Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

From the monologic eye to healing polyphonies : dialogic re/vision in native American narratives

Silvia Martínez Falquina

Abstract

As within the field of New Literatures in English or minority writing, two main models of fiction and critical discourse can be found in Native American texts. On the one hand, an essentialist or national model reproduces old images of the indian by favoring a separatist approach that reinforces dichotomies and hierarchies as it affirms differences. Both Alexie’s Indian Killer and Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes are shown to be examples of this trend. On the other hand, there is a more global, hybrid and relational model, which, while it can become strategically essentialist, relies fundamentally on dialectics. As an example of this trend, Erdrich’s Tales of Burning Love provides a holistic approach that favors the dialogue between texts and reality, allowing us to perceive truth as the sum of a series of points of view, and redefining subjectivity as polyphonic and reciprocal. It is the point of this paper to show that, besides a productive re/vision of the categories of gender and ethnicity that allows for the simultaneous deconstruction of conventions and the affirmation of differences, this second approach allows us to reinterpret Native American texts as the result of a series of open dialogues between ethnic and canonical, masculine and feminine, old and new.

Keywords

Literatura nativoamericana; Literatura norteamericana; Alexie, Sherman; Erdrich, Louise; Tendencias narrativas



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2003.16.18

Copyright (c) 2003 Silvia Martínez Falquina

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