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ERIC Number: EJ865629
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0730-3238
"The Corn People Have a Song Too. It Is Very Good": On Beauty, Truth, and Goodness
Chamberlin, J. Edward
Studies in American Indian Literatures, v21 n3 p66-89 Fall 2009
Twenty-first-century skeptics would say that there are really no such things as beauty and truth and certainly not goodness. A Pueblo poet seemed to think there was--"the corn people have a song / it is very good"--and unless people think they know better, they'd better listen up. This article begins with a short piece, set down by the anthropologist Franz Boas in the 1920s and made widely available by Jerome Rothenberg as his opening selection in "Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas." The purpose of this little bit of music history is to highlight one's insatiable appetite for cultural stereotypes--they are, after all, the way one organizes the world, as well as its literatures. The author talks about comparative literature in Canada and the relative absence of Aboriginal literatures in the discipline. Though specifically concerned with comparative literature's historical (and contemporary) underrepresentation and often overt exclusion of Indigenous voices and texts in its scholarly concerns, the author's comments offer both an interdisciplinary perspective and an important transnational challenge for scholars in Native literary studies. The author ends the article with a "real" poem, returning to the Pueblo and his mischievous friend--and for five wonderful years, his colleague at the University of Toronto--Simon Ortiz. The poem is called "The Creation, According to Coyote," and it's about a trickster who takes story and song seriously. (Contains 16 notes.)
University of Nebraska Press. 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada