Friday, April 06, 2007

Vine Deloria, Jr., a career summary and a play in one act

Recently I began reading some books by native American Indian author Vine Deloria, Jr. So far I enjoy his unorthodox approach and his playful, witty, and provocative style. I find value in his apparent role as trickster. I think I see what he wanted his readers to see.

Not everyone appreciates the role of trickster as teacher, however, especially outside of native cultures. As I do some more research about the man I notice that some of the folks who criticize him seem mostly baffled by his unconventional perspective. It occurred to me that Vine Deloria, Jr.'s career might be summarized in a very brief one act play...

Vine Deloria, Jr.: I reject the rules of white culture.

Critics: Goshdarnit, Deloria! You're not playing by our rules!

Vine Deloria, Jr.: No kidding.

Since I have previously declared that I don't do book reviews, this certainly should not be construed as one. I'm just noting another instance of personal perspective on culture, another illustration of faces and vases, of icebergs and the illusion of communication.

Yup, that's all, really.


luvpeltier said...

I hate the fact that Solzenhitzen [sp] and Deloria are gone. The children of this age need to know them. Vine Deloria has so much to offer and I STRONGLY encourage everyone to read his works.

Unknown said...

With all that "science" around, one should feel no need for common sense, but common sense is what Deloria is all about. And he backs it up with oral tradition and science, which would seem, to the average parasite of science, a contradiction. Sometimes one must have faith in the obvious, and not bungle it all up with the fallacies of the "teachers".

Carol said...

I have just found Deloria, and am trying to find and purchase all his works.I was devastated to find he is gone. I think it is interesting that his name is VINE, Jesus said I am the VINE ye are the branches. I think he is very Messianic in Nature, in that his words have the power to open up indoctrinated minds. I think all peoples, NATIVE or OTHER owe it to themselves to read his works.