confrontation. No doubt we would expect these writers to be true to the cultures they write about, though, reading fiction solely to learn about another culture may be misleading. A novel must be something more than an anthropological document if it is to engage our aesthetic sensitivities."(28)
Not to fault social science theories and the literature of dominance in the ruins of representation is to believe that the causes of racialism are the same as the cures. Larson noted that the tribal novelists he studied were educated, and their education, he assumed, was the end of tribal cultures. He seemed to bear the tragic flaw of racial nihilism; otherwise, he must mourn over the ruins of niock innocence, the nostalgia for paradise, or over the simulations of tribal cultures.
D'Arcy McNickle and N. Scott Momaday are categorized as reactionaries because their novels are about "individuals, isolated Indians trapped in the present world, unable to return to the ways of the past."(29)
McNickle and Momaday are recognized as distinguished scholars in two worlds, and their publications, though separated by one generation, are related in theme. The central characters in their novels, Archilde in The Surrounded by McNickle, first published in 1936, and Abel in House Made of Dawn by Momaday, published in 1968, are postexclave crossbloods who returned to reservations; these characters return to a memorable landscape and the ruins of their families. Although their present existence is individualistic, the past from which they have been severed is collective," wrote Larson. He asserted that Momaday, who won the Pulitzer Prize for House Made of Dawn, "has become trapped in a literary holding pattern.... With a vision as bleak as his, one wonders whether Momaday can write another novel about the Native American without making a complete reversal and thereby undermining the validity of his earlier work."(30)
Larson was a hardhearted reader, to be sure, and his captious criticism was unwarranted then and now. "That night Grey dreamed of sleeping with a bear," Momaday wrote in The Ancient Child, his outstanding second novel. "The bear drew her into its massive arms and licked her body and her hair. It hunched over her, curving its spine like a cat, until its huge body seemed to have absorbed her own. Its breath, which bore a deep, guttural rhythm like language, touched her skin with low, persistent heat. The bear's tongue kneaded her - her feet, her belly and her breasts, her throat. Her own breathing became exaggerated, and there were long, orgasmic surges within her; she felt that her body was flooding with blood. The dream was full of wonder....
"Set took the medicine bundle in his hands and opened it. The smell of it permeated the whole interior. When he drew on the great paw, there grew up in him a terrible restlessness, wholly urgent, and his heart began to race. He felt the power of the bear pervade his being, and the awful compulsion to release it. Grey, sitting away in the invisible dark, heard the grandmother's voice in her mouth. When Set raised the paw, as if to bring it down like a club, she saw it against the window, huge and phallic on the stars, each great yellow claw like the horn of the moon."(31)
Larson praised Winter in the Blood by James Welch as an "almost flawless novel ... one of the most significant pieces of fiction by an American Indian." Welch and Leslie Marmon Silko, the author of Ceremony, are named qualified separatists, the last category invented by Larson. The characters in these novels lived in urban areas and "survived because they adapted themselves to the dual world that surrounded them."(32)
Silko and the characters in Ceremony are not separatists, no matter how clever the critical reviews and interpretations might sound in American Indian Fiction. LaVonne Ruoff is closer to the heart of Ceremony. She observed that Silko "demonstrates the healing power of tribal ritual and storytelling by reuniting her mixed-blood hero with his tribe at the end of the novel. More overtly than Momaday, she evokes myth and ritual."(33)
"I have made changes in the rituals. The people mistrust this greatly, but only this growth keeps the ceremonies strong," said the crossblood healer Betonie in Ceremony. "They are things the witchery people want. Witchery works to scare people, to make them fear growth. But it has always been necessary, and more then ever now, it is. Otherwise we won't make it. We won't survive. That's what the witchery is counting on: that we will cling to the ceremonies the way they were, and then their power will triumph, and the people will be no more."(34)
Several Native American Indian novelists have published, in the past decade, their own studies of tribal consciousness, culture, and literatures. Paula Gunn Allen, in The Sacred Hoop, overturned androcentric structuralism, praised spiritualism, and celebrated a renaissance of the feminine in cotribal literatures. She boosted social and familial responsibilities and pointed out that one of the "major distinguishing characteristics of gynocratic cultures is the absence of punitiveness as a means of social control. Another is the inevitable presence of meaningful concourse with supernatural beings.
"Among gynocratic or gynocentric tribal people the welfare of the young is paramount, the complementary nature of all life forms is stressed, and the centrality of powerful women to social well-being is unquestioned."(35)
Allen avowed lesbian spiritualism as a new tribal essentialism, and she maintained that tribal "thought is essentially mystical and psychic in nature." She considered the ethics of essentialist tribal literature, or "using the tradition," in a conversation published in the Headlands Journal: "I have specialized in teaching contemporary literature to avoid as many ethical violations as I could, believing that I might teach it and evade or avoid queries about arcane matters."
