Inventing the American Primitive Politics, Gender and the Representation of Native American Literary Traditions, 1789-1936
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Description: A valuable and major contribution to its field and to the associated interdisciplinary debates. --Jim PhillipUniversity of Essex American mainstream culture has always been fascinated with the notion of the primitive, particularly as embodied by Native Americans. In Inventing the American Primitive, Helen Carr illustrates how responses to the existence of Native American traditions have shaped ideas of American identity and American literature. Inventing the American Primitive examines a body of work, both literary and anthropological, that describes, inscribes, translates and transforms Native American myths and poetry. Drawing on post-colonial and feminist theory, as well as ethnography's recent textual turn, Carr reveals the conflicts and ambivalence in these texts. Through their writings, the writers and anthropologists studied were attempting to preserve a culture which their country, with their help or connivance, sought to destroy. The contradictions and tensions of this position run throughout their work. Although there is no simple narrative of progress in this story, as it moves from the eighteenth-century primitivism to twentieth-century modernism, the book shows the process by which the richness and complexity of Native American traditions came to be acknowledged. Inventing the American Primitive offers a radical new reading of American literary history, as well as fresh insights into the powerful pull of primitivism in United States culture, and into the interactions of gender and race ideologies.
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List price: $27.00
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 7/1/1996
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
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