Looking forward/Looping back

Dr. Michael Oberg, Geneseo’s SUNY Distinguished Professor of History, now has a website up in support the forthcoming second edition of his textbook Native America: A History. The site is an amazing resource, and I encourage you to bookmark it and get familiar with it as part of your dedication to lifelong learning.

As I poked around on the site and continued to learn, I encountered David J. Silverman’s essay “Guns, empires and Indians.”

In Morrison’s fiction, guns aren’t going away.

There are many of them in Paradise.

But for now, this quote from Silverman took me back to our earlier conversation about the complexity with which Morrison, appearing at first to lure readers to draw from dangerously romantic scripts, paints Lina’s character in A Mercy: 

“For instance, one realises that this supposedly New World was, in fact, quite old, full of ancient, complex societies of remarkable diversity. The myth of the noble savage, which has sprung back to life in New Age religious circles, shatters as one confronts indigenous people in three-dimensional form. They possessed all the ambition, jealousy, violence and Machiavellian spirit that one would expect to find among any other human population.”

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