Gerald Vizenor’s Native Provenance challenges readers to consider the subtle ironies at the heart of Native American culture and oral traditions such as creation and trickster stories and dream songs. A respected authority in the study of Native American literature and intellectual history, Vizenor believes that the protean nature of many creation stories, with their tease and weave of ironic gestures, was lost or obfuscated in inferior translations by scholars and cultural connoisseurs, and as a result the underlying theories and presuppositions of these renditions persist in popular literature and culture.
Native Provenance explores more than two centuries of such betrayal of native creativity. With erudite and sweeping virtuosity, Vizenor examines how ethnographers and others converted the inherent confidence of native stories into uneasy sentiments of victimry. He explores the connection between Native Americans and Jews through gossip theory and strategies of cultural survivance, and between natural motion and ordinary practices of survivance. Other topics include the unique element of native liberty inherent in artistic milieus; the genre of visionary narratives of resistance; and the notions of historical absence, cultural nihilism, and victimry.
Native Provenance is a tour de force of Native American cultural criticism ranging widely across the terrains of the artistic, literary, philosophical, linguistic, historical, ethnographic, and sociological aspects of interpreting native stories. Native Provenance is rife with poignant and original observations and is essential reading for anyone interested in Native American cultures and literature.
1. Gossip Theory: Native Irony and the Betrayal of Earthdivers
2. Survivance and Liberty: Turns and Stays of Native Sovereignty
3. Native Transmotion: Totemic Motion and Traces of Survivance
4. Natives of the Progressive Era: Luther Standing Bear and Karl May
5. Expeditions in France: Native Americans in the First World War
6. Visionary Sovereignty: Treaty Reservations and the Occupation of Japan
7. Cosmototemic Art: Natural Motion in Totemic and Visionary Art
8. Native Nouveau Roman: Dead End Simulations of Tragic Victimry
9. Time Warp Provenance: Heye Obsessions and Custer Portrayals
10. Trickster Hermeneutics: Naanabozho Curiosa and Mongrel Chauffeurs
11. Continental Liberty: The Spirit of Chief Joseph and Dane White
12. Pretense of Sovereignty: William Lawrence and the Ojibwe News
“Poet, novelist, and critic Gerald Vizenor is arguably the most accomplished and prolific intellectual in the field of Native American studies. . . . Vizenor’s crucial and liberating theories on Survivance, natural reason, the Postindian, and other matters are highly influential in the field. . . . The world needs more independent minds of Vizenor’s caliber.”—Michael Snyder, Great Plains Quarterly
Great Plains Quarterly
"In these essays Vizenor presents a way of seeing as compelling as his fiction."—L. De Danaan, Choice
L. De Danaan