Surviving through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs: A California Indian Reader

Surviving through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs: A California Indian Reader

Surviving through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs: A California Indian Reader

Surviving through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs: A California Indian Reader

Synopsis

"This unique and original book sets the standard for such volumes. I can't see anyone coming along for quite some time who would be able to supersede it or top it for quality and inclusiveness."--Brian Swann, editor of "Coming to Light"

"It is a masterful treatment of oral literature. . . a wonderful combination of great verbal art and sound scholarship, carefully crafted so that the collection begins and ends with a powerful creation tale."--Leanne Hinton, author of "Flutes of Fire"

"Since each of the contributing specialists has first-hand familiarity with the material, the translations are of unusual authenticity and the annotations are of unusual insightfulness. Luthin's own introductory sections are especially vivid and well-informed."--William Bright, author of "A Coyote Reader"

Excerpt

When this volume was in its planning stages, I always described it to colleagues and editors as a “reader, ” a reader in the field of California Indian oral literature. It was to be a comprehensive anthology of both classic and contemporary works in translation, whose selections would feature as many of California's cultures and languages as possible. Indeed, my working title throughout these many years of putting it together was simply A California Indian Reader. The book has turned out pretty much the way I first saw it in my mind's eye, but the title itself has since then su ered a demotion. The reason why is worth the telling.

In truth, it wasn't long before I grew uneasy describing this book as a “reader. ” The term seems to promise that the book in hand will contain all of the essential readings on a given topic. And I will admit to believing, when Brian Swann first suggested I think about undertaking such a project, that this book could and would do just that. I actually thought I could examine and absorb all of what there was and select the essentials from a complete picture of the recorded literature. Looking back, bemused, I can only shake my head at such naïveté. There is so much material in so many sources, in so many di erent forms and places, that after many years of going through libraries and collections, talking to singers and storytellers, linguists, and archivists, and wearing out my welcome at my once-willing interlibrary loan department, I've still seen only a portion of what exists. What's more, I'm thrilled to admit it. My notion that this volume could actually be a reader, in the most restrictive . . .

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