By Mary Jane Lupton
Via either his fiction and non-fiction writing, James Welch supplies voice to the background, history, and cultural id of the yank Indian. This better half presents a desirable exploration of the guy, his writing, and the impression and impression of his literary output. With info according to a sequence of private interviews performed for this ebook, the biographical bankruptcy bargains an insightful account of Welch's lifestyles as a Blackfoot Indian, and as a poet and novelist.
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Additional resources for James Welch: A Critical Companion
He then gathered physical proof of the vision into his medicine bag for future protection. org). A number of Blackfeet legends are structured on the vision quest; one that appears frequently is the story of Poia or Scarface (see the version recorded by Walter McClintock [1999, 491–505]). The vision quest is crucial to an understanding of Fools Crow. The quest pattern, which is central to such European masterpieces as The Odyssey and The Aeneid, is a fundamental aspect of Native American literature, from the Blackfeet Old Man tales to N.
The selfdeprecating tone recalls another poem, “D-Y Bar,” in which Bear Child, a storyteller, acts out or plays bear on all four paws in order to get drinks from his white audience (38). The voice in most of the poems is the “I,” the Indian condemned to a life of struggle and poverty but smart enough and angry enough to be a renegade/poet. A few of the poems are told from the point of view of an “I” speaking to a “You,” as in the anti-assimilation poem “Plea to Those Genres and Literary Heritage 27 Who Matter,” where the Indian poet promises to please his captor by burning his drum, cutting his hair, and smashing his crooked nose.
Many of the countless films about George Armstrong Custer belong to the “Indian as Savage” genre. In They Died with Their Boots On (1941) Errol Flynn’s Custer is played out against Anthony Quinn’s Crazy Horse. “As Crazy Horse rides down upon and kills Custer, the audience sees a savage killing machine mowing down a righteous and courageous ‘real American’ ” (Kilpatrick 1999, 52). Even when Custer is portrayed as an irresponsible officer, the scales still tend to tilt toward the rights of settlers and the vigilance of the Seventh Cavalry, with historical facts based on newspaper accounts, journals, and other written documents.