ePUB The Dying Grass A Novel of the Nez Perce War Download
Der General Howard to force their removal to the reservation The way Vollman presents it most were ready to comply but the disrespect and overnight ailing of one old chief set a trio of young bucks to commit atrocities on a few settlers in their rage and bravado Despite Howard s efforts to act with restraint the next step in escalation was for some of his soldiers and civilian volunteers in his force to open fire with no provocation on members of one band already committed to comply with the order that led by Chief Looking Glass A chief problem in communication seen in all conflicts with Indians from colonial times is to attribute the actions of unruly individuals on both sides to the tribe or colonial people as a whole Here every depredation by individual Indians or canny stratagem in battle is attributed by the army as due to Joseph and for the converse the Indians see aggressive actions by whites as effectively carried out by Howard whom they refer to as Cut Arm due to arm he lost to injury in the Union defeat at Chancellorsville In fact Joseph was such a pacifist he served essentially as a camp chief throughout this campaign important as a moral center for the tribe but responsible mainly for logistics and assuring the safety of the women and children And Howard struggled mightily to get consistent professional service out of his captains lieutenants civilian volunteers and Indian guides His Christian charity and teetotling ways were almost universally despised The desecration of Nez Perce bodies by their Bannock Indian contingent and by souvenir hunters among the whites was a major affront to the spiritual beliefs of the Nez Perce and key element of pervasive mistrust any promises on the part of HowardThe narrative alternates between perspectives of the Indians and that of their pursuers with the cast of characters reaching perhaps a couple dozen Through some innovative ways of rendering his prose Vollman layers present events conveyed largely through dialog with indented lines to reach into the characters unspoken perceptions emotions memories thoughts of distant families and recent visits to a brothel It takes some getting used to as racist and misogynist attitudes Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence) jealousies fears and egotistical reveries bubble up between the regular military forms of discourse among the soldiers The Civil War both Union and Seccesh experiences figures prominently in the minds of many and anger over the disaster for Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn in the previous year is common That the Nez Perce did not participate in the pan Indian call for war by Lakota Chief Sitting Bull means less than the treacheries experienced in their recent rounding up of the Modocs in California For the Indians I give a lot of credit to Vollman s courage and imagination to try to render their uniue cultural and spiritual outlook in their daily lives and relationship with the natural world including elements of their language Horses go himini and crickets speak aikh aikh The two wives of Joseph are incredibly industrious in diverse activities such as child care tending horses gathering herbs preparing camas roots or game for meals and making his member grow long as a deer neck Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places Historical relations with other tribes and with particular sites in the west also figure largely in the Indian s mental concerns As they pass though their beloved haunts perhaps for the last time they try to settle on where to seek refuge In the lands of the Salish and Crow tribes they find they are not welcome enough for long friendships to outweigh the risk of facing war with the US Army Could an enemy of their enemies make for friendship with a traditional enemy They pin their hopes on crossing Montana andoining up with Sitting Bull and the Lakotas who successfully escaped to Canada However Howard s old friend from Civil War days Colonel Miles traveling from a northern fort along with Cheyenne scouts was able to trap the Nez Perce 90 miles from the Canadian border While about 400 surrendered perhaps 200 did escape to Canada including Joseph s daughter This ending of the long chase was particularly moving in Vollman s rendering He doesn t bother with repeating the iconic speech rendered as ending with
