Mary Jane Lupton's James Welch: A Critical Companion PDF

By Mary Jane Lupton

ISBN-10: 0313327254

ISBN-13: 9780313327254

Via either his fiction and non-fiction writing, James Welch offers voice to the background, history, and cultural identification of the yankee Indian. This spouse presents a desirable exploration of the fellow, his writing, and the influence and impression of his literary output. With info in keeping with a sequence of non-public interviews carried out for this e-book, the biographical bankruptcy bargains an insightful account of Welch's existence as a Blackfoot Indian, and as a poet and novelist.

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At the end of his ascent over the mountains the sun sings to him and an eagle guides him home. Where he had once seen a flaming rainbow he now sees the mountains; where he had once heard the Voice of the Great Spirit he now sees his parents tending to him as he recovers from his trance (Neihardt [1932] 1998, 20– 47). The horse is prominent in Winter in the Blood. Here, I explore the relevance of animals as they relate to Welch’s poetry and to each of his novels, from the curious menagerie of cows and horses, of ducks and talking deer in Winter in the Blood to the disenfranchised title character of The Heartsong of Charging Elk, the elk being an animal assimilated with great frequency into Indian naming practices.

In “The Lost Children” an old woman’s pet dog is able to follow her instructions and bite through the ropes of two young victims in bondage, leading them to food and warning them not to enter their parents’ camp (Grinnell [1892] 1962, 50–60). Dogs are not always heroic, though. In the morbid story, “Why Dogs Do Not Talk,” a dog spies a medicine woman meeting her lover at night and tells the betrayed husband. In anger the woman makes the dog eat human excrement. After this, while dogs could “understand some words,” they could not talk (Wissler and Duvall [1908] 1995, 133).

Lincoln’s tribute to Welch’s Native poetics tends to miss out on the individualized points of view and the barroom language, the earthboy tones of the cloud Welch rode in on. Lincoln is reluctant to credit Welch’s tight style to his connections with Roethke, Yeats, and other modernists who were Welch’s acknowledged mentors. At its best Welch’s poetry captures an Indian vision of the landscape—its jagged features; its flow, its mountains and rivers, its circularity, its relatedness—in a pattern of intricate design and formal elegance that owes much to Richard Hugo.

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James Welch: A Critical Companion by Mary Jane Lupton

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