Moreover, "I have gone so far as to learn as little ritual or myth as possible in any particular detail to further buttress my defense against ethical violations....
"I begin to understand some of the reasons for my extreme ambivalence in doing what I do, some of the reasons I find teaching in Native American Studies so painful, and some of the reasons why some of the poems and fiction I've been working on for years is stymied," she said in a discussion on the problems of teaching the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.
On the other hand she pointed out that the preservation of tradition "with the sacrifice of its living bearers seems at best reasonless, at worst blasphemous. If people die as a result of preserving tradition in the white way of preservation, for whom will the tradition be preserved?"(36)
Allen considered the contradictions of essentialism and crossblood ribal identities in a personal and indicative comment: "For although I am a somewhat nontraditional Indian, I grew up in the homes of Indians and have spent my adult life in the company of traditionals, urbanites, and all the shades of Indian in between....
"Whatever I read about Indians I check out with my inner self. Most of what I have read - and some things I have said based on that reading - is upside-down and backward. But my inner self, the self who knows what is true of American Indians because it is one, always warns me when something deceptive is going on. And with that warning, I am moved to do a great deal of reflecting, some more reading, and a lot of questioning and observing of real live human beings who are Indian in order to discover the source of my unease. Sometimes that confirmation comes about in miraculous ways; that's when I know guidance from the nonphysicals and the supernaturals, and that the Grandmothers have taken pity on me in my dilemma."(37)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn is the founder and editor of the Wicazo Sa Review. She has published interpretations, critical studies, and reviews that sustain tribal values and governments. Her recent novel, From the River's Edge, celebrates the honorable conditions of tribal sovereignty and survivance.
Cook-Lynn, in a critical commentary on Sending My Heart Bck Across the Years by Hertha Dawn Wong, wrote that the "wannabee sentiment which clutters an otherwise tolerable plece of redundant scholarship is a reflection of a growing phenomenon which precedes and influences the intellectual discourse now emerging from universities all over the place in the name of Native American Studies." Moreover, she argued, the "unnecessary claim of this scholar to be |part Native American'ls so absurd as to cast ridicule on the work itself. But, more seriously, the |blood quantum' debate, the |ethnic identity' issue, has finally obscured or dismissed one of the important sovereign rights of Indian nations, and neither Congress nor the Supreme Court had to act in its usual dubious ways." She pointed out with a sense of ironic humor that curriculum development at universities "has been reduced to offerings which might be called |What If I'm a Little Bit Indian?"(38)
Gerald Vizenor edited Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Literatures, the first collection of essays on the postmodern condition in tribal literatures and poststructural interpretations of tribal cultures and consciousness. Alan Velie pointed out in his essay that since "the trickster is the most important mythic figure in most tribes it is not surprising that he would be a major archetype in contemporary Indian fiction. Quite a few protagonists in recent Indian novels bear a resemblance to the trickster." I argued in my essay that the "trickster is androgynous, a comic healer and liberator in literature; the whole figuration that ties the unconscious to social experience. The trickster sign is communal, an erotic shimmer in oral traditions; the narrative voices are holotropes in a discourse."(39)
Louis Owens haspublished the most recent critical studies of Native American Indian novelists. Other Destinies: Understanding the American Indian Novel is the third title in the new American Indian Literature and Critical Studies series at the University Oklahoma Press. Owens considered the themes of cultural survival, the interpretations and recoveries of tribal identities in the characters and scenes created by mixed-bloods novelists. His second novel, The Sharpest Sight, is the first title in the new literature series.
