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Additional info for Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature
From the earliest inscriptions on stone steles, altars, ﬂights of steps, and monuments, Mesoamerican graphic texts exalt and attempt to legitimize rulers with reference to victorious battles, the sacriﬁce of prisoners, the dating of political events, and the naming of nobles for speciﬁc calendar days (42). Marcus contends that writing in Mesoamerica was an offshoot of political power struggles in these socially stratiﬁed societies, “a tool and a by-product of this competition for prestige and leadership positions” (15).
The oral impulse is the impulse communities and individuals feel as the need to create and maintain knowledge in relatively direct response to one another and to a rapidly changing world. ). The graphic impulse expresses the cultural desire for the permanent recording of cultural knowledge in formats that will allow for recollection and study. Like oral discourses, 32 | the oral, graphic, and critical impulses graphic discourses can draw on a vast array of formats and styles. Walter D. Mignolo deﬁnes a graphic sign as “a mark on a solid surface made for the purpose of establishing a semiotic interaction.
Responding to a call for tribally speciﬁc critical approaches articulated most forcefully by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Craig the oral, graphic, and critical impulses | 21 S. 10 In Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism, Womack studies Creek oral tradition in order to “formulate interpretive strategies” (1999, 76). He states, “We scholars haven’t yet done enough to articulate how the oral tradition provides the principle for interpreting our national literatures—the genres; the unique approaches to character development, plot, theme, setting, and so on; the effect on the structuring of stories; the philosophies that come out of this tradition; the contexts it provides for understanding politics, religion, and society” (76).
Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature by Christopher B. Teuton