JASON M. DEW, AIIN STEINBECK'S

Tags: Hungary, American Studies, United States, Hungarian origin, Menominee, Wisconsin, federal government, Sigmond Brock, Ezra Pound, University of Debrecen, Hungary, Indian population, Department of American Studies, Budapest, Hungary, Associate Professor, American literature, University of Debrecen, translation, Eszterh�y K�oly College, North American Department, Steinbeck, American Social Consciousness, National Archives, census records, Wisconsin National Guard, Indian communities, American Indians, Public Law 280, urban Indian organizations, Menominee Restoration Committee, Milwaukee, Indian populations, Charles Z�onyi, American Civil War, Emigrant Savings Bank, Menominee Warrior Society, American Indian roots
Content: EGER JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES VOLUME IX. 2005 EDITOR: LEHEL VADON DEPARTMENT OF AMERICAN STUDIES ESZTERHБZY KБROLY COLLEGE EGER
ISSN 1786-2337 HU ISSN 1786-2337 A kiadбsйrt felels az Eszterhбzy Kбroly Fiskola rektora Megjelent az EKF Lнceum Kiadу gondozбsбban Igazgatу: Kis-Tуth Lajos Felels szerkeszt: Zimбnyi Бrpбd Mszaki szerkeszt: Nagy Sбndornй Megjelent: 2006. Pйldбnyszбm: 100
CONTENTS STUDIES Thomas Cooper: Readings of the Translations of Ezra Pound................ 11 Jason M. Dew: Filling the "Silence" and Co-Authorship: Steinbeck's Agapic Invitation in Of Mice and Man .................... 31 Katalin G. Kбllay: A Long Row of Books "Read and Reread": The Significance of By Heart Quotations in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night ................................... 47 Бgnes Zsуfia Kovбcs: Remapping the Jamesian Legacy: Toni Morrison's Literary Theory in Context................................ 61 Katalin Bнrуnй Nagy: Native North America As Reflected in Theories of Colonialism and Postcolonialism: An Overview ................................................................................. 75 Zoltбn Peterecz: Text and Pretext: American War. Rationales in 1917. The First World War and American Neutrality ............. 93 Judit Szathmбri: Wisconsin: A Microcosm of Federal Indian Policy .... 125 Andrбs Tarnуc: "troubles of a deeper dye than are commonly experienced by mortals": The Definition of the Self and Other in three Indian Captivity Narratives ................................ 151 Gabriella Varrу: The Figure of the Salesman in American Drama ...... 169 Istvбn Kornйl Vida: Not Only the "Genie" of the Lamp Can Help: Genealogy and Researching the "Lost" Two Decades of Hungarian Emigration to the United States, 1850­1870........... 179 BOOK REVIEWS Tibor Glant: Andrбs Tarnуc: The Dynamics of American Multiculturalism: A Model-Based Study. Eger: EKF Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 186 pp. ................................................................. 195 Judit Бgnes Kбdбr: The 1950s. Proceedings of the 2003 Biennial Conference of the Hungarian Association for American Studies. Edited by Enik Bollobбs and Szilvia Nagy. Budapest: Eцtvцs Lorбnd University, Department of American Studies, 2005. 233 pp. ............................................................................. 203 3
Lenke Mбria Nйmeth: Vadon, Lehel: Walt Whitman: A Hungarian Bibliography. Eger: Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 244 pp. ....... 207 Edina Szalay: Vadon, Lehel: American Renaissance: A Hungarian Bibliography. Eger: Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 230 pp. ....... 211 Andrбs Tarnуc: Samuel P. Huntington: Kik vagyunk mi? Az amerikai nemzeti identitбs dilemmбi. (Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity.) Budapest: Eurуpa Kцnyvkiadу, 2005. 682 pp. ....................................................... 215 Andrбs Tarnуc: Virбgos Zsolt--Varrу Gabriella: Jim Crow цrцkцsei: Mнtosz йs sztereotнpia az amerikai tбrsadalmi tudatban йs kultъrбban. [The Legacy of Jim Crow: Myth and Stereotypy in the American Social Consciousness and Culture.] Budapest: Eцtvцs Jуzsef Kцnyvkiadу, 2002. 370 pp. ....................................................... 223 Gabriella Vц: Borbйly Judit: The Reality of the Unreal: The City as Metaphor in Henry James and His Contemporaries. Budapest: Akadйmiai Kiadу, 2005. 175, [1] pp. . ....................................... 231 4
CONTRIBUTORS Thomas Cooper, Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Eger, Hungary Jason M. Dew, Professor at the Department of English Studies, Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia, USA Tibor Glant, Associate Professor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary Judit Бgnes Kбdбr, Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Eger, Hungary Katalin G. Kбllay, Associate Professor at the Department of English Literatures and Cultures, Kбroli Gбspбr Protestant University, Budapest, Hungary Бgnes Zsуfia Kovбcs, Assistant Professor at the American Studies Department, University of Szeged, Hungary Katalin Bнrуnй Nagy, Instructor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary Lenke Mбria Nйmeth, Assistant Professor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary Zoltбn Peterecz, Ph.D. Student at the Department of American Studies, Eцtvцs Lorбnd University, Budapest, Hungary Edina Szalay, Assistant Professor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary Judit Szathmбri, Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Eger, Hungary Andrбs Tarnуc, Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Eger, Hungary Gabriella Varrу, Assistant Professor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary 5
Istvбn Kornйl Vida, Instructor at the North American Department, University of Debrecen, Hungary Gabriella Vц, Assistant Professor at the Department of English Literature and Culture, University of Pйcs, Hungary 6
EDITORIAL NOTE The Department of American Studies at Eszterhбzy Kбroly College is pleased to present Volume IX of the Eger Journal of American Studies. The Eger Journal of American Studies is the first scholarly journal published in Hungary devoted solely to the publication of articles investigating and exploring various aspects of American culture. We intend to cover all major and minor areas of interest ranging from American Literature, history, and society to language, popular culture, bibliography etc. The journal welcomes original articles, essays, and book reviews in English by scholars in Hungary and abroad. Manuscripts should be sent to the editor of the Eger Journal of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly Fiskola, Amerikanisztika Tanszйk, Eger, Egйszsйghбz u. 4., 3300, Hungary. They should conform to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook in all matters of style and be sent together with a disk copy of the article in Microsoft Office 2003. 7
IN HONOR OF
THOMAS COOPER READINGS OF THE TRANSLATIONS OF EZRA POUND The prevalence or even dominance of the translated text in the study of the humanities in institutions of secondary and higher education in the United States and Europe notwithstanding, the practices of translation through which these texts come into being are rarely made the subject of scrutiny. On the contrary the translated text is often presented as equal or at least adequate to the original, even or perhaps especially when the original remains inaccessible to instructors and students alike. This tacit assertion of the parity of translation and original is not merely a matter of convenience or necessity. It is rather an instrument of ideology through which conditions of (mis)appropriation and narcissistic cultural reproduction are obscured and the self-evidence of the unproblematic and ultimately retrievable subject is (disingenuously) confirmed. Yet read as a translation, as an articulation of difference instead of sameness, the translated text, far from assuring the stability of the uncontested original, foregrounds its absence and exposes critical discourse as a discourse of values, rendering visible strategic practices through which the figure of the unitary subject is (often surreptitiously) constructed. Disengaged from the putative original, the translated text is freed from the dogmatism of allegorical reading (the interpretation of literary texts as figural statements about a literal reality) and allowed to open as a primarily figural articulation (not a figural elocution of literal language) that posits--rather than corresponds to--its own notions of literality. As subject of ongoing dispute, Ezra Pound's Cathay offers occasion to interrogate ideological underpinnings of critical approaches to the reading of translations. The 20th century saw the birth or development of numerous theories of translation, but of the diverse and sometimes mutually exclusive tendencies two in particular are salient in evaluations 11