"What it boils down to is respecting your world, every little piece of it. When I poach does at night, it's against the law," said Hoey in The Sharpest Sight. "But what I'm doing ain't wrong if you look at it in an Indian way. I pick out old does past their prime.... And I leave the best breeding bucks and does alone. That ain't like the poison that chicken plant dumps into the creek, the stuff that kills the fish, or all the rest of things people are doing to the earth."(40)
A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff is the undeniable leader of serious research and education in tribal literatures, and she is the most admired historical interpreter of contemporary novels and poetry. "The history of American Indian Literature reflects not only tribal cultures and the experience of imagination of its authors but Indian-white relations as well," she wrote in American Indiana Literatures. "Although individual Indians today vary in the extent to which they follow tribal traditions, their worldviews and values continue to reflect those of their ancestors."(41)
A Son of the Forest by William Apess, published in 1829, could be the first autobiography by a tribal person, and istinct from those "autobiographies"of Indians written by others. La Vonne Ruoff pointed out that Apess was an orphan and that the "whites" Apess lived with "as a child taught him to be terrified of his own people. If he disobeyed, they threatened to punish him by sending him to the forest."(42)
Apess was crossblood Pequot, a Methodist minister, and an activist for tribal rights. "His own birth and death are not documented," Barry O'Connell pointed out in On Our Own Ground. "Born to a nation despised and outcast and perhaps, to add to the stigma, not only part white, a |mulatto' or |mixed breed,' but also part African American, a child with William Apess's history who simply made it to adulthood would be doing well." The once-despised other learned how to write his name and stories over the racial borders in a crossblood remembrance. "I cannot perhaps give a better idea of the dread which pervaded my mind on seeing any of my brethren of the forest than by relating the following occurrence, Apess wrote in his autoblography. "One day several of the family went into the woods to gather berries, talking me with them. We had not been out long before we fell in with a company of white females, on the same errand - their complexion was, to say the least, as dark as that of the natives. The circumstance filled my mind with terror, and I broke from the party with my utmost speed, and I could not muster courage enough to look behind until I had reached home," wrote Apess. "It may be proper for me here to remark that the great fear I entertained of my brethren was occasioned by the many stories I had heard of their cruelty toward the whites.... If the whites had told me how cruel they had been to the |Poor Indian,' I should have apprehended as much harm from them."(43)
Tribal autoblographical narratives and personal life stories have been popular for more than a century. George Copway and Sarah Winnemucca both published autobiographies in the nineteenth century. Charles Eastman, Francis La Flesche, Luther Standing Bear, and John Joseph Mathews published their autobiographies and personal narratives in the early twentieth century.
Standing Bear was raised a century ago to be a hunter and warrior, but the federal government had terminated the buffalo and he was removed to be educated at the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania. He wrote that when "the train stopped at the station" in Sioux City "we raised the windows to look out" and "there was a great crowd of white people there." The white people "started to throw money at us. We little fellows began to gather up the money, but the larger boys told us not to take it, but to throw it back at them. They told us if we took the money the white people would put our names in a big book. We did not have sense enough then to understand that those white people had no way of discovering what our names were. However, we threw the money all back at them. At this, the white people laughed and threw more money at us."(44)
The Name: A Memoir by N. Scott Momaday, and my own Interior Landscqpes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors, are recent publications. "My spirit was quiet there," Momaday wrote about his childhood at Jemez, New Mexico. "The silence was old, immediate, and pervasive, and there was great good in it. The wind of the canyons drew it out; the voices of the village carried and were lost in it. Much was made of the silence; much of the summer and winter was made of it."(45)
I Tell You Now.: Autobiographical Essays by Native Am erican Writers, edited by Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, includes literary autobiographies by Maurice Kenny, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Carter Revard, Jack Forbes, Paula Gunn Allen, Diane Glancy, Simon Ortiz, Linda Hogan, Joy Hario, and nine other writers.
"I tell parts of my stories here because I have often searched out other lives similar to my own," wrote Linda Hogan. "They would have sustained me. Telling our lives is important, for those who come after us, for those who will see our experience as part of their own historical struggle."(46)
"Facts: May 7, 1948. Oakland. Catholic hospital. Midwife nun, no doctor. Citation won the Kentucky Derby. Israel was born. The United Nations met for the first time," wrote Wendy Rose. "I have heard Indians joke about those who act as if they had no relatives. I wince, because I have no relatives. They live, but they threw me away ... . I am without relations. I have always swung back and forth between alienation and relatedness."947)
"I was raised by an English-German mother. My father, one-quarter Cherokee, was there also, but it was my mother who presented her white part of my heritage as whole," wrote Diane Glancy. "I knew I was different, then as much as now. But I didn't know until later that it was because I am part heir to the Indian culture, and even that small part has leavened the whole lump."(48)
"When I was about nine my family moved into a northern section of Los Angeles, and there I would have psychologically perished had it not been for a range of hills that came up to our back yard," wrote Jack Forbes. "The hills were full of animals - deer, snakes, coyotes, birds - and I spent much of my spare time crawling along deer trails through brush and exploring draws and canyons. In one nearby canyon was a giant oak tree, and under its branches, where they brushed against the top of a sharp rise in the canyon wall, I had one of my favorite hiding places. Like an animal of the earth, I loved to rest in such secret places, where I could see but not be seen, and where I could dream."(49)
Native American Indian authors have secured the rich memories of tribal generations on his continent; the diverse narratives of these crossblood authors would uncover the creative humor of survivance and tribal counterpoise to the literature of dominance. These autobiographical essays would overcome the racialism of discoveries and the romancism of tribal cultures.
