Non-Fiction Books:

Inventing the American Primitive

Politics, Gender and the Representation of Native American Literary Traditions, 1789-1936
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Hardback
Inventing the American Primitive by Helen Carr
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Description

American mainstream culture has always been fascinated with the notion of the primitive, particularly as embodied by Native Americans. In Inventing the American Primitive, Helen Carr illustrates how responses to the existence of Native American traditions have shaped ideas of American identity and American literature. Inventing the American Primitive examines a body of work, both literary and anthropological, that describes, inscribes, translates and transforms Native American myths and poetry. Drawing on post-colonial and feminist theory, as well as ethnography's recent textual turn, Carr reveals the conflicts and ambivalence in these texts. Through their writings, the writers and anthropologists studied were attempting to preserve a culture which their country, with their help or connivance, sought to destroy. The contradictions and tensions of this position run throughout their work. Although there is no simple narrative of progress in this story, as it moves from the eighteenth-century primitivism to twentieth-century modernism, the book shows the process by which the richness and complexity of Native American traditions came to be acknowledged. Inventing the American Primitive offers a radical new reading of American literary history, as well as fresh insights into the powerful pull of primitivism in United States culture, and into the interactions of gender and race ideologies.

Author Biography

Helen Carr is Professor of English at Goldsmith's College in England.
Release date NZ
July 1st, 1996
Author
Audience
  • General (US: Trade)
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
New York University Press
Pages
286
Dimensions
152x229x21
ISBN-13
9780814715482
Product ID
13385186

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