of Pound's work. These are an untheorized opposition between translation proper (to use Roman Jakobson's term1) and a literary text of value "in its own right" (to use an often invoked formula) and an insistence on the value of fidelity to the original, however defined, or not defined in many cases. Both approaches presume the (admittedly always unrealized) potential for equivalence, but while the first reads divergence from the putative original (the difference on which the classification adaptation instead of translation proper is founded) as improvement through which the text is made to correspond more closely to purportedly universal aesthetic standards, the second reads difference as a symptom of error or agenda and the mark of the irredeemable inferiority of the translated text. Both approaches serve the validation of the poetics of the target language, one by proclaiming the irrelevance of the source culture to the extent that it does not correspond to the values of the target culture (posited as transcendent), the other by obscuring the interpretative activity through which the translation came into being and the contingency of the critical practices according to which its alleged fidelity is measured. Attempts in translation theory to move beyond what Susan Bassnett characterizes as the "arid debates about faithfulness and equivalence"2 notwithstanding, the notion of self-evident fidelity remains a frequently invoked standard by which to evaluate the merits and shortcomings of a translation. The valuable translation continues to be read as a successful staging of a stable authorial voice. Thus George Steiner, even while rejecting conceptions of fidelity such as "literalism" or "any technical device for rendering `spirit'," nonetheless maintains the distinction between "genuine," "authentic," and "real" translation and translation that does not merit these classifications. "The translator," Steiner asserts, "... is faithful to his text... when he endeavors to restore the balance of forces, of integral presence, which his appropriative comprehension has disrupted."3 In an article entitled The Politics of Translation, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak makes a similar appeal to fidelity and the authority of the original, identifying perceived inadequacies of an English translation of a poem from Bengali by Mahasweta Devi and noting that Devi, "has 1 Roman Jakobson (1959), "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation," In Lawrence Venuti (ed.), The Translation Studies Reader, (London: Routledge), 2000, 113­125. 114. 2 Susan Bassnett (2002), Translation Sudies (London: Routledge), 7. 3 George Steiner (1975), "The Hermeneutic Motion," In Venuti (ed.), 186­191. 190. (emphasis added) 12
expressed approval for the attention to her signature style" in Spivak's translation of the same poem.4 This faith in an integral (authorial) presence which can be recovered in a pure form beyond or prior to the translator's act of "appropriative comprehension" is corollary to Derrida's notion of logocentrism: an ethic of nostalgia for origins... or a purity of presence and selfpresence ... [which] dreams of deciphering a truth or an origin which escapes the play and the order of the sign.5 Indeed the alleged problems of translation, posed as a question of desired but unobtainable equivalence, both reside in and reinforce a logocentric presumption of the ultimate recoverability of the signified. As a gesture towards an otherwise inaccessible text (one text presenting itself as equal or adequate to another, the "same"), the translation alleges the presence of stable meaning and the possibility of the transfer of that meaning, thereby assuring at least the potential for the arbitrariness of the sign as label instead of its contingency as a function of contested and ongoing uses. Yet in a manner that is announced rather than concealed, the referent of the translated text is manifestly nothing other than another series of signs, their meanings subject to further divergent interpretations. Fidelity is not an objective norm or analytical tool, but rather a justification and validation of specific hermeneutical positions, and where infidelity is alleged (any "loss in translation"), the differences on which the allegation relies are never demonstrable except as differing translations. The original is never available to critical consciousness in any uncontested form. Invocations of the original must always be articulated as rephrasings and interpolations, and appeals to fidelity are merely pretexts for assertions of the absolute value of particular reading strategies. The self-evidence of fidelity also operates in the allegedly unproblematic distinction between translation and adaptation or invention. This distinction presumes the transparent meaning of translation itself (paradoxically and contradictorily) as unmediated signification. Whereas the paraphrase (to use another term frequently invoked) is evaluated as 4 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1992), "The Politics of Translation," In Venuti (ed.), 397­416. 400. 5 Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," In Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978), 292. 13
the creative and interpretive work of the translator, the translation is read as equivalence, and the nature of this equivalence is posited as selfsufficient and absolute. Where competing forms of correspondence are acknowledged (correspondence to poetic form and correspondence to content, to cite another often mentioned opposition), one is deemed essential, the other dispensable. Thus Pound critic Michael Alexander maintains a distinction between "Copies, which stick close to the original, and... Remakes, which edit and reshape their original."6 Yet all translations reshape their original, and there are no invariable criteria through which to determine where translation ends and paraphrase begins. What to one reader/culture is a superfluous feature of the original to another is indispensable. In this light one could consider the explanatory comments in Spivak's article on her translation of a poem by Devi an integral part of the translation itself, a paraphrase/translation of the perceived meanings of the original (an interpretive move to which Spivak might object), or for that matter the notes to Nabokov's Eugene Onegin an integral part of his translation (a move of which Nabokov probably would have approved). If, as Althusser suggests, the function of ideology is "the reproduction of conditions of production,"7 the notion of fidelity is ideological in that it abets the effacement of interpretive activity and the naturalization of critical practices. The figure of unmediated (literal) signification functions as a guise for densely motivated figurative discursive practice, and the poetics of the target-language culture finds affirmation in a purported equivalence (the translated text) drawn from another culture. In cases in which the absence of fidelity is alleged and the value of the text is asserted as transcendent (a text in its own right), fidelity functions as a means of distinguishing between absolute value and culturally contingent (and therefore trivial) value. Where the text is unfaithful, what is lost is of no consequence; where it is faithful, it conforms to and validates targetlanguage values posited as universal. Paradoxically faith in the potential for equivalence, however defined, contributes to the continued marginalization of the translated text as 6 Michael Alexander, "Ezra Pound," In Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, ed. O. Classe (London: Flitzroy Dearborn, 2000), 1108­1110. 1108. 7 Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses," in Lenin and Philosophy, and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster, (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972), 127­186. 127. 14