"This conscious awareness of the singularity of each individual life is the late product of a specific civilization," wrote Georges Gusdorf in Autobiography. "Throughout most of human history, the individual does not oppose himself to all others; he does not feel himself to exist outside of others, and still less against others, but very much with others in an independent existence that asserts its rhythms everywhere in the community. No one is rightful possessor of his life or his death; lives are so thoroughly entangled that each of them has its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere."(50)
These theories and critical notions, with certain conditions, are the most common interpretations of literary autobiographies by tribal writers. In other words, the common conceit is that an autobiographer must "oppose himself to all others," or oppose tribal cultures and postexclave communities. Such notions are romantic at least, and nurture the whimsies of primitivism and otherness at best. The suspicion seems to be that there are essential communal, but not universal, memories that cannot be heard in certain pronouns; the translations of unheard pronouns have never been the sources of tribal consciousness.
The favors of certain pronouns, however, are not the same in translation or tribal autobiographies: pronouns are neither the sources, causes, nor tribal itentions; autobiographies, memories, and personal stories are not the authentic representations of either pronouns, cultures, or the environment.
The stories that are heard are the coherent memories of natural reason; the stories that are read are silent landscapes. Pronouns, then, are the pinch hitters in the silence and distance of translation, and at the same time pronouns are the differance that would be unheard in translations. The archshadows of tribal consciousness and the shadows of names and natural reason are overheard in tribal stories and autobiographies; in this sense, stories are shadows, shimmers of coincidence, and tribal traceries in translation. The shadows are unsure scenes in dreams with bears, birds, and demons, and the differance, or temporization of pronouns, in tribal nicknames, memories, dance moves, and shamanic visions.(51)
Swann and Krupat, for instance, pointed out in I Tell You Now that the "notion of telling the whole of any one individual's life or taking merely personal experience as of particular significance was, in the most literal way, foreign to them, if not also repugnant."(52)
The concerted inventions of tribal cultures are in continuous translations, and the situation of hermeneutics remains the same in simulations; the silence of translation and the absence of the heard antecedes a presence and the shadows of stories. Has the absence of the heard in tribal memories and stories become the literature of dominance? What are the real names, nouns, and pronouns, heard in the unbearable fields of tribal consciousness? How can a pronoun be a source of tribal identities in translation? How can a pronoun be essential, an inscription of absence that represents the presence of sound and a person in translation?
The first person pronoun has never been the original absence of the heard, not even as the absence or transvaluation in the silence of a reader. The unheard presence of pronouns, and the temporization of nouns, is the differance heard in tribal nicknames and in the absence of the heard in translations. Certain tribal nicknames are stories, and the stories are distinctions that would counter the notions of communal memories. The survivance of tribal nicknames, shadows, and memories, in the absence of the heard, is the differance that misconstrues the representations of presence, simulations, and the gender burdens of pronouns. The personal, possessive, demonstrative, relative and interrogative pronouns are translations and transvaluations, the absence of names, presence, and consciousness heard in tribal stories.
The pronoun endures as twice the absence of the heard, and more than the mere surrogate signifier or simulation in tribal stories. There is a sense of the heard in the absence of the heard; the pronoun is the differance that would pronounce and misconstrue memories in postexclave literature. We must represent our own pronoun poses in autobiographies, in our personal invitations to silence and shadows of the heard; first person pronouns have no referent. The other is a continuous pronoun with no shadows. The demonstrative pronouns are the transactions of others, the elusive invitations to a presence in the absence of cotribal entities.
We must need new pronouns that would misconstrue gender binaries, that would combine the want of a presence in the absence of the heard, a shadow pronoun to pronounce memories in silence, in the absence of cotribal names and nouns. The pronounance combines the sense of the words pronoun and pronounce with the actions and conditions of survivance in tribal memories and stories. The trickster pronounance has a shadow with no numbered person; in the absence of the heard the trickster is the shadow of the name, the sound, the noun, the person, the pronounance.
The tribal healers, shamanic visionaries, and those who hear stories in the blood are not bound to measure their memories as the mere hurrah for nature. Tribal landscapes are heard, read, and the scenes and shadows are remembered in stories. The coherence of natural reason is created in personal stories, and in the elusive unions of shamans with birds, animals, and ancestors. These natural unions are heard in the archshadows that outlast translations. The shamans hear their memories in birds, animals, and shadows in our stories.