me my I am tired My heart is sick and sad From where the sun now stands I will fight no forever He seems to have doubts about the accuracy of translation and amplifying a comment into a speechHoward s End and Picking Up the Pieces Vollman has a mission of making the reader as interested in Howard as Joseph Seeing Joseph as a special hero is fulfillment of hope a guilt assuaging fantasy while Howard holds great potential for surprise How to udge him as a hero or a villain The compulsion to think that way is because of the situation we are stuck that way is because of the situation we are stuck now for problems in relations between the dominant culture aka white folks and their emulators its my government in relation to the Indians Thomas King s The Inconvenient Indian was a wonder for me in confirming the continuity from destructive national Indian policies in the 19th century through phases of merely repressive policies to the current uagmires on the issues such as sovereignity resource exploitation and survival of cultural identity I know there was virtually no political way to stop the settlers and the economic interests of the government from taking as much away from the Indians as possible But still we must want to see a person of the time trying to achieve a humane outcome for Howard to have a enlightened moral calculus If Howard was an essential part of the machine to effect a drastic constraint on the fate of the Nez Perce his aim was at least to effect a humane implementation of what was inevitable in his mind His expectation was that the few murderers of women and children would be hung and the rest peaceably moved to the reservation Miles took the credit for ending the war and he had no say over the sad fate of the survivors His success in talking the Apache chief Cochise into surrendering was similarly undermined by the later revival of the war by Geronimo I am left with ambivalent feelings about Howard Hampton Side left me feeling the same way about Kit Carson in his wonderful history of an Indian lover he even married an Indian who ended up perpetrating a devastating death march in the removal of the Navaho from their sacred lands Blood and Thunder I end up most admiring Howard for his military feat of moving his forces so long through countless adversities against a worthy and respected opponentGone are those days but there is no benefit ust to say drive on that was then and this is now Today the courageous task is to make something meaningful come out of what are called Truth and Reconciliation Commissions like what is taking place in my current home of Maine There is plenty of good food for thought in deep examination of past sources of what Indians I have known refer to as cultural trauma I admire Vollman for demonstrating how his idea for a dream can use invention to tell truths that a sketchy account based on known history can t He shares some on his intentions and their factual origins in his extensive sections of notes and sources chronologies and glossaries His 200 pages of extras also includes an extensive section of historical follow ups on people and tribes Throughout the book is graced with hand drawn maps and images of plants In other words the book is an extravaganza I was glad to be loaned an e book version from Penguin Viking through the Netgalley program publication date July 28 I know the hardcopy book will be attractive to some of my friends but I can t guess who Surely there will be readers than those who took on the seriously longer book Rising Up and Rising Down After enjoying so much Philbrick s account of the first 100 years of the Plymouth Colony in Mayflower I think his 2001 dream book Argall on the settlement of Jamestown is my best bet for a next read by this masterful autho. S commander father son husband friend and killer Teeming with many vivid characters on both sides of the conflict and written in a style in which the printed page works as a stage with multiple layers of foreground and background The Dying Grass is another achievement from one of the most ambitious writers of our tim. .hear me my
Ese Dreams moves closer to our own times The Ice Shirt is full of european mythology of transformations it takes place in those days when putting on The Bear Shirt transformed a person into a bear The land of Vinland began to transform The same happens with T girls in the Tenderloin But as our european civilization moves toward our present day transformation and mythical experience attenuates there are fewer and fewer experiences of transformation or transformation overwhelms us in technology beautiful and almost automatic rather than liberating us within our being with one another Vollmann s Dreams develop from mythical transformation to the uestion of what is in one s heart Uh Oh Howard what is in your heart And The Dying Grass is called a masterpiece Dare me to disagree Scarcely can one say that a 1200 page novel might be perfect And of course it is inclusive of whatever flaws in may contain And if only to agree with the masterpiece Transnasal Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery judgement I d insist that it is not so much The Dying Grass but the entire Seven Dreams which constitute his masterpiece The entire project in both its unity and diversity within its development and persistence of theme Much as I adore his other novels and find many of his non fiction books less than fully satisfying myaw simply drops to Joycean levels when I contemplate the five extant Dreams I m not intimate with the Nobel but if anything ualifies via its criteria these Seven Dreams Much of what holds these Dreams together in their totality despite the diversity of materials and manners of composition of authorial orientation towards the text is the mode Vollmann has taken to represent the