translation, its aforementioned prevalence notwithstanding (one might think of Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, the authors of the Old and New Testaments, Dante, Chaucer, Locke, Goethe, Rousseau, Voltaire, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Freud, Kafka, and Camus, to mention only a few authors whose works are commonly read in translation in schools and universities in the United States and Europe). In part because of the enduring influence of Romanticism, the original text is treated with sanctity and the critical project still often aspires towards "divination of the soul of the author" (to borrow Herder's formula), Roland Barthes' displacement of the author as source notwithstanding.8 Striking differences between varying translations betray the translated text as the product of interpolation. Read as instances of infidelity, these differences sustain the "post-Romantic assumption that original work is distinct from, and more important than, translation."9 The translated text is either faithful, in which case it is not original, or original, in which case it is not translation. Eliot recognized this bias in the reception of Pound: "If Pound had not been a translator, his reputation as an `original' poet would be higher; if he had not been an original poet, his reputation as a `translator' would be higher."10 The sanctification of the original implicit in appeals to fidelity further encourages disregard for the translated text by denying the possibility that the translation itself may exercise influence on the meanings of the original, and indeed may come to supercede the original as a starting point of interpretation through which the original is read (a practice encouraged by facing page translations). The history of the reception of Pound's translations offers abundant examples of appeals to contrasting conceptions of fidelity as grounds for their affirmation or dismissal as translations. Read alongside one another, these contrasts situate notions of fidelity within interpretive frameworks, revealing ideological inclinations of critical subjectivities. By exposing the tentativeness of fidelity as criterion, moreover, such reading unburdens criticism of its pretensions of objectivity-through-accuracy and unmasks it as a constitutive (not descriptive), figurative discursive act. 8 Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author", In The Rustle of Language (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1989), 49­55. 9 Alexander, "Ezra Pound," 1110. 10 T. S. Eliot (1928), Introduction to Ezra Pound: Selected Poems. Cited in Ezra Pound: A Critical Anthology (1970), Ed. J. P. Sullivan. (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, Penguin Books Ltd), 106. 15
Modernist poetics have been credited with having spawned what Ronnie Apter characterizes as "a modern renaissance in English translation," according to which the work of the translator was an essentially creative act of intuitive identification rather than a derivative act of slavish imitation.11 Thus the 1915 volume Cathay, for instance, which contained translations from Chinese based according to the original title page on "the notes of the late Ernest Fenollosa, and the decipherings of the Professors Mori and Ariga," contributed to the rise in the 20th12 century of collaborative translation, a practice that deemphasizes knowledge of the source language in favor of resourcefulness in the target language. The innovative translations of several poets (including Pound) whose names are associated with modernism notwithstanding, however, the modernist poetic of translation was in at least one respect more conservative than Apter's characterization suggests, and indeed represents continuity rather than rupture with dominant practices of translation in English. As Lawrence Venuti's rigorously documented The Translator's Invisibility argues, fluency in translation, in other words an adherence to and maintenance of the poetics of the target language culture, has dominated the discourse on and practice of translation into English since the early modern period. Venuti cites John Dryden's dedicatory essay to his translation of the Aeneid as one of numerous early examples of the privileging of fluency in the target language as a form of fidelity: "I have endeavour'd to make Virgil speak such English, as he wou'd himself have spoken, if he had been born in England, and in this present Age."13 As T. S. Eliot's appraisal of the translations of Cathay illustrates, this emphasis on the value of fluency is by no means absent from the Modernist discourse on translation: "[Pound's] translations seem to be--and this is the text of excellence--translucencies. We think we are closer to the Chinese[.]" Eliot is quick, however, to qualify his praise, and his reservation marks a distinction between Modernist poetics of translation and those the Restoration: 11 Ronnie Apter (1984), Digging for Treasure: Translation After Pound, (New York: Peter Lang), 1. 12 13 Cited in Lawrence Lawrence Venuti (1995), The Translator's Invsibility (London, Routledge), 64. 16
I doubt this: I predict that in three hundred years Pound's Cathay will be a `Windsor Translation' as Chapman and North are now `Tudor Translations': it will be called (and justly) a `magnificent specimen of XXth Century poetry' rather than a `translation.'14 This opposition between translations and fine specimens of 20th century poetry implies that the value of the translation is determined by the extent to which it conforms to the reading practices of the target culture at the time it was written. In other words, the translation is necessarily unfaithful in order to be of interest as a "translucent" text in the target culture. Eliot concurs with Dryden that the task of the translator "is to make something foreign, or something remote in time, live with our own life,"15 but unlike Dryden he dismisses the value (or the illusion) of fidelity altogether. According to Eliot, Pound's translations owe their meanings entirely to their intelligibility within Western cultural traditions, even while they pose as representations of China. But whereas Eliot saw this translucency as an effect of language rather than a fact of translation, the influence of Pound's renderings in Cathay have exerted such a strong influence on the subsequent evolution of English poetics that their alleged fluency has since been read as a successfully translated feature of the originals rather than as a consequence of a specific mode of translation. Eliot Weinberger writes in the preface to the 2003 collection The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, "Cathay was the first great book in English of the new, plain-speaking, laconic, image-driven free verse. And more: that which was most modern was derived from poems more than a thousand years old. The new poetry was revealed as an eternal verity."16 Weinberger's assessment is contradictory. Cathay's success was due in part to the fact that the plain-speaking, laconic style was not an eternal truth, but rather (as Weinberger acknowledges) something new, a departure from the practices of many of Pound's most influential contemporaries. In his book Critical Dreams: Pound, Brecht, Tel quel scholar of Chinese and comparative literature Eric Hayot situates Cathay and Eliot's appraisal of Cathay within the larger context of Modernism, Orientalism, 14 T. S. Elliot (1928), "Introduction to Ezra Pound: Selected Poems", In Ezra Pound: A Critical Anthology, J. P. Sullivan (ed.) (Penguin Books, 1970), 101­109. 105. 15 Cited in Venuti, Invisibility, 189. 16 Eliot Weinberger (2003), The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (New York, New Directions Publishing Corporation), XIX­XX. 17