The theories of structuralism, the myths of unexpected harmonies, and objective dissociations of natural tribal reason, are dubious tropes to power in the literature of dominance. The transitive evidence of objectivism and simulations has no referent, no sense of experience or shadows in the silence in the coherence of natural reason. The tribal referent is in the shadows of heard stories; shadows are their own referent, and shadows are the silence and memories of survivance
Those lonesome souls who read their identities in metanarratives and trace the distance of their tribal ancestors to an environment of otherness in the literature of dominance, are the new missionaries of simulations. The identities that arise from environmental simulations have no referent or shadow in tribal consciousness. "Since the environment cannot be authentically engaged the self becomes its own environment and sole source of authenticity," John Aldridge wrote in The American Novel and the Way We Live Now, "while all else becomes abstract and alien."(53)
Hertha Dawn Wong, for instance, declared in the preface to Sending My Heart Back Across the Years that she is "not a member of a native community, but much of what my mother taught me reflects traditional values long associated with Native American cultures." No doubt she heard the memorable simulations of a tribal environment. She wrote that "according to the Oklahoma Historical Society, my great-grandfather may have been Creek or Chickasaw or Choctaw or perhaps Cherokee." That whimsical sense of possibilities, "may have been" one of four or more distinct tribes, is not an answerable source of credible identities; moreover, she must be held to her own high academic standards of historical and theoretical research at the University of California, Berkeley.
Wong has received several generous research grants to support her studies of Native American autobiographies; at the same time, she seems to prise panoramic tribal identities and a romantic narrative environment. "Over the years," she
wrote, "the unfolding narrative of my family history and the narrative of this book on autobiography have taken on striking parallels."(54)
The narratives she studied in Sending My Heart Back Across the Years could be considered the elusive sources of her own sense of tribal identities; otherwise, the overture to the "fundamental activities of autobiography" would be insincere invitations to these associations. The rights and duties of tribal consciousness have never been established in tribal communities or the literature of dominace; imagination is an honorable performance, but autobiographies must arise from memories and the shadows of heard stories. Neither the first-person nor the indirect reflexive pronoun are reasonable sources of identities; notions of tribal romancism and metaphorical parallelism are earnest but without assurance. The subject of her research has become the object of her tribal identities; alas, tribal memories are not heard in objectivism.
"When I began writing this book," she wrote in the preface, "I had little idea that I was part Native American, one of the unidentified mixed-bloods whose forebears wandered away from their fractured communities, leaving little cultural trace in their adopted world." The racialism of these romantic notions would bear minimal honor in tribal memories and literature.
Wong musters the innocence of a wanderer to simulate tribal crossbloods, and she poses in a transitive narrative on tribal cultures; the metaphor of adoption serves the literature of dominance. "I found a new insight into the meaning of irony," she wrote, "I had believed that I was a non-Indian writing as an outsider about Native Ameican autobiographical traditions."
The conceit of innocuous environmental identities must be ironic, because the panoramic other is a romantic transvaluation and simulation, a consumer precedence over the coherence of natural reason. Sending My Heaart Back Across the Years could be read as ironic and impressionistic criticism in the literature of dominance.
"My purpose is to expand the Eurocentric definitions of autobiography to include nonwritten forms of personal narratives," she wrote in the introduction. "This study, then, considers Native American autobiography from the context of autobiographical theory, delineates distinctly Native American oral and pictographic traditions of personal narrative and their interaction with Euro-American autobiographical modes." Moreover, she argues that both "female and Native American autobiographical narratives focus on a communal or relational identity and tend to be cyclical rather than linear." How, then, could she have overlooked the significant studies of pictomyths, or picture stories, and tribal music at the turn of the last century by Frances Densmore?
Wong widens the serious textual discourse on autobiographies, to be sure, but her earnest search for communalism is closer to an absolute literature than to the nuances of tribal identities. The pictures she construes as autobiographies are picture myths, stories, or memorial expressionism, not historical representations. Tribal narratives are heard and remembered in pictofiction and pictomyths without closure.
Wong declared that there "is no generic Indian sense of self." Indeed, and that assertion could be read as the closure of her own panoramic sense of tribal identities in literature. "If a Native American sense of self is associated with tribal identity, to realize fully a sense of Indian identity is to realize one's link to the tribe."(55)
True, the "concept of |race' or |ethnic origins' means different things in different contexts,"(56) but when the tropes to academic power are tied to nativism and tribal identities, then the context of racialism is prescribed as both essentialist and political in institutions.
