A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (Masterworks of the Classical Haida Mythtellers)

A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (Masterworks of the Classical Haida Mythtellers)

Robert Bringhurst


The Haida international is a misty archipelago 100 stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska. For one thousand years and extra earlier than the Europeans got here, a very good tradition flourished in those islands. The masterworks of classical Haida sculpture, now enshrined in lots of of the world's nice museums, variety from beautiful tiny amulets to impressive large housepoles. Classical Haida literature is each piece as numerous and positive. It extends from tiny jewels crafted by means of grasp songmakers to intricate mythic cycles lasting many hours.

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the final nice Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the autumn of 1900 in the course of the summer time of 1901. His Haida hosts and co-workers were raised in a unconditionally oral global the place the mythic and the non-public interpenetrate thoroughly. They joined forces with their customer, consciously making a nice treasury of Haida oral literature in written shape. Poet and linguist Robert Bringhurst has labored for a few years with those century-old manuscripts, that have waited previously for the large popularity they deserve.

Bringhurst brings those works to existence within the English language and units them in a context simply as wealthy because the tales themselves--one that reaches out to dozens of local American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions round the globe.

The global of classical Haida literature is an international as deep because the ocean, as shut because the middle and as elusive because the Raven, whose unrepentant snigger persists inside of all of it. it is a culture brimming with profundity, hilariy and love. It belongs the place Bringhurst sees it: one of the nice traditions of the world.

Bringhurst, an acclaimed typographer and publication dressmaker, can be remodeling this variation in a stunning new package.

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