and a recent trend of anti-orientalism that seeks to retrieve Western representations of the far-east as authentic in some form. As Hayot observes, while Eliot was content to dismiss the original as immaterial, much of the critical literature on Pound's translations from Chinese has focused on the question of Pound's fidelity to his sources and the authenticity of the poems of Cathay as representations of Chinese culture. In the critical framework of Orientalism, this is fundamentally an ethical question. Absence of fidelity is more than merely a matter of the disinterested craftsmanship of "translucency" in the target language, it is complicity in the fashioning of "a Western fantasy of the aestheticized, natural East."17 In the readings of anti-Orientalists such as Zhaoming Qian, on the other hand, the discernment of correspondences between Pound and his originals restores China as an influence on Modernism and confirms that "[t]hings non-Western can ... be converted into part of a Western literary heritage."18 According to Hayot, debates concerning the (lack of) fidelity of Pound's translations have often returned to the differences between Pound's renderings and those of Arthur Waley, published in 1918, in the view of Pound scholar Hugh Kenner as an "implied rebuke" of Cathay: "This happens because where they differ marks a kind of epistemological fault-line between literature and science, poetics and sinology."19 While the sinologist defends Waley "for having gotten the details correct," literary critics defend Pound "on the grounds that he, at least, wrote good poetry."20 As Hayot's own responses to these translations suggest, however, the metaphor of a fault-line between science and literature as a demarcation between faithful translation and poetic rephrasing is misleading. The line separating the faithful rendering from interpolation is easily redrawn, and the differences between Waley and Pound (and their receptions) mark differences of value in poetics, not differences of epistemology. Hayot's discussion centers around varying translations of a poem attributed to Mei Sheng and translated by Pound as "The Beautiful Toilet." Below is the original, followed by Pound's and Waley's translations: 17 Eric Hayot (2003), Chinese Dreams: Pound, Brecht, Tel quel (University of Michigan Press), 8. 18 Zhaoming Qian (1995), Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams, (Durham, Duke University Press), 167. 19 Hayot, 17. 20 Ibid. 18. 18




Blue, blue is the grass about the river And the willows have overfilled the close garden. And within, the mistress, in the midmost of her youth, White, white of face, hesitates, passing the door. Slender, she puts forth a slender hand. And she was a courtezan in the old days, And she has married a sot, Who now goes drunkenly out And leaves her too much alone. (Pound) Green, green, The grass by the river-bank. Thick, thick, The willow trees in the garden. Sad, sad, The lady in the tower. White, white, Sitting at the casement window. Fair, fair, Her red-powdered face Small, small, She puts out her pale hand. Once she was a dancing-house girl, Now she is a wandering man's wife. The wandering man went, but did not return. It is hard alone to keep an empty bed. (Waley) 19
Hayot essentially accepts Waley's translation as "more literal" rendering of the Chinese, if however not necessarily valuing it as a poem. "[Waley] retains... the pattern of double characters at the beginning of each line," he notes, "perhaps at the cost of poetry."21 Pound's translation mimics this repetition as well, Hayot contends, through for instance the repetition of the sound "ill" in the second line ("willows" and "overfilled") or "mi" in the third ("mistress" and "midmost"), but "as far as the word is concerned, Waley's poem actually has `thick, thick;' ... a match closer to the Chinese than Pound's[.]" Hayot cites Waley's comment that he "`tried to produce regular rhythmic effects similar to those in the original" by representing each character in the Chinese with a stressed syllable in the English. Pound, by contrast, "never articulated any rules, and that difference more or less enacts the larger argument between the two men: Pound simply went farther and changed more."22 As is made clear by his comments on Herbert Giles' translation of the same poem, however, Hayot's conception of literality and "proximity" (as the opposite of going "farther") depends on the value of the perceived interpolation rather than on any objective criteria. Where it is consistent with his perception of the connotations of the poem, Hayot retrieves perceived deviation as a means of rendering not merely words but aspects of form and meaning. Hayot cites the first five lines of Giles translation: Green grows the grass upon the bank, The willow-shoots are long and lank; A lady in a glistening gown Opens the casement and looks down. Though aware of the "well-nigh inevitable Anglicization"23 in the switch from iambs to trochees and the failure to mimic the repetitions in the original, Hayot nevertheless insists on an important form of fidelity in Giles rendering. The AABB rhyme scheme may have no source in the original, he observes, but the rhymes "are familiar to an English reader in the way that the Chinese patterns of rhyme and tone might be familiar to a Chinese reader."24 Hayot points out that in 140 BC, the approximate year of the composition of the poem, China had no casements, only "places that function in literature more or less like casements, in that women who 21 Ibid. 17. 22 Ibid. 17. 23 Ibid. 14. 24 Ibid. 15 20
look down from them can be understood as occupying a particular cultural position." According to Hayot, "a native Chinese reader... would read storied house and understand it as occupying a certain temporal and cultural space." Thus in Hayot's view, "rather than follow the original's difference from English poetry, Giles `effectively `translates' not only the Chinese words but also the Chinese poetic form by putting them into their cultural near-equivalents in English."25 Hayot's reference to "a native Chinese reader" is problematic from both a practical and theoretical view. As the title page of Cathay announces, Pound based his translation on the notes of Fenollosa, "an American who knew no Chinese, who was taking dictation from Japanese simultaneous interpreters who were translating the comments of Japanese professors."26 When Hayot poses the question, "Should the translation reproduce for its readers the experience of a native reader, who can read the poem without experiencing it as culturally `different'?"27 one might reply by asking to what extent Fenollosa, his interpreters, or the professors whose comments they were translating would constitute a "native reader." But beyond this, the notion of the native reader as a standard for judgment is itself a construct dependent on readings of texts contemporaneous with the poem under discussion. As a hermeneutic construct, it cannot be invoked as a standard through which to measure further hermeneutic constructs (such as the "faithful translation"). More significant, however, than this objection is the fact that in his own readings Hayot adopts contradictory standards of fidelity. While in the case of Giles' translation alleged deviation is described as consistent with the notion of fidelity, similar (perceived) departure in Pound's translation is characterized as infidelity. "It is not clear that the poem actually reproduces the meaning of the Chinese," Hayot contends, "...particularly as it opens itself to metaphor - the claustrophobic garden, `close' and `overfilled,' traps the mistress as neatly as does her domesticity."28 Ironically (and contradictorily), Hayot emphasizes the aptness of the metaphor while at the same time characterizing it as an interposition of "ideas that are not `there' in the original."29 Giles' use of 25 Ibid. 15. 26 Weinberger, XX. 27 Hayot, 15. 28 Ibid. 16. 29 Ibid. 16. 21
"casement" is read as an effective translation of social hierarchy through metaphor and cultural analogy, while Pound's image as a metaphor for social place is described as innovation rather than translation. At the close of his discussion of "The Beautiful Toilet" Hayot concludes that the literary critics have won the debate concerning the value of the respective forms of (in)fidelity of Pound's and Waley's translations. As evidence he cites a 1969 translation of Mei Sheng's poem by Wai-Lim Yip, published in Yip's book Ezra Pound's Cathay: Green beyond green, the grass along the river. Leaves on leaves the willows in the garden. Bloom of bloom, the girl up in the tower. A ball of brightness at the window-sill A flash of fairness is her rouged face. Slender, she puts forth a slender white hand. She was a singing girl before, Now wife of a playboy. The playboy went and never returned. Empty bed! Alone! How hard it is to keep.30 As the differences between Pound's translation and those of Waley and Giles make evident, fidelity to the original does not suffice to explain the similarities between Pound's translation and Yip's. These similarities are rather proof of Pound's continuing presence in conceptions and receptions of Chinese literature in English translation. Beyond demonstrating the enduring influence of Cathay, however, Yip's translation serves as a reminder that the original poem is never available in any pure form. Rather it is read and reread through its (varying) translations. The notion of fidelity as an absolute standard of judgment assumes that the original is stable within its own tradition (not a malleable and shifting cite of contestation and reinterpretation) and discrete, impermeable to new readings prompted by new, possibly foreign influences. The translation, however, becomes a part of the intertext and alters the ways in which the original is reread, possibly even displacing the original, and an appeal to fidelity is never more than a gesture towards an absence filled (usually covertly) by interpretation. Included alongside the translations from Chinese in Cathay is Pound's translation of the Old English poem The Seafarer, originally published in 30 Wai-Lim Yip (1969), Ezra Pound's Cathay (New Haven, Princeton University Press), 134. Cited on 18 in Hayot. 22
