Indians occupy “vast territories of the imagination,” he said. “The stories America tells itself about itself involve us, but most people will never meet or talk to one of us.”
With his work, whether fiction, criticism or lexicography, Mr. Treuer said he was trying to create a new Indian story, one in which Native literature joins the mainstream of American letters, while Indian traditions receive their proper attention from scholars and are preserved from extinction.
“Words are the most powerful shaping tool,” he said. “Writing, speech, language don’t just communicate fact, they create fact.”
One problem with Treuer's position: I doubt Erdrich, Alexie et al. would agree they're writing "cultural artifacts" rather than literature. In fact, Indian authors routinely say they're trying to transcend the genre of ethnic fiction and create works with universal appeal.
Post a Comment