Native American characters And in The Dying Grass I think he s brought this mode to its pinnacle a pinnacle several of us have identified as Homeric an epic mode I won t say Vollmann had Homer specifically in mind but it is enough to recall how central the Icelandic Sagas have been for Vollmann those Sagas employing what I following Bakhtin think of as the epic mode Such a mode is above all a manner of presenting characters Whereas the development and history of the novel can be traced along the lines of ever increasing degrees of portrayal of the inner life of characters culminating in the Molly chapter of Ulysses the epic mode is all externality all gesture All words spoken no thoughts all action The part about interiority as central to the novel mode is something James Woods gets right but what he gets wrong is that the novel has no troubles incorporating non novelistic modes and thus Vollmann incorporates the epic mode of characterization in his Seven Dreams Why Because of his respect for what is other other not as exotic but other as independent the Kantian respect of persons I call this making room for his characters allowing them their space rather than impinging trespassing into an inner realm into which we have not been invited frankly To have entered the mind of Joseph would have been overstepping a respectful relation with Joseph would have been imperialistic would have been expropriative While Howard s mind is our own and thus ought to be probed because he have inherited it And in The Dying Grass this epic mode is brought to completion with the extended use of extended metaphor feeling so close to the Fagles treatment of Homer the centrality of the Landscape being a near culmination of the heart of the Seven Dreams project In short I am simply grateful for having the opportunity to delight in this Dream This fifth volume of Vollman s planned Seven Dreams series was very rewarding to me in the long run but at 1300 plus pages it took a commitment euivalent to reading four ordinary books That kind of reminds me how in grade school I would brag how I read a great book probably about ants and gesture it was this thick But if you are going to take a ourney into the hearts and minds of European Americans and Native Americans at war it makes sense that it might take a long time to elucidate the full storyHow was it that General Otis Howard the Christian general who worked so hard to advance the opportunities for emancipated slaves after the Civil War he was a commissioner of the ill fated Freedman s Bureau and co founder of Howard University could lead a bloody campaign to fulfill a robbery of the land of the Nez Perce tribe How was it that this tribe such peaceful friends with the white man starting with Lewis and Clarke at the beginning of the century would not go meekly onto a reservation and instead end up fighting back so desperately The Long Chase For modern people who feel bad from a distance over the tragedy of the brutal US policies to get rid of or otherwise contain the pesky Indians there is a bit of romantic reprieve in the tale of a band of about 250 warriors accompanied with perhaps 500 family members leading about 2000 soldiers on a 1200 plus mile chase over three months while fighting effectively in intervals along the way Over four pitched battles and several skirmishes the losses amounted to about 150 were killed on each side which is small on the scale of atrocities and slower adversity induced deaths that comprise the overall sweep of actions that fit most definitions of genocide Still the Nez Perce War continues to capture our imagination and is subject to a national park and a national historic trail Treat yourself to this folksong Heart of the Appaloosa YouTube by Fred Small to tap into a source of pride and tears in the mythic heroics of the tribe and Chief Joseph with accompanying images composed by school kids I was pleasantly surprised to find the link cited in the Wiki history Nez Perce homeland and route of their fighting retreatAlien CommunicationsThis well researched historical novel dispels sentimentality in such a song with intense efforts at realism Provocations in the form of brutal murders of the innocent are revealed "by both whites and Indians That the majority on both sides " both whites and Indians That the majority on both sides the conflict were sincerely
