Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||Narrative, Orality, and Native-American Historical Consciousness: The Critique of Logocentrism in Louise Erdrich’s Tracks|
|Authors: ||Butler, Jonathan|
|Keywords: ||敘述;口說;美國原住民的歷史意識;理性中心論;《蹤跡》;鄂萃曲;narrative;orality;Native-American historical consciousness;logocentrism;Tracks;Erdrich|
|Issue Date: ||2017-01-11 16:13:42 (UTC+8)|
In view of the rising interest in resurrecting forgotten or invalidated modalities of aboriginal discourse, it seems timely to return to a pivotal text in the debate between traditional Western historical narrative and Native-American historical consciousness. Nancy J. Peterson, in a 1994 PMLA article titled ＂History, Narrative, and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks,＂ champions Erdrich’s novel as a praiseworthy compromise between two extremes: the representational claims of conventional documentary history on the one hand, and the linguistic abyss proffered by poststructuralist anti-representationalism on the other. Such an assessment is both meticulous and apt. My contention, however, is that Peterson underestimates the strength Erdrich gives one of the novel’s narrators, Nanapush, who refuses to capitulate to the Western paradigm of written discourse and instead celebrates the oral tradition of the Anishinabe Native Americans, giving it a place both outside and impervious to the hegemony of colonial written discourse. Peterson also seems to miss the extent to which Erdrich undercuts the validity of the narrative voice of Pauline (the novel’s second narrator). Peterson’s claim that ＂Erdrich’s novel holds Nanapush’s and Pauline’s antithetical views in tension,＂ while certainly true on a formal level, is questionable in light of two key issues: first, the deceitful and alienating nature of her narratival recordings; second, the strength with which Nanapush’s narrative flourishes within an intersubjective matrix fostered by those within his community as well as the natural world itself. Consequently, Tracks may not be as bipartisan in its compromise as Peterson claims it to be. A richer reading of the text, proffered here, proposes exploring the embeddedness of Nanapush’s sense of identity and narrative voice within a sustaining and ever-nourishing multiplicity of human and animal life forms, a kind of democracy of animate life, to borrow and modify a phrase from contemporary material ecocriticism.
|Relation: ||Tamkang Review=淡江評論 46(1), pp.3-22|
|Appears in Collections:||[淡江評論] 第46卷第1期|
Files in This Item:
All items in 機構典藏 are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.