1911 in A. R. Orage's New Age and then in Ripostes of Ezra Pound in 1912. Based on the text preserved in the 10th century Codex Exoniensis, or Exeter Book as it is commonly known, The Seafarer has been the subject of fierce debate since its publication, with various critics invoking varying conceptions of fidelity in support of their assessments. As with critical appraisals of the translations from Chinese, however, these appeals to the original function as a guise for the corroboration of specific and often internally inconsistent interpretive practices. Among the harshest critics of Pound's Seafarer's was Kenneth Sisam, who in a letter to The Times Literary Supplement in June 1954 enumerated alleged mistakes betraying Pound's ignorance of or indifference to the literal meanings of specific words in the original.31 Thus "stearn" in line 23 of the original means "tern," not "stern" as Pound had rendered it, "byrig" in line 49 means "towns," not "berries," and "юurh" in line 88 means "through," not "tomb." Below are the relevant lines from the original, followed by translations of the same lines by Burton Raffel and Pound. Raffel agrees with Sisam's readings of "byrig" and "stearn," though in the case of "юurh" he prefers "by": Bearwas blostmum nimaр, byrig fжgriaр, wongas wlitigaр, woruld onetteр; Orchards blossom, the towns bloom, Fields grow lovely as the world springs fresh (Raffel);32 Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries, Fields to fairness, land fares brisker (Pound). Stormas южr stanclifu beotan, южr him stearn oncwжр; Storms beat on the rocky cliffs and were echoed By icy-feathered terns (Raffel); Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern in icy feathers (Pound). 31 The Times Literary Supplement, 25 June 1954. 409. 32 All citations from Raffel's translation are taken from Alexandra H. Olsen and Burton Raffel (1998), Poems and Prose from the Old English (New Haven: Yale University Press), 10­13. 23
wuniaр юa wacran ond южs woruld healdaю, brucaр юurh bisgo; The weakest survives and the world continues, Kept spinning by toil (Raffel); Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth. Tomb hideth trouble (Pound). Sisam's verdict exerted considerable sway in the reception of Pound for some decades, reappearing for instance in Pound scholar Michael Alexander's The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound. "These faux amis," Alexander contends, "have betrayed Pound." According to Alexander even an ironic reading of Pound's translation "cannot condone the mistakes on the grounds that they are all deliberate jokes, for some of them are clearly accidental."33 Both Sisam's and Alexander's conclusions, however, have been persuasively contested by Fred Robinson. In an article entitled "`The Might of the North': Pound's Anglo-Saxon Studies and `The Seafarer'," Robinson observes that in his reading of Henry Sweet's 1876 AngloSaxon Reader, on which The Seafarer is partly based, Pound found alternative spellings and definitions that give good explanation for his translations. "Byrig," for instance, can be read as "town," but also as "mulberry," which Pound in fact jotted in margins of his copy of the Anglo-Saxon Reader. Robinson effectively dispels the image of Pound as sloppy translator or overly willful poet and retrieves The Seafarer as "the product of a serious engagement with the Anglo-Saxon text, not of casual guessing at Anglo-Saxon words and of passing off personal prejudices as Anglo-Saxon poetry."34 Yet like Hayot's criticism of infidelity in Pound's Beautiful Toilet, Alexander's censure of Pound's alleged divergence from the original is not part of a consistent method. Where they agree with his interpretation of the text, Alexander welcomes Pound's alleged infidelities. Pound's translation of "blжd" in line 89 of the original as "blade," for instance, while a deviation from the literal meaning according to Alexander, is nonetheless a faithful rendering because it harmonizes with the larger 33 Michael Alexander (1979), The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound (Berkeley: University of California Press), 75. 34 Fred C. Robinson, "`The Might of the North': Pound's Anglo-Saxon Studies and `The Seafarer'", In Yale Review, 71 (1982), 199­224. 220. 24
significance of the poem. Below are the lines from the original, followed by Raffel's and Pound's translations: Blжd is gehnжged, eorюan indryhto ealdaр ond searaр; All glory is tarnished. The world's honor ages and shrinks (Raffel); The blade is layed low. Earthly glory ageth and seareth (Pound). "Blжd" is commonly translated as "glory" (see for instance the translations of Benjamin Thorpe (1842), R. K. Gordon (1926), and W. S. Mackie (1934)), but lest the reader think this merely "another mistake," Alexander observes that Pound "translates the same word literally in line 79 as `blast,' a rather etymological but very acceptable poetic rendering."35 He offers no explanation as to why "blast," a "poetic rendering," should nonetheless be read as a "literal" translation, but in the case of "blade" he situates this instance of infidelity or paraphrase within a broader interpretive framework, and in doing so recovers it as a form of fidelity: Pound understood the word, and his `blade' is a synecdoche for heroic glory. Indeed, since the original is concerned here with the superiority of swords to ploughshares and of heroism to anxious survival, this is a happy translation.36 Thus the fidelity of the translation is measured not by its correspondence to a putative original, from which in this case it is explicitly purported to diverge, but rather by its correspondence to subjective interpretation, even when this interpretation relies on the overt assimilation of a literal meaning to metaphor. Pound's The Seafarer was criticized not only for alleged failure to follow meaning, but also for failure to follow form. Poet and translator Christine Brooke-Rose disparaged Pound's use of alliteration and unusual metrics as a means of imitating Old English verse forms. His failure, Brooke-Rose implies, was one of ignorance and ineptness: 35 Alexander, Poetic Achievement, 73. 36 Ibid. 73. 25
Without actually obeying the complicated Anglo-Saxon rules of scansion (which would be undesirable in modern English and in fact impossible), [Pound's Seafarer] contrives nevertheless to remain close enough for absurdity, bringing in as well some serious faults such as alliterating on the fourth stress (which in Anglo-Saxon was always left nonalliterating...) or alliterating on the same sound two lines running[.]37 As justification of a less than favorable assessment of Pound's work, this explanation is self-contradictory. Pound is rebuked for having failed to adhere to conventions of versification, but such adherence is simultaneously pronounced both undesirable and impossible. In Strange Likeness: The Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry Chris Jones recognizes the contradictions in Brooke-Rose's criticism of Pound, but he nonetheless shares her conclusion. BrookeRose is correct in her contention that Pound is "heavy-handed" in his use of alliteration, he argues, "[y]et the heaviness is due, not to a failure to follow rules, but to an overzealousness whereby the lines are loaded with decorative alliteration on several unstressed syllables."38 Jones offers the following lines as an example (I give the lines from the original and Raffel's translation first): min modsefa mid mereflode, ofer hwжles eюel hweorfeр wide; And yet my heart wanders away, My soul roams with the sea, the whales' Home (Raffel); My mood `mid the mere-flood, Over the whale's acre, would wander wide (Pound). According to Jones, Pound's retention of "mid" instead of the more current "with" is motivated by his desire "to load the line with /m/ sounds, regardless of whether they in stressed or unstressed positions."39 Crucially, according to Jones this represents an instance of infidelity to the sense but not the form of the original: "the original line also happens to contain incidental /m/ alliterations on unstressed syllables, although in 37 Christine Brooke-Rose (1971), A ZBC of Ezra Pound (London: Faber), 86­87. 38 Chris Jones (2006), Strange Likeness: The Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 32­33. 39 Ibid. 33. 26
