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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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kllopez has commented on (1) product.

Native American Fiction: A User's Manual by David Treuer
Native American Fiction: A User's Manual

kllopez, December 28, 2008

I hope Mr. Treuer will reexamine the usefulness of the canon of Native American literature models with a more contemporary framework, not simply jump off from the 1700's into this present predicament in literature that pertains to Native Americans: tradition versus integration. It's too easy to draw contrast with cultural sociology. Much more intriguing would be a treatment that uncovers the literary nuances of contemporary writers. James Fenimore Cooper is not quite the literary equal of the more modern writers, and it is displacing to leap from Cooper to our present day Native American novelists. Cooper barely qualifies as a keen novelist. We can't leave out Salinger, Hemingway, Jack London, and Mark Twain when we examine the articulation of the Native American artifact. All of these writers have depicted Native Americans in questionable forms, and merit mention by Treuer, if we are to accept his premise that questions the usefulness of Native American literature as a cultural entity. Jumping from James Fenimore Cooper into the lap of Sherman Alexie is too large an extraction of generalities. Treuer leaves out literary giants, and I would rather see a contrast built between the more modern writers in the finer digest of literature. Such a treatment matches Silko with Twain, London with Erdrich, and Alexie with Salinger. This is a treatment that awaits Treuer's analysis. Without it, his premise remains incomplete. Give him some money to try again.
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