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Reviews Duke’s Mixture. By Frederick Manfred. (Sioux Falls: The Center for Western Studies, 1994. 270 pages, $15.95.) The Centerfor Western Studies has performed agreat service for Manfred enthusiasts by bringing together this miscellany of his short pieces, many previously unpublished or hard to find. Interviews, essays, narratives, and addresses explore the writing process, reveal glimpses of Manfred’s autobiog­ raphy, and celebrate and describe Siouxland, the place that provides the foundation for Manfred’s life and career. Few writers have spoken and written about their own creative process as forthrightly or as perceptively as has Manfred. In the several interviews in­ cluded here and in essays such as “The Making of Lord Grizzly," “Old Voices in My Writings,” and “A Modest Proposal Concerning the Rume,” he discusses both the technical aspects ofwriting and the ethical aspects of discovering and being true to one’s “voice”with candor and enthusiasm. Most satisfying, however, are autobiographical pieces such as “Dinkytown” and “Calvin College in the Thirties,”which describe places and people influen­ tial to his life and career, and “Visit with Marlon Brando,”in which Manfred tries unsuccessfully to convince the famous actor to play Hugh Glass in a nevermade film of Lord Grizzly. Tying these disparate pieces together is Manfred’s belief in the impor­ tance of “place” to fiction. According to Manfred, a place ultimately chooses the writer who gives it voice, and the writer’s voice comes ultimately by accessing his/her primal, and hence, truest, self. This self is also profoundly connected to place, geographically and geologically aswell as culturally speak­ ing. Much of this seems to come to Manfred intuitively, even mystically, but it is also related to his sympathetic study of Native-American culture. All in all, Duke’s Mixture is a fine companion piece to PrimeFathers (1989) and SelectedLetters (1989) as a source for critical and biographical information about an authorwhose reputation will undoubtedly continue to rise. Itwill also be valued by anyone interested in the dialogue about the place of western writing in American literature. GORDONJOHNSTON Missouri Valley College ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 105
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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