Old English this does not produce the same strain that Pound's archaic preposition does."40 Thus fidelity to an aspect of form in the original becomes infidelity to a hypothetical ideal (but absent) translation. Moreover, Jones' assumption concerning Pound's intention to alliterate leaves unmentioned the possibility that the value of the archaism lies specifically its distance from the contemporary usage and its ambiguity. Arguably Pound's use of a recondite word slows and frustrates the interpretive process, suggesting alternative meanings and rendering the substance of language more palpable instead of translucent. In this case fidelity to this feature of the original has the effect not of reproducing alleged meaning, but of signifying the distance and difference of the original from the poetics of the target language, an interpretation that Jones' criticism confirms. Whether this constitutes fidelity or deviation, paraphrase or translation, is again a question of value rather than a question of accuracy or correspondence. The final criticism of The Seafarer as translation concerns Pound's omission of the last 21 lines of the poem, a homily that concludes with the exhortation (in Raffel's translation): Praise the Holy Grace of Him who honored us, Eternal, unchanging creator of earth. Amen. Having deleted the epilogue Pound also translates references to Christian concepts in secular terms. Bassnett offers a comparison of Pound's translation and R. K. Gordon's (allegedly) literal rendering (I include the original below): Forюon biю eorla gehwam жftercweюendra lof lifgendra lastworda betst, южt he gewyrce, жr he on weg scyle, fremum on foldan wiр feonda niю, deorum dжdum deofle togeanes, южt hine жlda bearn жfter hergen, ond his lof siююan lifge mid englum awa to ealdre, ecan lifes blжd, dream mid dugeюum; 40 Ibid. 33. 27
And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking afterLaud of the living, boasteth some last word, That he will work ere he pass onward, Frame on the fair earth `gainst foes his malice, Daring ado... So that all men shall honour him after And his laud beyond them remain' mid the English Aye, for ever, a lasting life's blast, Delight' mid the doughty (Pound); Wherefore the praise of living men who shall speak after he is gone, the best of fame after death for every man, is that he should strive ere he must depart, work on earth with bold deeds against the malice of fiends, against the devil, so that the children of men may later exalt him and his praise live afterwards among the angels for ever and ever, the joy of life eternal, delight amid angels (Gordon).41 As Bassnett observes, "Hence `deofle togeones' (against the devil) is omitted in l. 76, `mid englum' (among the angels) becomes `mid the English,' `dugeюum' (angel hosts) become the doughty."42 According to Alexander, "[t]he cuts and changes Pound made in `The Seafarer' amount to a complete purge of Christian words.... It is this indifference to the integrity of the text, more than the errors, that seems a trahison.... it makes his `Seafarer" an adaptation rather than a translation."43 Yet as Bassnett observes, Pound's omissions and alterations address a crucial question in historical scholarship: "Should the poem be perceived as having a Christian message as an integral feature, or are the Christian elements additions[.]"44 As he indicated in the "Philogical Note" appended to the text of The Seafarer, Pound holds the latter view: There are many conjectures as to how the text came into its present form. It seems most likely that a fragment of the original poem, clear through about the first thirty lines, and thereafter increasingly illegible, fell into the hands of a monk with literary ambitions who filled in the gaps with his own guesses and `improvements'.45 41 Cited in Bassnett, 98. 42 Ibid. 98­99. 43 Alexander, Poetic Achievement, 76. 44 Bassnett, 97. 45 Cited in Daniel M. Hooley (1988), The Classics in Paraphrase: Ezra Pound and Modern Translators of Latin Poetry, (Susquehanna University Press) 60. 28
Venuti cites Stopford Brooke's 1898 English Literature from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest in support of Pound: "the Seafarer ends with a Christian tag, but the quality of its verse... has made capable persons give it up as a part of the original poem."46 Thus Pound's alleged infidelities to the text in the Exeter Book can be read as an attempt to recover a lost original. Considering the general neglect of the presence of translation (and translators) in education, it might be tempting to consider the reading of multiple translations of an absent or inaccessible original as an exceptional or even marginal practice. Yet if one accepts postmodernism's displacement of author as origin this approach to reading should in fact be thought of as paradigmatic. As the readings offered here are intended to illustrate, it makes manifest the plurality and fragmentation of the original and the situatedness of the critical project in the constitution (not reconstitution) of contested meanings. Moreover, as critical practice it presumes the primacy of the figurality of language and regards the construction of a discourse of reality through this figurality as a product-- not a precondition--of textual practice. 46 Cited in Venuti, Invisibility, 38. 29
JASON M. DEW FILLING THE "SILENCE" AND CO-AUTHORSHIP: STEINBECK'S AGAPIC INVITATION IN OF MICE AND MEN I would like to focus on little more than a moment: a dog is led away, an old man remains sadly contemplative in his bunk, the cards are laid for a game meant to distract and not to entertain, and, finally, a shot resounds breaking the strained silence. The scene to which I am referring is, in essence, one of many of similar ilk contained in John Steinbeck's play in book form, Of Mice and Men (1937). Though it is necessarily terse (just under a page in the Penguin edition), this episode lends itself conveniently to a fuller understanding of how Steinbeck wants his reader to be, as he remarked to interviewer Nathaniel Benchley, "so involved that it will be his story" (Benchley 185). This is not an uncommon concern among writers who wish to retain readers. What makes Steinbeck's seemingly unoriginal desire apropos particularly, however, is that it springs from the womb of non-teleological thinking: a politicalphilosophy celebrating the virtues of "is" thinking nurtured since his wine-drinking days with soul mate Ed Ricketts. To "is" think, which is to perceive blamelessly, is to surrender making judgments based on worldly, relative, and arguably superficial values. As a mantra political for its denial of unmistakably institutional values and philosophical for its admittedly abstruse and contradictory dimensions, non-teleological thinking begs, in part, the reconsideration of human inter-relationships. Contexts of community as a goal distinct from the lure of exclusive individuality and, hence, isolation become not serendipitous niceties, but coveted necessities essential for one's holistic well-being. As Crooks sums it up ten or so pages after the "moment" in question, "[a] guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. [...] I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' 31
