Download Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian by Christopher B. Teuton PDF

By Christopher B. Teuton

Weaving connections among indigenous modes of oral storytelling, visible depiction, and modern American Indian literature, Deep Waters demonstrates the ongoing dating among conventional and modern local American structures of inventive illustration and signification. Christopher B. Teuton starts with a examine of Mesoamerican writings, Diné sand work, and Haudenosaunee wampum belts. He proposes a conception of the way and why indigenous oral and photograph technique of recording idea are interdependent, their capabilities and reasons made up our minds via social, political, and cultural contexts.

The middle of this ebook examines 4 key works of up to date American Indian literature by way of N. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, Ray A. younger undergo, and Robert J. Conley. via a textually grounded exploration of what Teuton calls the oral impulse, the image impulse, and the severe impulse, we see how and why a variety of sorts of modern local literary creation are interrelated and draw upon long-standing indigenous tools of artistic illustration. Teuton breaks down the disabling binary of orality and literacy, delivering readers a cogent, traditionally trained idea of indigenous textuality that enables for deeper readings of local American cultural and literary expression.

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Additional info for Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature

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Derrida’s work reveals “that even when a text tries to privilege speech as immediacy, it cannot completely eliminate the fact that speech, like writing, is based on a différance (a Derridean neologism meaning both ‘deferment’ the oral, graphic, and critical impulses | 25 and ‘difference’) between signifier and signified inherent in the sign” (Johnson 1995, 43). Derrida’s critique of logocentrism is persuasive. When we shift our attention to Native America, however, a more powerful influence is exerted by the concept of graphocentrism.

According to oral-literate theory, primarily oral societies, those without writing as recorded speech, have different cognitive capacities and social organizations. The codification of oral societal characteristics is stated most succinctly (and controversially) by Walter S. Ong in Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982). Ong argues that individuals in oral societies (which are small, communal, and depend on face-to-face interaction) think in particular, performative ways. He lists nine characteristics of the “oral mind” in primary oral cultures (those without any knowledge of writing): formulaic, redundant, conservative, agonistic, aggregative, close to the human lifeworld, situational, participatory, and homeostatic (36–57).

Drawing on ethnographic theories of performance and translation, and on the oral poetics of scholars such as Dell Hymes and Dennis Tedlock, critics of Native American literature have made sophisticated thematic readings of the oral dimensions of Indigenous texts a cornerstone of our field. Critics such as A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, Andrew Wiget, Kenneth Lincoln, Larry Evers, Paula Gunn Allen, Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat, Kenneth M. Roemer, Greg Sarris, and Simon J. Ortiz, among many others, recognize that Native American written literature carries on Indigenous oral storytelling traditions.

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