Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism

Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism

Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism

Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism

Synopsis

In an unconventional and humorous appeal, Womack creates a dialogue between essays on Native literature and fictional letters from Creek characters who comment on the essays. He shows an alternative approach to American Indian literature.

Excerpt

My purpose in writing Red on Red is to contribute, probably in a small way, toward opening up a dialogue among Creek people, specifically, and Native people, more generally, regarding what constitutes meaningful literary efforts. My attempts toward such a conversation, I hope, are more suggestive than prescriptive, more a working out of beginnings rather than endings, more gauged toward encouraging tribal people to talk about literature rather than dictating the terms of such a dialogue. My greatest wish is that tribes, and tribal members, will have an increasingly important role in evaluating tribal literatures. It goes without saying that I cannot speak for Creek people or anyone else; however, I do have the responsibility as a Creek-Cherokee critic to try to include Creek perspectives in my approaches to Native literature, especially given the wealth of Creek wisdom on the subject. This book arises out of the conviction that Native literature, and the criticism that surrounds it, needs to see more attention devoted to tribally specific concerns.

This study, unfortunately, does not include all Creek writers and artists. a number of people, such as Vincent Mendoza, Eddie Chuculate, Susanna Factor, Helen Chalakee Burgess, and others, deserve to be included. Jim Pepper's horn probably belongs in here somewhere. Creek author Thomas E. Moore, writing under the nom de plume William Harjo, continued his version of the Fus Fixico tradition in the 1930s for Oklahoma City and Tulsa newspapers in a regular Sunday feature entitled Sour Sofke. Stephanie Berryhill's wonderful series on original Creek allottees, in which she records the language of elders in all its beauty without trying . . .

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