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Reviews 383 a variety of poetic forms (e.g. Native American oral works translated into verse form, tanka and haiku, early free verse) and has searched for both typical and atypical elements in poets of earlier generations. Wendt does not strive to be a transparent editor; she reads these works through the filter of her own critical and social agenda, as in her consistent efforts to link the works ofearlier women poets to current feminist concerns. Primus St. John, in the contemporary section of the volume, explicitly sought to include “invisible” voices. Though he expresses dissatisfaction with the diversity he was able to structure, many lively voices appear, representing divergent views of poetry as well as varying race, gender, ethnicity and class. He also openly faces the question ofwho qualifies as an Oregonian: “Their private allegiance is enough to sanctify them as Oregon writers. . . .” Some recurrent themes surface: Cecelia Hagen and Michael S. Harper write of their children; Harold L.Johnson and Miles Wilson write ofwar experiences. And there are the unique poems like Marilyn Krysl’s reflections on feet and Kaz Sussman’s cel­ ebration of birth and music. The variety will keep any audience reading. This is, after all, an anthology, and readers experience that terrible disap­ pointment of loving a poem and not finding more by a particular author. But then, there are those suggestions for further reading, those bibliographies, and soon we’re in the library, the bookstore. There are worse things! CAROL S. LONG Willamette University Lighting Out: A Vision of California and the Mountains. By Daniel Duane. (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 1994. 292 pages, $12.00.) He was simply a youth tremendously excited with life. . . . [H]e wanted to live so much and to get involved with people. . . . Jack Kerouac, On theRoad This passage summarizes Daniel Duane’s Lighting Out: A Vision ofCalifornia and theMountains. Duane’sstory, like Kerouac’s, is the story ofyouth looking for “IT.”This odyssey, written in the first person and filled with the hip vernacular of the nineties, traces the life of the protagonist from his last days at Cornell to his return to California (which seems to represent a rejection of much of the political baggage of post-modernism), with side trips through relationships, family, and adventures that center around climbing. In fact, climbing and family are the two constants in the book. The protagonist, a beginning climber, follows in the footsteps of his father and uncle, both of whom he respects and who are veteran Sierra and Yosemite climbers. The one thing missing from Duane’s text in comparison to Kerouac’s is rebellion and what appears to be utter disregard for people with differing ideas and philosophies. 384 WesternAmerican Literature The rock climbing in the story serves as a metaphor for the author’sgrowth and development. As climbs get bigger and more dangerous, and therefore require more commitment, the protagonist seems to mature not only as a climber but as a human being. According to the British mountaineer Doug Scott’s essay “On the Profundity Trail,” to attempt difficult climbs in remote places allows the climber to step away from the world of the commonplace, to grow through experience, adventure, and hard work and then to be able to return to society renewed. Duane states: “During the long and painful rappel, disappointment mingled with elation at being both alive and freed from my stupid ambition. I touched ground and dropped everything: terra plata. A nervous young Brazilian man—beautiful with long hair—smiled and said, ‘Goodjob.’Heroes home from the front. Conquerorsjust for considering it.” The reader comes away from Lighting Out with this same positiveness, something refreshing and very important in contemporary literature. MIKELVAUSE WeberState University WayDown YonderIn TheIndian Nation. ByMichael Wallis. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993. 251 pages, $18.95.) The 66 Diner; Ethel’s97 Bar-B-Q; Woody Guthrie’s songs. These are just a few of the sights and sounds that fill Michael Wallis’s Way Down Yonder In The Indian Nation, a collection of sixteen essays which attempt to imbue Oklahoma with both a reclaimed sense ofhistory and a discernible sense ofplace. Hoping to counter perceptions of Oklahoma...


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pp. 383-384
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