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370-001 Native American Literature: Mythic Realities

370-001 Native American Literature: Mythic Realities
Instructor: Pascale Manning

Description:

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said]
They aren't just entertainment.
Don't be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off
illness and death.

You don't have anything
if you don't have stories.
(Leslie Marmon Silko, from Ceremony)

The Native American literature we will read in this course explores the power and work of storytelling. Issues to be considered include: the relationship of an oral tradition to a written one, the intersections of the mythic and the mundane, finding a balance between tradition and modernity, literature as an act of resistance and recuperation, the interweaving of dreams and visions into narrative, and the relationship of Indigenous literature to traditional Western narrative forms.

Works to be studied include:
N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water
Film: Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

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