NA Lit lecture 4/22/09 Ceremony part 3 Ceremony and Ceremony Redux One way to approach native literature: a dimension of a broader American or global story. It?s important to see how this literature is generated in a complex system of give and take with the non-native world. Making sense of this relatively is a central anxiety of this novel and especially of Tayo. Other artists who explore this idea: WB Yeats ?The second coming? All aspects of the world, communication, physics, religion, are in a state of dissolution. TS Eliot ?The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock? Ceremony p 68. The feeling that the center of things is dissolving. First third of the book is filled with misadventures Tayo has. ?There?, he said, pointing his chin at the bridge, ?they sleep over there, in alleys between the bars? (117)? ?When years before they had first come to the people living in the Cebolleta land grant? (243 and following). The political process of war shapes Tayo?s life. Linked with people?s inability to connect with the land. Transformation and misuse of the Laguna landscape is done so the US can mine Uranium. Environment degradation and war, these forces are joined in this book. Experience by Tayo and Laguna Pueblo in a personal and psychological way. Old Grandma witnessed the test of an atomic bomb. He recognized why all the voices joined together in his dream. Modernity is important. How do modernist writers respond or react to modernity. How is it possible for Tayo to work against such powerful global situations. u Grasshopper and fly story 46-49, 53, 71-72, 82, 105-106, 113-114, 121-152, 180, 255-256 Begins with radical disruption of a social and cultural system. Magician comes to town and the people are drawn away from their normal lives. They thought the magic could give life to plants and animals, they didn?t know it was a trick. Distraction, appeal of the novelty. Rocky is attracted to the life outside Laguna community. Relation between these stories and Rocky. ?If they like that magic so much, let them live off it.? There is a parallel between the droughts but more so a sense of loss and despair, the hope for new life is dwindled. There characters are forced to react and respond differently to this despair. Hummingbird is suddenly transformed and becomes the only hope for this community, the messenger. It has the ability to fly to the other world. He has to go to ask for forgiveness on behalf of his people. He empowers the people around him, now they?re actively helping the situation. He asks them to sing, to invent a solution to their difficulty by creating a story. The fly, who is not just this gross creature, becomes an important mythical being. Hummingbird?s song works, a big green fly flew out of the jar and these characters go to the 4th world. Mission of global consequence. They ask for the storm clouds back, but are redireddcted to buzzard. Buzzard tells them he needs Tobacco to complete the task. They ask the caterpillar for help in getting tobacco. They get to caterpillar?s place, (they go to the four directions), and caterpillar delivers the goods. Buzzard purifys the town. ?Stay out of trouble from now on.? Story about taking on new tasks and creating new relationships. The characters are forced to do something new and interact with each other. Not really a heartwarming or triumphant story. How difficult it is to react to the changes of the world. Narration itself, singing talking storytelling is a major element of this little story. The characters have more and more to explain to each other. This simple story totally jives with the way most radical artists reacted against conditions of modernity. Ezra Pound ? ?Make it new? Find old stories and tell them in new ways. New versions of their reality. Learning to tell the story of their existence in new ways TS Eliot ? In order for new artists to respond appropriately was to find new links to their pasts. ?The past is altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past.? (Tradition and the Individual Talent). Turning back to Ceremony Nearly every modernist artist suggest that we need to respond to uncertainty and instability of modernism by finding a path forward that involves the cultivation of networks and influence. You have to rely on others to find new ways to respond to the world. This newness almost always involves a re-appreciation of the past, of the people that came before you. You have to tell your own history in new ways. Even though these people are all kind of aggressive with their language, all of them concluded that the best way to respond to modernity was not to respond to it in a battle like way or sulk away from it. signal of disruption of life = war Cattle 73-75 ?I?m thinking about those cattle?? 127 ??looked down at the valley?? 132 ?That is the trickery of witchcraft?? 145 ?He dreamed of speckled cattle?? If you separate the cattle from the land for too long, they lose something. When you turn them loose again, they go running all over. They are scared because the land is unfamiliar. Scared animals die off easily. This saying becomes terribly important. He is thinking about his own engagement with the land. Disorientation, alienation, vulnerability, feeling of terror. Characterize the cattle and the humans in the story. Tayo buys into whatever an authority figure tells him. Rocky?s rejection of josiah?s plan (73-75). He says those books are written by scientists. Tries to make a break from his past and his people?s past. Isn?t reinventing or readapting these ideas. After coming back from the war, Tayo is deeply disturbed. Tayo can now either fade away like white smoke. He could also live by the model represented by Harley and Emo. They are led into spirals of self-destruction. Betonies ultimate point ?We have done as much fighting as we can do with the thieves. As much as we can do and still survive.? P 132, resisting this anger becomes the hardest yet the most important work in response to modernity and evil. They want us to separate ourselves from white people. They are tools of the witchery.
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