he gets sick" (72­73). While the "moment" takes place in the very bunkhouse whose occupants--huddled together against the darkness of the night--exclude Crooks, the loneliness is no less profound. It is, in fact, compounded by the irony of greater numbers versus the singleness of the black stable hand. Steinbeck's iteration of the loneliness concern, to be sure, is prodigious in Of Mice and Men as, indeed, it is in his corpus of work; yet, surprisingly little focus has been afforded to Steinbeck's unique and, I think, endearing non-teleological remedy. A fundamental grasp of what I will call Steinbeck's agapic invitation (one toward communities based on unconditional love) can be found by examining the significance of a "moment" with emphasis on the presence of silence, giving greater depth to the admittedly legitimate, yet lacking arguments that such "moments" have a solely structural function as opposed to a humanitarian mission.1 An elucidation of the "how" of this elixir, however, begins by recognizing the psychological, if not spiritual intimacy Steinbeck wants with his reader as a means toward a less lonely end. A sad faзade is being perpetuated by the inhabitants of the bunkhouse after Carlson exits with Candy's dog. As a game of euchre is hastily thrown together so is an illusion of camaraderie quickly manufactured in an undeniable attempt to find solace from the imagined goings-on of Carlson without and the desperate goings-on of Candy within. Many scholars describe the characters' reaction to Candy's despair as a reaction typical of the "Cain" syndrome--that is, the bunkhouse-mates choose not to be Candy's "keeper" in fear of certain social ramifications including ostracism or, in this case, a rebuke from either Slim or Carlson who place how bad the dog smells over how much the dog means to the "old swamper" (18). Characterizing those social ramifications as the inevitable projections of "an evil social system" (IX), for example, Joseph Henry Jackson alludes to the sadly unspoken and, in truth, flawed mores dictating the rules of human inter-action. There is, he suggests, a force 1 "Agapic" comes from the Christian term "agape," which means spiritual and selfless love. While I focus on the "moment" involving the death of Candy' s dog as an invitation (albeit not taken) to engage in this type of love, a more pronounced invitation comes in Steinbeck's more popular novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) when Rose of Sharon invites the emaciated man in the final chapter to nourish himself with her mother's milk. The "moment" in Of Mice and Men, however, aims the invitation more toward the reader, thereby making the realization of such an ideal interactive and, therefore, I think, potentially more powerful. 32
that eludes articulation yet influences nonetheless how each participant (here, used ironically) in the scene is supposed to act: removed, apathetic, and unfeeling. The term "social system," while not qualified beyond its use or contextualized and, therefore, validated by a more ostensible public phenomenon, can easily be juxtaposed to the "Cain" syndrome. For this, in any case, Jackson's insights remain relevant. Viewed more for its "mythic and allegorical implications" (Goldhurst 126), however, Of Mice and Men and, in a stricter sense, the scene in question garners a greater potential in terms of explaining the callous reaction had by the bunkhouse-mates to Candy's obvious bereavement. Between man as "a solitary wanderer on the face of the earth" (Goldhurst 126), which is a direct reference to the fate of Cain after he murders his brother, and man saved by the choice to love rather than vindicate, the "moment" demonstrates clearly the tragic repetition of an archetype that is irrevocably intertwined in the cultural fabric of, at least, 1930s America.2 Each man is alone with his thoughts as evidenced by the crippled conversation. Slim, for example, is the first to share what is really not on his mind: "Slim said loudly, `One of my lead mules got a bad hoof. Got to get some tar on it'" (48). The comment remains unheard, and, beyond that, the lack of action (or even words) on behalf of Candy is indicative enough of precisely what ethics--Cain's or Abel's--the bunkhouse-men choose. The undeniable gravity that has caused the otherwise jovial atmosphere to wilt, however, denotes something that inhibits the easy classification of "Cain." In other words, in their taciturn response, there is a sense of guilt. Where they are inactive, there is the impulse to react. The suspense is undoubtedly present, implying strongly a subdued will to come to the assistance of Candy. Were it not for the hold "Cain" values had on a sub-culture described by Slim as one where "ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other" (35), the "moment" might have had a different outcome. Steinbeck is not unmindful of the inclined outcome, though he does present an opportunity that flies in the face of damaging individualism. In 2 I would argue that the "Cain" syndrome becomes exacerbated after World War Two, especially in a Cold War America striving to create a distinction between itself--a nation that celebrates individuality--and Soviet Russia--in theory, a nation whose ideals are based on the virtues of the group. Nonetheless, 1930s America, with the admittedly dog-eat-dog mechanism in place as a means to survive, was a fertile ground for "Cain" ethics. To be sure, Depression America provided much fodder for the cult of "me" thinking after the war. 33
the course of the "moment," "silent" or "silence" is repeated seven times. It was "silent," for example, "outside" (48) immediately after Carlson left the bunkhouse. The "silence came into the room," and "the silence lasted" (48). Throughout the "moment," in fact, "silence" fell and "silence" kept invading the room. The incessant presence of silence is precisely Steinbeck's imploration to the reader to fill in that silence. To put it another way, Steinbeck affords his readers a unique opportunity to deny Cain values. This explains the subdued impulse, the common guilt, the practically tangible hesitation discoloring the social atmosphere of the bunkhouse. The "moment" is undeniably poignant; emotional buttons are deliberately being pushed and, I think it is fair to say that the reader is aware of this. The reader, to be sure, willingly follows Steinbeck on a brief emotional ride, knowing that the result will, to borrow a trite phrase, tug on the heartstrings. It could even be argued that the reader relishes this experience; however, the desired effect goes beyond mere pathos. Steinbeck's gift is not merely his ability to evoke emotion but, beyond that, the presentation of a choice to the reader vicariously through the experiences of the bunkhouse-men.3 To view the "moment" as an opportunity requires, first, the assumption that there are core human values. Steinbeck, in fact, has been both lauded and panned for his insistence that such values exist and that they are not necessarily relative--that is, they are not always malleable to suit whatever social or political dictate. In regards to the "moment" with specific attention given to the presence of "silence," Steinbeck's concept of non-teleological thinking can come into play in only one manner. The "is" political-philosophy seeks to repudiate norms that, in essence, place barriers between people. In the context of the "moment," the barriers are exactly those that keep people from acting on Candy's behalf. To "is" think is to perceive without considering cause and effect, which is to say social backlash, and, therefore, it is to perceive without judgment. There is not the factoring in of the past; there is no fear of negative reaction. What "is," accordingly, is what is present. It is true that the political-philosophy is an ideal and, as such, wide open to criticism. Accusations abound in Steinbeck criticism that label this political-philosophy and, in turn, Steinbeck himself as hokey, artistically weak, and, as Arthur Mizener even states, "sentimental" (44). 3 See East of Eden (1952) and Steinbeck' s appropriation of the Hebrew word timshel, which means "thou mayest." 34