Interested In Peaceful Dignifiedin peaceful dignified adds to a sense of tragedy and at the same time begs the uestion of why the human race continues year after year to escalate differences and crimes of individuals into murder and war between peoples This appears to be a huge subject of interest for Vollman which I learn from other readers reporting back on his Rising Up and Rising Down a massive effort to elucidate a sort of moral algebra to account for the causes and ethics of violence With his Seven Dreams series which started in 1990 with a fictional account of Viking incursions over a millennium ago he plumbs the history of the European conuest of North America to glean meaning in the imagined evolution of relations between the invaders and indigenous peoples Given that the peoples in the New World were on their own path for 10 20 thousand years before the Europeans arrived I am struck how their differences are so extreme as to resemble a cultural collision between alien species The difficulties in communication between the tribe and US Army members have a lot to do with the events that unfolded Very few individuals could speak each other s language In one sense the overall motivation of the Nez Perce to live in freedom and autonomy and that of the whites as a whole to take their land and exploit its resources needs little translation to comprehend the irreconcilable differences Regardless the take me to your leader mentality coincides with a problem of picking an unrepresentative leader to negotiate an behalf of the diverse bands of the tribe The coerced 1855 treaty that reduced their land from 13 million acres to 75 million acres 13 million acres to 75 million acres parts of Washington Oregon and Idaho Territories was followed in 1863 by an agreement with a Christianized subset of the tribe to sell 90% of that land for a pittance leaving only 750000 acres in Idaho A number of bands non treaty Nez Perce refused to comply with the thief treaty and violent conflicts between them and invading settlers and miners led General Sherman by 1877 to or. US Army to its greatest defeat since Little Big Horn as they fled from northeast Oregon across Montana to the Canadian border Vollmann’s main character is not the legendary Chief Joseph but his pursuer General Oliver Otis Howard the brave shy tormented devoutly Christian Civil War veteran In this novel we see him ,
The story of this campaign is one somehow not included in any of my American History classes The Nez Perce were moved from a large reservation and told to go to another about 110th the size Most refused There were some retaliations and the war began The US Army chased Joseph and his tribe from southeast Washington across Idaho into Montana into Yellowstone and back north to almost the Canadian border There were skirmishes along the way By October 1877 in northern Montana the People Indians were cold wounded and beginning to starve If I had understood how Vollmann writes I might never have started this and that would have been my loss While the novel is long War and Peace long that isn t the real challenge in reading this novel The prose itself flows easily enough Vollmann has chosen to have nested paragraphs and sometimes he interrupts himself often in mid sentence to provide a character s thoughts There might be a conversation and one of the characters then has private thoughts which might also lead to a side conversation between characters not party to the original He does this by indenting the paragraphs so there is at least a visual of when this is happening When the reader is returned to the original conversation it might be than a page later when I had all but forgotten where the side tracking beganDialogue doesn t have uote marks In almost any other context I might have been exasperated but in this for some reason the exchanges were clear Much of this is General Howard talking with his officers We see him try to administer the campaign He gives orders he sends dispatches to headuarters and he also writes letters of condolence to the family of the fallen Vollmann uses either indents or italics so that what is being said and to whom is clear While there are women Nez Perce there are no European women other than the women the men left behind Like it or not men think about women a lot and in a sexual context We are privy to their thoughts though there isn t any graphic sex Very rarely do they speak to each other on the subjectCan I buy a suawWhat forWhat elsehe wrote in first person ominiscient At first I wondered if this was Joseph talking but then he would refer to Joseph in the third person I finally came to realize this was simply the way Vollmann wanted to represent the Nez Perce Maybe he does the same in the other novels in the series His prose in these sections was different in that the cadence was appropriate for a Native speaker which still has the trace of an accent despite being English speakers for several generations and isn t as fluid as Europeans who have been here for many generations Sometimes the Indian names slowed me down Each time I encountered Toohhoolhoolsote Peopeo Tholekt or Heinmot Tooyalakekt I stumbled But there were other beautiful Indian names as well such as Sound Of Running Feet or Springtime When writing from the Indian point of view he changed some of the white names General Howard was Cut Arm But challenging were Chapman and James Reuben who became Tsepmin and Tsams Lupin I didn t understand at first of course There are extensive glossaries one of which is personal names I didn t refer to them immediately thinking there might be clarification I didn t find it necessary to look up everythingDid I say this is long There were times when I simply wished they d get to the end of it But the Indians kept ahead of the Army and the Army kept chasing them When the end happened it