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Extra resources for Famous Indians: A Collection of Short Biographies
Her works are published, not oral, performances, and her audience encounters her stories as new experiences, not as the frequently repeated myths of their culture. (1998: 190–191). The unsustainability of claims like Jacobs’s – which become, most importantly, an unjustifiable burden on the Native author13 – increases 5429T LOUISE ERDRICH-PT/rev/lb_Demy 24/08/2010 13:07 Page 25 Authorship and authority 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 25 their problematic nature, advancing a theoretical strategy rooted in the epistemological traditions of a tribal people, but also implicitly promoting a sense of precolonial culture trammelled by, but reclaimed from the clutches of, colonisation; it teeters, treacherously, on the brink of the anti-modern.
May be found in what I think of as a kind of frontier zone, which elsewhere I have referred to as “always unstable, multidirectional, hybridized, characterized by heteroglossia, and indeterminate” ’ (2001: 11). That question of strategic location recurs in many senses throughout the critical archive: in Cook-Lynn’s accusations of the inadequacies of Erdrich’s sense of place (1993); or, in opposition, Hafen’s sense of Erdrich’s emplacement (2001a); in the various postcolonial paradigms brought to bear on Erdrich’s characters, such as hybridity and colonial mimicry; in the narrative analyses of Erdrich’s work as postmodern, carnivalesque, tribal, feminist, and so on; and in the more general commentary on where Erdrich – and by implication writing by other mixed-blood writers – belongs.
There is an out-of-placeness about him. While Theresa goes to bars to be fawned over by men, Grandpa ‘walks from Saint Ann’s, limp and crazy’. There is a further juxtaposition in the poem between the way Grandpa is described and the third and final character, Uncle Ray, a drunk, ‘looking up/dark tunnels’ of the sleeves of the nuns who, presumably, raised him. While Theresa retains her earthy vitality (‘She smells/like a hayfield, drifting pollen/of birch trees’) and Grandpa, going homeward from the Bingo, clearly inhabits a world that is outside the sight or experience of those around him, Ray occupies a familiar space, disturbing only for the fact that it no longer disturbs: 5429T LOUISE ERDRICH-PT/rev/lb_Demy 24/08/2010 13:07 Page 41 Towards a geocultural poetics 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 41 The latch is the small hook and eye of religion.
Famous Indians: A Collection of Short Biographies by Bureau of Indian Affairs