Anthony Kerby argued in Narrative and the Self that the loss of the "ability to narrate one's past is tantamount to a form of amnesia, with a resultant diminishing of one's sense of self. Why should this be so? The answer, broadly stated, is that our history constitutes a drama in which we are a leading character, and the meaning of this role is to be found only through the recollective and imaginative configuring of that history in autobiographical acts. In other words," he said, "in narrating the past we understand ourselves to be the implied subject generated by the narrative."(57)
The narrative selves that have no referent, memories, or shadows are the transitive selves overheard in language and literature; tribal shadows are intransitive and wait to be heard in stories. "Life does not speak; it listens and waits," wrote Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus. "Language is not life; it gives life orders." Literature is the overheard other in the search for selves. Mikhail Bakhtin created the idea of heteroglossia, or the diversitites of language, to consider the utterances of selves in the interaction of the other. "Words belong to nobody, and in themselves they evaluate nothing," he wrote in Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. "The I hides in the other and in others, it wants to be only an other for others, to enter completely into the word of others as an other, and to cast from itself the burden of being the only I (I-for-myself) in the world."(58)
On the other hand, the confessions, simulations of transitive selves, and panoramic identities, could be an ironic liberation of pronouns in the literature of dominance. Francis Jacques points out that the first person singular pronoun "is not knowable because it knows. No objectivization, no representation of the subjective in this sense is possible, since any representation is objective. . . . But even if I cannot know this I, I can still be conscious of it."(59)
The pleasure of nicknames in tribal memories is an unmistakable sign and celebration of personal identities; nicknames are personal stories that would, to be sure, trace the individual in tribal families and communities rather than cause separations by personal recognition.
There is nothing foreign or repugnant in personal names and the stories that arise from nicknames. Sacred names and nicknames were heard as stories, and there were relatives and others responsible for giving names in most tribal communities. The signatures and traces of tribal names are heard in stories. The risks, natural reason, shadows, and pleasures of dreams and visions are sources of personal power in tribal consciousness; personal stories are coherent and name individual identities within tribal communities, and are not an obvious opposition to communal values.
Personal visions, for instance, were heard alone, but not in cultural isolation or separation from tribal communities. Those who chose to hear visions were aware that their creative encounters with the unknown were dangerous and would be sanctioned by the tribe; personal visions could be of service to tribal families and communities. Some personal visions and stories have the power to liberate and heal, and there are similar encounters that liberate readers in the novels and poems by contemporary tribal authors.
Nicknames, dreams, and shamanic visions are tribal stories that are heard and remembered as survivance. These personal stories are not the same as the literature of silence and dominance; these stories are not the same as translation and representational autobiographies. However, the awareness of coincidence in stories is much more sophisticated in tribal memories than in the tragic flaws of a consumer culture, and even wiser are the tribal memories that endured colonial discoveries and the cruelties of a chemical civilization.
Wovoka, at once the inspiration of the Ghost Dance religion, received manyletters from tribal people who had heard about his vision in the very language of the treacherous colonial government. Luther Standing Bear, for instance, and thousands of other tribal men and women learned the language and literature of dominance; their memories and survivance were heard and read in more than one language.
Cloud Man Horse wrote to Wovoka, "Now I am going to send you a pair of mocissions but if they are not long enough for you when you write again please send me you foot measure from this day on - I will try to get the money to send to you. I wish I had it just at present I would sent it wright away."(60)
The English language has been the linear tongue of colonial discoveries, racial cruelties, invented names, simulated tribal cultures, and the unheard literature of dominance in tribal communities; at the same time, this mother tongue of paracolonialism has been a language of liberation for many tribal people. English, a language of paradoxes, learned under duress by tribal people at mission and federal schools, was one of the languages that carried the vision and shadows of the Ghost Dance, the religion of renewal, from tribal to tribe on the vast plains at the end of the nineteenth century. "The great underlying principle of the Ghost Dance doctrine is that the time will come when the whole Indian race, living and dead, will be reunited upon a regenerated earth, to live a life of aboriginal happiness, forever free from death, disease, and misery," wrote James Mooney in The Ghost-Dance Religion.(61)
Captain Dick, a Paiute, said that "Indians who don't dance, who don't believe in this word," of the Ghost Dance, "will grow little, just about a foot high, and stay that way. Some of them will be turned into wood and be burned in the fire."(62)
English, that coercive language of federal boarding schools, has carried some of the best stories of endurance, the shadows of tribal survivance, and now that same language of dominance bears the creative literature of distinguished crossblood authors in the cities. The tribal characters dance with tricksters, birds, and animals, a stature that would trace the natural reason, coherent memories, transformations, and shadows in traditional stories. The shadows and language of tribal poets and novelists could be the new ghost dance literature, the shadow literature of liberation that enlivens tribal survivance.
