In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews163 postmodernism itself becomes an almost negative ahistorical truth: apocalypse has come full circle in a new end to history in aesthetic relativism and the autonomy of form in theories of deconstruction. By placing texts in historical context and by reading apocalypse as political conflict, Goldsmith enacts his own theory of democratic criticism. He undercuts the possibility of absolute textual authority by giving two sides to an often one-sided discussion of Romantic ideology. The strength of form is not necessarily the weakness of politics as many have argued, but Goldsmith is careful to assert that no literature or criticism, including his own, can deny its working inevitably within the greater political context. Goldsmith's deconstructive reflexivity never quite answers whether literature and criticism make any political difference, yet Unbuildingferusalem raises a question necessary to the progress of Romantic studies in the relationship between literature and politics. If aesthetic form and politics have worked so strongly together in the past to maintain conservative regimes, how strongly have they also worked to challenge this conservatism? Perhaps understanding the political significance of the apocalyptic canon of the past can revitalize our own sense of political struggle in reforming the literary canon today. University of Massachusetts, AmherstJacqueline LeBlanc On the Translation ofNative American Literatures, edited by Brian Swann; xx & 478 pp. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993, $45.00 cloth, $19.95 paper. How can we talk about narratives from an oral tradition such as that of Native Americans? How can we read, for example, a collection of "American Indian Myths"? What should we know about the processes that bring the verbal performance of one culture into the textual practices of another? The complexities of translation, from language to language, culture to culture, and tradition to tradition, abound. These are becoming increasingly important issues as texts from the American Indian community begin to be incorporated into the contemporary literary canon and their oral literature enters the classroom. However, because this tradition of narrative falls between the disciplinary gaps of the modern university—are we dealing with literature or anthropology or, even, sacred texts?—there seems to be little consensus on the best ways to read these narratives. The contributors to this volume attempt to illuminate this murky area of cultural transcription. The scope of the collection is broad, ranging from historical essays on uanslation to contemporary work being done with texts 164Philosophy and Literature and cultures from Nortii, Central, and Soudi America. Most of the essays belong to the field of ethnopoetics, which is die study—both the theory and practice—of making literary translations of ethnographic texts. Dell Hymes and Dennis Tedlock, founding members in the field of ethnopoetics, both contribute an essay. Hymes's approach is known as "rhetorical analysis" which, as another contributor explains, "looks at the way the narrator uses words and sentences to tell a story: the way in which topic and setting are established and then change the way in which imagery and the actions and responses of story actors are patterned" (p. 131). Several essays included in the volume rely on Hymes's metiiod, among them Kay Sammons's "Translating Poetic Features in the Sierra Popoluca Story of Homshuk," and Nancy Homberger's "Verse Analysis of 'The Condor and the Shepherdess.'" Tedlock's approach is less interested in analyzing narrative pattern than in presenting oral features (such as the situation in which a story is told or the dramatic features ofvoice) on the printed page. In his essay, "The Story of Evenadam," he explains that "[i]n retelling a Mayan Story here at home, it seems to me, the only proper thing to do is to frame that story within the story of how it came to be told and see where it might arrive in the process of textualization. But even when it comes to the story proper I will be drawn into the text, as you will see, and I will interrupt the already interpreted text in order to further interpret it" (p. 208) . As Tedlock's circle of interpretation implies, ethnopoetics has not been untouched by current literary theory. Arnold Krupat contributes an essay which brings together postmodern theoretical issues and die history...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 163-165
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.