Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism

Front Cover
U of Minnesota Press, 1999 - Social Science - 336 pages
3 Reviews
How can a square peg fit into a round hole? It can't. How can a door be unlocked with a pencil? It can't. How can Native literature be read applying conventional postmodern literary criticism? It can't.

That is Craig Womack's argument in Red on Red. Indian communities have their own intellectual and cultural traditions that are well equipped to analyze Native literary production. These traditions should be the eyes through which the texts are viewed. To analyze a Native text with the methods currently dominant in the academy, according to the author, is like studying the stars with a magnifying glass.

In an unconventional and piercingly humorous appeal, Womack creates a dialogue between essays on Native literature and fictional letters from Creek characters who comment on the essays. Through this conceit, Womack demonstrates an alternative approach to American Indian literature, with the letters serving as a "Creek chorus" that offers answers to the questions raised in his more traditional essays. Topics range from a comparison of contemporary oral versions of Creek stories and the translations of those stories dating back to the early twentieth century, to a queer reading of Cherokee author Lynn Riggs's play The Cherokee Night.

Womack argues that the meaning of works by native peoples inevitably changes through evaluation by the dominant culture. Red on Red is a call for self-determination on the part of Native writers and a demonstration of an important new approach to studying Native works -- one that engages not only the literature, but also the community from which the work grew.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Red On Red: Native American Literary Separatism

User Review  - Steven Salaita - Goodreads

A seminal work of Native literary criticism, focused in particular on Muskogee writing. Womack argues for a "red stick" approach to Native literary criticism that eschews traditional Eurocentric modes of interpretation. Read full review

Review: Red On Red: Native American Literary Separatism

User Review  - Andrea Riley - Goodreads

I love this book. Womack is writing on something that scholars in NAS have been lobbying for many years. Read full review

Contents

THREE
75
FOUR
107
FIVE
131
SEVEN
223
EIGHT
271
Notes
311
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Craig S. Womack "is Associate Professor in the English Department at Emory University, author of Drowning in Fire: A Novel and Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism, and coauthor of Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective.

Bibliographic information