(1.) Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), xxiii, xxiv, 5. (2.) Will Wright, Wild Knowledge: Science, Language, and Social life in a Fragile Environment (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), 3, 41, 113. (3.) Linda Hutcheon, The Politics of Postmodernism (London: Routledge, 1989), 58. "Telling Stories: Fiction and History," essay in Modernism/Postmodernism, ed. Peter Brooker (London: Longman, 1992), 239. "Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept," wrote Jean Baudrillard in Simulations. "Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal." The real endures in nostalgia, and chance is ironic, but ideologies correspond to a"betrayal of reality by signs." Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari wrote in A Thousand Plateaus that language "is a map, not a tracing." (4.) Jean-Francois Lyotard, Instructions Painnes quot. David Carroll, "Narrative, Heterogeneity, and the question of the political: Bakhtin and Lyotard," The Aims of Representation, ed. Murray Kreiger (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), 85. (5.) David Carroll, The Subject in Question (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982), 117. "Hundreds, thousands of little dissident narratives of all sorts are produced in spite of all attempts to repress them, and they circulate inside and eventually, or even initially, outside the boundaries of the totalitarian state," he wrote. "The importance of these little narratives is not only that they challenge the dominant metanarrative and the state apparatus that would prohibit or discredit them, but that they also indicate the possibility of another kind of society, or another form of social relations. . . ." (6.) Brian Swann, ed. On the Translation of Native American Literatures (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), xvii. He wrote, "The appropriation can lead to many undesirable results, even to the invention, or reinvention, of Native American tradition, a tradition which is fed back to the native community, and then out again, thus inflicting multiple damage." (7.) Tejaswini Niranjana, Siting Translation (Berkeley: University of California Press,1992) 3, 21. (8.) Richard Wolin, The Terms of Cultural Criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 199, 200. (9.) Peggy Kamuf, ed. Derrida Resder (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 64, 70. (10.) Raymond Tallis, Not Saussure (London: Macmillan Press, 1988), 92. (11.) Luther Standing Bear, My Indian Boyhood (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,1931), 48, 51. (12.) N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969), 7. (13.) Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, Recovering the Word (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 8. (14.) Victor Barnouw, Wisconsin Chippewa Myths & Tales (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977), 4, 61. Barnouw concluded that the "two interpretations suggest the existence of repression, which is also suggested by the origin myth, with its avoidance of women and sex and its recurrent oral and anal themes." (15.) Karl Kroeber, "The Art of Traditional American Indian Narration," Traditional American Indian Literatures (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981) 17. (16.) Clifford Geertz, Words and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), 46. (17.) Andrew Wiget, Native American Literature (Boston: Twayne, 1985), 16. (18.) Wiget, 3. (19.) Larzer Ziff, Writing in the New Nation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 155, 173. (20.) George Steiner, After Babel (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 31, 296. (21.) Wiget, 85, 121. (22.) Wiget, 92. (23.) James Welch, Winter in the Blood (New York: Penquin Books, 1986), 166. (24.) Charles Larson, American Indian Fiction (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1978), 8. (25.) Larson, 34, 35. (26.) John Joseph Mathews, Sundown (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988), 31, 32. (27.) Larson, 65. (28.) Larson, 14, 15. "Even N. Scott Momaday," Larson argued, "has chosen to write not about his own people but about the Navahos. As one critic of Momaday noted when House Made of Dawn appeared, |This first novel, as subtly wrought as a piece of Navajo silverware, is the work of a young Kiowa Indian who teaches English and writes poetry at the University of California in Santa Barbara. That creates a difficulty for a reviewer right away." (29.) Larson, 95. (30.) Larson, 95, 167, 168. Larson pointed out that The Surrounded and House Made of Dawn "are concerned with central characters who have left their places of birth, gone off for a time and lived in the white man's world, and then returned. That journey Archilde and Abel share with the characters in Pokagon and Mathews's assimilationist novels, but there the resemblance ends." Larson argued that the "two works illustrate a new ideological stance: repudiation of the white man's world coupled with a symbolic turn toward the life-sustaining roots of traditional Indian belief." (31.) N. Scott Momaday, The Ancient Child (New York: Doubleday, 1989), 29, 303. (32.) Lirson, 135, 140. "No doubt this is true of the writers themselves, who often appear to be infused with a sense of urgency to proclaim the quality of contemporary Indian life," wrote Larson. (33.) A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, American Indian Literatures (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1990), 78. (34.) Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (New York: Penguin Books, 1986), 126. (35.) Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), 2, 3. (36.) Paula Gunn Allen, "Special Problems in Teaching Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony," in Headlands Journl, (Sausalito: Headlands Center for the Arts, 1991), 43, 44. (37.) Allen, The Secred Hoop, 6, 7. (38.) Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, "Commentary" in Wicazo Sa Review, Spring 1992. (39.) Gerald Vizenor, ed. Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Literatures (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989), 121, 188. (40.) Louis Owens, The Sharpest Sight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 57. (41.) Ruoff, 2. (42.) Ruoff, 53. (43.) William Apess, A Son of the Forest, in On Our Own Ground, edited by Barry O'Connell (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1992), xxiv, xxxix, 10, 11. Ruoff cited the 1831 edition of A Son of the Forest by William Apes. (44.) Luther Standing Bear, My People the Sioux (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1975), 129, 130. (45.) N. Scott Momaday, The Names (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 154. (46.) Linda Hogan,"The Two Lives," in I Tell You Now edited by Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), 233. (47.) Wendy Rose, "Neon Scars," in I Tell You Now, 254, 255. (48.) Diane Glancy, "Two Dresses," in I Tell You Now, 169. (49.) Jack Forbes, "Shouting Back to the Geese," in I Tell You Now, 115. (50.) Georges Gusdorf, "Conditions and Limits of Autobiography" in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), 29, 30. Olney does not mention tribal literature but he pointed out that courses in American Studies and Black Studies "have been organized around autobiography... black history was preserved in autobiographies rather than in standard histories and because black writers entered into the house of literature through the door of autobiography." (51.) Jacques Derrida coined the word differince to mean temporization, the spaces and traces of meaning between signifiers and signs. The classical structure "presupposes that the sign, which defers presence, is conceivable only on the basis of the presence that it defers and moving toward the deferred presence that it aims to reappropriate," Derrida wrote in his essay "Differance." "Differance is the nonfull, nonsimple, structured and differentiating origin of differences. . . . Thus, difference is the name we might give to the |active,' moving discord of different forces, that Nietzsche sets up against the entire system of metaphysical grammar, wherever this system governs culture, philosophy, and science.... Rather, differance maintains our relationship with that which we necessarily misconstrue, and which exceeds the alternative of presence and absence." Derrida Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 64, 70. (52.) Brian Swann and Arno]d Krupat, I Tell You Now (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), ix. (53. John Aldridge, The American Novel and the Way We Live Now (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), 157. Charles Taylor points out in The Ethics of Authenticity that the "ethic of authenticity is something relatively new and peculiar to modern culture.... The individualism of anomie and breakdown of course has no social ethic attached to it; but individualism as a moral principle or ideal must offer some view of how the individual should live with others." (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 25, 44, 45. (54.) Hertha Dawn Wong, Sending My Heart Across the Years (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), vi. Harold Noonan, in "Identity and the First Person," wrote: "I think that the distinction between using |I' against the background of a criterion of identity, to refer to an object, and using it not in this way is what Wittgenstein in the Blue Book calls the distinction between the use of |l' 'as subject.'" Cora Diamond and Jenny Teichman, Intention and Intentionality (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), 62. (55.) Hertha Dawn Wong, vi, 5, 6, 7, 16. Stephen Pevar wrote in the American Civil Liberties Handbook: "Courts have used a two-part test to determine who is an Indian. First, the person must have some Indian blood, that is, some identifiable Indian ancestry. Second, the Indian community must recognize this person as a Indian." The Rights of Indians and Tribes (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 12. (56.) Douglas Benson and John Hughes, "Method: evidence and inference-evidence and inference for ethnomethodology," in Ethnomethodology edited by Graham Button (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 119. (57.) Anthony Kerby, Narrative and the Self (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 7. (58.) Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 76, 77. The authors wrote that language "is a map, not a tracing." My position is that maps are the philosophies of grammar,the map is a relative language with no referent; traces are shadows of coherent natural reason that are heard in language. Brian Massumi points out in A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia that the "self remains susceptible to identity crises brought on by confusions between 'inside' and |outside.'" The language maps are outside, and the shadows are the silence, the transitive stories that wait inside natural reason and memories to be heard.
Mikhail Bakhtin, Speech Genres and Other Late Essays (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 85, 147. Bakhtin noted that words "can serve any speaker and be used for the most varied and directly contradictory evaluations on the part of the speakers." Wong is the narrator of the others in the languages of tribal identities; the simulations of narrative selves and the heteroglossia of others are the modern ritual contradictions in the literature of dominance. Bakhtin argues in "Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity" that the "only thing left for me to do is to find a refuge in the other and to assemble-out ofthe other-the scattered pieces of my own givenness, in order to produce from them a parasitically consummed unity in the other's soul using the other's resources." Art and Answerability (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990), 126. (59.) Francis Jacques, Difference and Subjectivity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 26. "If |I' is not a proper name shall we simply say then that it is a pronoun? The grammatical category of pronouns is a ragbag, including even variables; and the suggestion given by the word's etymology that it can be replaced by a noun in a sentence while preserving the sense of the sentence, is false of |I.' Shall we say that |I' is a demonstrative?" wrote Anthony Kenny in "The First Person." Cora Diamond and Jenny Teichman, Intention and Intentionality (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), 4, 5. (60.) Cloud Man Horse, 1911, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, I Wear the Morning Star: An Exhibition of American Indian Ghost Dance Objects (Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1976), 18. (61.) James Mooney, The Ghost-Dance Religion (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1965), 19. (62.) Mooney, 26.
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|Publication:||The American Indian Quarterly|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1993|
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