Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence

Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence

Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence

Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence

Synopsis

Native peoples today are best known through their fugitive poses: textual and graphic depictions steeped in a modernist aesthetic of romantic victimry, tragedy, and nostalgia. In Fugitive Poses Gerald Vizenor argues that such representations celebrate the absence rather than the presence of the Native.

Excerpt

LIBERATIVE STORIES

Native American Indians are the storiers of presence, the chroniclers in the histories of this continent. There are no other secure stories that tease the creation of a native presence, that actuate the sovenance and totemic observance of nature. Native stories are the traces of natural reason, not the spoils of surveillance. Native stories are communicative, autonomous creations, and the traces of a “second nature” in these essays of Fugitive Poses.

The Chinese Monkey King, and the stories of the anishinaabe trickster naanabozho, are evocations on the presence, conversions, and censure of natives; these stories are an introduction to five essays on academic surveillance, simulations, resistance, natural reason, survivance, and the transmotion of native sovereignty.

The People’s Republic of China convenes an elusive tolerance of the “educative function” in creative narratives; likewise, the insincere, and moralistic versions of native stories in translation might be tolerated, but naanabozho, the carnal, raucous, priapean holosexual trickster in anishinaabe stories, would never survive communistic censure.

The Chinese Monkey King, in The Journey to the West, is the cousin of naanabozho, the native trickster; the natural stories of their provenance are stone, water, and survivance. The mind monkey and native trickster are the clever teasers of creation, totemic conversion, and even their own continuance in literature.

The Monkey King stories have outlasted colonial treasons, the warlords, many missions, reversions, revolutions, and communistic censure. The oral stories of naanabozho, the tricky cousin in the east, were expurgated as educative moral lessons in the translations of missionaries; moreover, these stories, once liberative, were abated as mimetic evidence in social science studies. The causal . . .

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