wasn t the real end Not all of the Indians were killed and of course something had to be done with them And so I have reiterated everything that could possibly be wrong for a reader And yet I was fascinated Another reviewer has said though he knew how it turns out Vollmann has written a thriller For me thriller isn t in the ballpark for this I simply found it sad not tears running down my face sad ust that the clash of the cultures is sad I m glad I didn t know all of the negatives I m probably not interested in most of the others of this series but I have added his The Rifles to my over burdened wish list And so I come to the final decision How do I rate this A couple of days ago when I despaired they wouldn t put an end to chasing the Indians to the ends of the earth I would have said no than 4 stars But this is an experience I won t long forget The Dying Grass appears to me as a culmination of all that Vollmann has been developing through his other Works That I Have Read We Can See Of What that I have read We can see of what ve t A remarkable achievement One from each side who made the deepest impression on meCharles Erskine Scott Wood Glass here because it is well worth reading is the Nez Pe Before I say anything about Greatness I d like to say that I am grateful for having read The Dying Grass For being able to read it privileged to read it To have had the opportunity to read it Thankful to Viking for having stuck by Vollmann so long for having supported his novels I am sad to know that Carla Bolte was not able to design this book as she had so many of Vollmann s I can t help but think it would have been better in her hands The Dying Grass is a sad novel a tragedy I think And so odd to say one is grateful to have read such a thing and to even have delighted
in reading it But such is the experience of art If that experience is cathartic isreading it But such is the experience of art If that experience is cathartic is good for me and merely for me Should such an experience place me into an anguish of guilt for having inherited the displacement of our native peoples because I have never not lived on expropriated land Does it assist in a workingthrough of where we have found ourselves Doesn t it bring to our attention that there is even something to be worked through in the first place Isn t it simply a novel by a white american for other white americans I don t know what would it be like for a Native American to read Vollmann s Seven Dreams Painful and hurtful which fact Vollmann acknowledges Without going into an analysis beyond my abilities when Benjamin said that history is written by the victor did the possibility of Vollmann s Dreams occur to him that the victor might be capable of writing this kind of history I am grateful for the reception The Dying Grass has received both from the dedicated Vollmanniac to be expected but too from those not "already immersed in and dedicated to his books Frankly the reception took me by surprise The " immersed in and dedicated to his books Frankly the reception took me by surprise The count is remarked upon but repeatedly found to be either necessary or immersive The arrangement of words and sentences on the page is remarked upon and found to be engaging I can t help but contrast its reception with that of Argall which seemed to be too much for not only the reading public but for the professional reviewers the LA Times resorting to hiring William the Blind to review it But Argall is engaging and rewarding and immersive beyond that initial set of off putting characteristics it appears difficult but is not beyond readerly capabilities I can t help but think the internet community of readers has better prepared the world to take on this kind of fiction having supplanted a lackadaisical professional reviewing culture which already knows what a fiction should be James Wood et al Time was when learning about books and what they are like was limited to a small set of Mes recettes veggie au robot-cuiseur - 150 ides faciles et rapides ! jaded professionals now we have a engaged readership passing word about what it s like what it feels like Maybe I m too optimistic here butust imagine what reviews of The Dying Grass would have looked like in 2001Some of this is due to a certain maturing in Vollmann s writing in his strategies and orientations toward his material The Dying Grass feels so different from earlier Dreams less playful less winking fewer appearances of William the Blind Those elements I missed here But that change or shift or maturing simply reflects both the stuff about which Vollmann is writing and the mode he employs the two always mutually determining each other The Seven Dreams was conceived than twenty five years ago The Ice Shirt being published in 1990 And the stuff of th. In this new installment in his series of novels examining the collisions between Native Americans and European colonizers William T Vollmann tells the story of the Nez Perce War with flashbacks to the Civil War Defrauded and intimidated at every turn the Nez Perces finally went on the warpath in 1877 subjecting the.