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Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)…
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Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (original 1977; udgave 2006)

af Leslie Marmon Silko, Larry McMurtry (Introduktion)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3,571603,572 (3.83)127
This story, set on an Indian reservation just after World War II, concerns the return home of a war-weary Laguna Pueblo young man. Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution. Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremny that defeats the most virulent of afflictions-despair. "Demanding but confident and beautifully written" (Boston Globe), this is the story of a young Native American returning to his reservation after surviving the horrors of captivity as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Drawn to his Indian past and its traditions, his search for comfort and resolution becomes a ritual--a curative ceremony that defeats his despair.… (mere)
Medlem:melanieburger
Titel:Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Forfattere:Leslie Marmon Silko
Andre forfattere:Larry McMurtry (Introduktion)
Info:Penguin Books (2006), Edition: Anniversary, Paperback, 243 pages
Samlinger:Skal læses
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Ceremony af Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

  1. 10
    No-No Boy af John Okada (weener)
    weener: About coming to terms with the aftermath of war.
  2. 00
    Nickel and Dime af Gary Soto (weener)
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Ceremony is the story of Tayo, a half white, half Navajo veteran of World War II who, after a stay in a California hospital being treated for PTSD (although that term was not in vogue when the novel was written—1977) returns to his childhood home, the Laguna Pueblo reservation in New Mexico. The book is also an allegory of Tayo’s people, both the Navajo of the American Southwest in particular, and of Native Americans more generally (called “Indians” in the novel).

In the war, Tayo fought on an unnamed Pacific island where it rained constantly. His home (just west of Albuquerque) on the other hand, is in the midst of a long term severe drought. Tayo feels some guilt because he prayed for and performed ceremonies to end the rain in the Pacific, and he fears that his efforts may have brought the drought to his home.

Tayo’s childhood friends, who also fought in the war, spend much of their time reminiscing about how much respect they got while they were in uniform. That respect contrasts dramatically with the way they are treated now, and they find themselves devolved into an almost constant state of drunkenness. Their fate inspires Tayo think about the tremendous discrimination Native Americans face at the hands of the whites, whom they nevertheless seem to admire.

The narrative oscillates from Tayo’s pre-war youth to the war and to his current situation. Always present is Tayo’s efforts to influence events through prayers and ceremonies. The characters face a constant tension between the Christianity forced upon them by the whites and the ancient stories and beliefs of their ancestors. It Is not clear to me whether the author wants the reader to believe (for purposes of the story) in the efficacy of the ceremonies as actual causes of the events in the novel, but it is very clear that the characters believe in them. It is also clear that Ms. Silko doesn’t put much faith in the whites’ religion, either in the novel or in her own life.

The story takes some unusual turns, and the conclusion is more than a little bizarre. Tayo’s efforts to end the drought have not been successful, and so he believes he must do something extra to complete his ceremony. That something is to incorporate an element of white culture into his rite. He decides that he needs to spend a night in a local abandoned uranium mine and the ceremony will be complete.

Unfortunately, some of his “friends,” one of whom is an avowed enemy from childhood, have their own notions of ceremony that involve a ritual killing of a tribe member, presumably Tayo. The “friends” come looking for Tayo, but can’t find him in the mine. So they decide to kill Tayo’s best friend! From his hiding place, Tayo watches them torture his real friend to death, but, knowing the trouble he would incur, restrains himself from killing their leader in order to save his friend. The white authorities investigate the murder, but are unable to prove a case against the leader. However, the FBI agent investigating the crime knows enough to tell the leader to leave New Mexico and never return. The leader goes off to California, which is significant because that is where Tayo had spent his time recovering in the VA hospital.

In the end, the drought is broken. The reader is left to decide whether the correlation of Tayo’s ceremony was the cause of the end of the drought.

In this summary, the story seems more than a little kooky. However, the book is very well written, including numerous short poems that bring Indian lore to life. In addition, I can attest that its descriptions of the land is very accurate. I read this book in conjunction with Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, a collection of non-fiction essays by the same author. The two together provide a bittersweet depiction of Native American life today.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Apr 12, 2024 |
This book had long been on my list of "books I need to read someday," and when I found this lovely used copy of the 30th anniversary edition at my local bookstore, it got upgraded to books I need to read soon. But what did I know about it, going into it? Hardly anything. Just that it is a modern classic, and written by a Native American woman.

How do I explain why I loved this so deeply? Even when it was sometimes confusing often painful, a slow and tangled read. But the challenge is the point. There are no straight roads back to wholeness, not when things are as broken as they are.

I found this spell-binding. I am thankful to have crossed paths with this book. ( )
  greeniezona | Feb 9, 2024 |
Main character is Native American, was released after imprisonment after WWII and returns home
  JimandMary69 | Aug 30, 2023 |
Her writing is lyrical, suspenseful, and matter of fact, by turns. I first came across her short story "Lullaby" in college lit class, and was floored by it.

Yes, her approach moves seamlessly between time periods and various events so the reader must remain alert. But what of it? This reads like a dream, only the harshness is the lives of Native Americans who populate this novel. Just read it. ( )
  terriks | Jun 13, 2023 |
Good, if confusing, novel of a war veteran native american from Laguna pueblo in NM. Non linear storyline about Tayo, who manages to restore himself, after all he had experienced. Very poetic at times. Worthwhile. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (4 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Leslie Marmon Silkoprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Buffalo, BennyOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Henderson, AdamNarratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Jacoby, MelissaOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
McMurtry, LarryIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mendelsund, PeterOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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This book is dedicated to my grandmothers, Jessie Goddard Leslie and Lillie Stagner Marmon, and to my sons, Robert William Chapman and Cazimir Silko

Thanks to the Rosewater Foundation-on-Ketchikan Creek, Alaska, for the artist's residence they generously provided. Thanks also to the National Endowment for the Arts and the 1974 Writing Fellowship.

John and Mei-Mei: My love and my thanks to you for keeping me going all the time.
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Wikipedia på engelsk (2)

This story, set on an Indian reservation just after World War II, concerns the return home of a war-weary Laguna Pueblo young man. Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution. Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremny that defeats the most virulent of afflictions-despair. "Demanding but confident and beautifully written" (Boston Globe), this is the story of a young Native American returning to his reservation after surviving the horrors of captivity as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Drawn to his Indian past and its traditions, his search for comfort and resolution becomes a ritual--a curative ceremony that defeats his despair.

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