Cultural Studies

Download West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the by Noreen Groover Lape PDF

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By Noreen Groover Lape

Increasing the scope of yankee borderland and frontier literary scholarship, West of the Border examines the writings of 19th- and turn-of-the-century local, African, Asian, and Anglo American frontier writers. This e-book perspectives frontiers as “human spaces” the place cultures make touch because it considers multicultural frontier writers who communicate from “west of the border.”

James P. Beckwourth, a half-black fur dealer; Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, a Paiute translator; Salishan writer Mourning Dove; Cherokee novelist John Rollin Ridge; Sui Sin some distance, an Anglo-Chinese brief tale author, and her sister, romance novelist Onoto Watanna; and Mary Austin, a white southwestern author- each one of those intercultural writers faces a ceremony of passage right into a new social order. Their writings negotiate their numerous frontier ordeals: the encroachment of pioneers at the land; reservation lifestyles; assimilation; Christianity; battles over territories and assets; exclusion; miscegenation legislation; and the devastation of the environment.

In West of the Border, Noreen Groover Lape increases concerns inherent in American pluralism at the present time by way of broaching well timed issues approximately American frontier politics, conceptualizing frontiers as intercultural touch zones, and increasing the limits of frontier literary stories through giving voice to minority writers.

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Extra resources for West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the Western American Frontiers

Sample text

For example, he highlights two noble savages Beckwourth creates. The ¤rst is Beckwourth’s blood brother, a Crow with no living relatives, who engages Beckwourth in a ceremony that makes them family. ” Later, the reviewer describes the death of the great Chief A-ra-poo-ash: “It would be dif¤cult to imagine a more poetical rendering of the last moments of a great warrior” (465). 51 Besides the romantic, the reviewer records and describes Native American types that are resoundingly puritanical. The writer reports the pivotal scene in Beckwourth’s autobiography—the one also conventional to Indianhater narratives—when the Indians massacre his playmates and he discovers “their bodies mangled, their scalps torn off” (456).

Historian William Loren Katz ¤nds that Beckwourth was traditionally thought to be a white culture hero and cites as evidence the 1951 movie Tomahawk, in which his character is played by a white actor. ”9 Assigning his autobiography to any one tradition over another is done at the expense of its many frontiers. Instead, in approaching it as a frontier narrative, the reader refuses to accept his wholesale “passing” and in so doing is challenged both to investigate the cultural layers of Beckwourth’s autobiographical self and to examine the connection between Beckwourth’s position between cultures and double consciousness on the frontier.

Finally, Barnett explains the quandary of the Indian-hater who, paradoxically, to achieve his goals assimilates super¤cially to Native American culture by utilizing its weapons. If the Indianhater overly emulates Native Americans, he is considered a renegade white Indian. 45 Beckwourth walks this frontier boundary between renegade and conqueror like a tightrope. 36 Double Consciousness in the Borderlands Beckwourth’s tale, despite its ambiguity and double consciousness, most likely reinforced stereotypical and conventional beliefs concerning Native Americans for his audience.

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