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A Native Sense of Existence: The Poetry and Poetics of Risk in Simon J. Ortiz



在《彼方某處》(Out There Somewhere)的開場詩作〈押角日誌〉(Headlands Journal)裡歐提茲(Simon Ortiz)對風險展開全面的思索。詩人所關切的是,一直以來,風險對於美洲原住民有著什麼樣的意義?生活及生存的風險,再加上說故事和寫詩的風險。他要如何完整地主現原住民冒著生命危險去對抗美國歷史的暴行?當面臨原住民消逝殆盡時,他又如何傾其全力找尋創作詩文的靈感?他克盡一己之力去建立他做為新墨西哥麥卡提阿珂瑪原住民的聲音,進而融合他對原住氏文化遺產的愛,並以愛對抗個人生命中諸多逆境:酗酒、挖礦、居無定所和與親人漸行漸遠。沒有多少人會懷疑歐提茲的創作已有其重要的文學成就。事實上,詩人的文學創作生涯源自他就讀於新墨西哥大學,按著到愛荷華大學修習藝術碩士課程,一直到現在任教於多倫多大學。他以書寫者式的方式旅行,特別是《閃電前後》(After and Before the Lightning)一作便是他與朗比族和羅茲巴德拉柯塔蘇族生活相處後所寫的作品。本文意圖透過閱讀一系列詩文,檢視歐提茲在《彼方某處》、《閃電前後》等詩作中,發展出重要議題。一如歐提茲在〈新故事〉一詩中所言,這不單是創作的冒險,也是對美國主流文化假裝對印地安人視而不見的抗議寫作和還擊之聲。

Parallel abstracts

In ”Headlands Journal,” the opening sequence of Out There Somewhere (2002), Simon Ortiz develops a whole riff on the issue of ”risk.” His concern is with what risk has meant for Native Americans-risks of life, survival, and with it risks of storytelling and poetry. How best to articulate the risks taken by Native peoples to counter the assaults of American history? How best to find and make poetry in the face of assumed margin and even evisceration? How best to establish his own Acoma-Native voice begun in McCarty's, New Mexico (Deetzeyaamah in the Acoma language) and forged both from a love of heritage and against a fair amount of personal set-back, whether drink and rehab at a Colorado VA hospital, hands-on mining work, or periods of drift and lost relationships?Few would doubt that his has been a key literary achievement, a vindication in verse and prose of his own chance-taking as a writer. The span runs also from his early University of New Mexico student years and MFA from Iowa through to his present academic position in Toronto and the writerly ”journeys” he has made-notably to the Lumbee nation and to the Rosebud Lakota Sioux out of which arose his ”After and Before the Lightning” (1994). The presentation to hand examines a run of poems that take on these issues as Ortiz develops them not only in Out There Somewhere and After and Before the Lightning, but in from Sand Creek (1981), with its memory of the US cavalry massacre of encamped Cheyenne and Arapaho in 1984, and the volumes collected in Woven Stone (1992 and re-printings). Not the least of the creative risks Ortiz has taken, and as he writes in the poem ”A New Story,” has been the writing-in, the counter-voicing, against an American mainstream’s assumption of ”a lack of Indians.”


Simon J. Ortiz.(2002).Out There Somewhere.Tucson, Arizona:U of Arizona.
Simon J. Ortiz.(1999).Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories.Tucson , Arizona:U of Arizona.
Simon J. Ortiz.(1995).Telling and Showing Her: The Earth. The Land. Buffalo.New York:Just Buffalo Literary Center.
Simon J. Ortiz.(1994).After and Before the Lightning.Tucson:U of Arizona.
Simon J. Ortiz.(1992).Woven Stone. Sun Tracks.Tucson, Arizona:U of Arizona P.

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