Of course, this is all to say that non-teleological thinking has been perceived by many as a detriment to Steinbeck's craft. To discard the skepticism that people can form communities outside of socially imposed values as, for instance, the bunkhouse-men are privy to, and embrace the possibility, though it be brief, of utopian social constructs where the participants forget temporarily what social dictates they are supposed to do and, instead, do what is in the emotional and psychological best interest of one of their brethren, however, is to take a leap from the comfort of objective methods of analysis to the more ineffable context of subjective understanding. Dare I say that if the academic community cannot do this (I include myself, of course) then the academic community still lacks the proper tools to discuss the human experience through literature. In any case, Steinbeck's vision deserves careful consideration if not for its truly beautiful appeal to a greater potential in humankind but also for its ability to repudiate that which restricts the fullest expression of the human spirit. Though it be sentimental to some, it is, nonetheless, significant in terms of comprehending and, perhaps, altering a continually evolving social system. With the bunkhouse-men, their fate is sealed when they succumb to social pressures, which, of course, are precisely those Cain values in question. William Goldhurst even goes so far as to classify the outcome of the moment as a perpetuation of what he calls "Man Alone" (128). As do other critics, he suggests that this fate is predicated upon the actions of the Cain figure who, in many ways, is a dominating figure in "the modern world" (128). The "moment," in this sense, emerges as a microcosm: an isolated example of not only what happens daily but also what is typically deemed as given in modern society. Cain will more often than not "kill" his brother. Though it be a "moment," it is representative and, therefore, a part of the norm. There is no surprise; rather, there is only the sad fulfillment of a socially endorsed role. The reasons that this role is so dominant are many and deserve mention before an understanding of Steinbeck's agapic invitation through the presence of silence can take place. To explain fully the foothold Cain values have on society in general and on the bunkhouse-men in specific would be to go beyond the scope of analysis of a "moment." The task is simply too ponderous, necessitating a thorough explication of the tendencies of human nature. Instead, it suffices to accept the fact that human beings are products of their own design for better or worse. In the course of human history, contributions 35
good and bad are made that direct the flow of ideological evolution, and we are left, constantly it seems, to celebrate our advances or pick up the pieces. The reasons people injure other people are, indeed, nebulous, for doing so only precipitates a profound loneliness the likes of which have been demonstrated by the archetypal Biblical Cain as well as by the bunkhouse-men who go so far as to "gratefully" (49) look to the sound of gnawing as a means to escape their own solitude: "Sounds like there was a rat under there." said George. "We ought to get a trap down there" (49). It is a hollow comment, eliciting no response and demonstrating the lengths a person will go in order to deny compassionate--need I say-- agapic impulses. Each person, to be sure, is a victim conditioned to resist relationships that are formed unabashedly from the start out of compassion and understanding and not out of the conventions that decide how one man (and here I am being gender specific) is to view another man. As with the true Cain, the initial fear of rejection by the "father," which is to say the dominant norm, supersedes even the consideration that the effect of conformity--spiritual isolation--is much worse. The solution, in this sense, seems to be obvious, though deduced in retrospect; yet, the initiative needed to change a persistent fate is left, as Steinbeck presents it, to the reader: the unwitting participant in a bunkhouse drama. Steinbeck is sharing authorship with the reader by appealing to the reader to fill the silence. It is a subtle foist, banking on the nonteleological tenet that forming relationships unpolluted with judgment is not only a nice thing to do but, beyond an end that, to be fair, might only deserve accusations of sentimentality, is essential to survival. Of course, the word "survival," here, does not rest within the fact that a person can live with only shelter and sustenance but moves to, I think, a more realistic context that people, simply, need the affections of other people. It is the difference between humans as machines and humans as complex animals, and it is a difference that must be recognized as valid and not, as functionalists would have it, mawkish. Thus, by surrendering the pencil during the "moment," Steinbeck entrusts the responsibility of arriving at a context of community based on brotherly love to a reader who has the curious advantage of peering inward at an inclusive situation in the sense that it is a common social model. This vantage point only serves to emphasize the absurdity of choosing, as the bunkhouse-men do, Cain values, for as the drama unfolds, the reader actually witnesses the undesirable consequences. In this light, the act of filling the "silence" is itself an act of creating in the same sense that Steinbeck himself is 36
creating. There is co-authorship, which is to say that the reader "participate[s] in authorship in a way that is more than simply yielding to it. It must be grounded in enactments of the authorial attempt to give way to the new" (Crosswhite 101). The new or that which is against an old and destructive social paradigm is precisely at the heart of a politicalphilosophy geared toward re-evaluating for the purpose of repudiating anti-social values. There is an assumption being made when Steinbeck passes the baton of authorship to the reader. It is an assumption based on the premise that, inherently, human beings will opt for that which benefits them. This is not to say that people will not sometimes succumb to that which harms them as exemplified clearly in the "moment"; however, it is to suggest that people have, if you will, built in needs that go expressly beyond socially imposed "needs" as in the "need" to sport the latest fashion or the "need" to fit into a role in order to avoid ridicule. Steinbeck's sense of "need" transcends those constructed by society. For him, the ultimate need is the need for human beings to commune with one another beyond the strictures of whatever social expectation, for doing so will facilitate the expression of a greater human potential. It is the practice of "acceptanceunderstanding" where one is regarded zen-like as "is."4 Conventional social codes of conduct are disregarded. What are nurtured in their place are codes based on common welfare: human inter-relationships couched in fundamental and undeniable truths in terms of what else beyond the material is essential for human happiness. Steinbeck's kinship with, most directly, the Transcendentalists is striking, adding validity to a politicalphilosophy that otherwise receives negative criticism for its utopian quality. No doubt, this is an ideal, but, I think, it is a bold ideal in how it directly challenges the Cain social epidemic exacerbated by the dog-eatdog virtues of an industrialized world. The "moment," in this respect, might even be viewed as the raw result of a world that fosters alienation to lengths not before seen. The primeval Cain had been ushered into the twentieth century by riding upon the back of a mechanized steed, and the effects were indubitably permeative. 4 See Steinbeck's The Log from the Sea Of Cortez (1951) for a detailed explanation of "acceptance-understanding" through non-teleological thinking. Although Steinbeck does not explicitly juxtapose non-teleological thinking with Eastern philosophy, the similarities are evident, thereby adding strength to the argument that Steinbeck's form of social protest has a deeply spiritual base. 37
Norman N. Holland in "Where is a Text?: A Neurological View" states plainly that "[w]hat you know of a text is simply the sum of your perceptions" (21). If this is the case, then a text has as many meanings as the number of readers who encounter that text. As complexly composed as each reader is, so is there the possibility that their interpretations will be equally complex and, more importantly, individual in nature. Certainly, this is what gives a literary work its value: the more wellfounded interpretations a work gathers, the better it is. The pathos evoked by the "moment," accordingly, would be a pathos as unique as the reader; no one feeling would truly be the same. What must be considered, however, before reaching this type of conclusion is the surreptitious influence popular social dictates have on one's interpretive process. This is to suggest that, while what one arrives at is, indeed, personal (though this itself deserves further qualification), it is as well colored by various social and, more importantly institutionalized hegemonies. Holland later introduces an intriguing insight as it relates to the perception of a text. He asks, "Why? Why do we describe--even sense--the world as "out there," in a not-me when patently the only way it occurs to us, in us, is as electrochemical pulses, action potentials, in our neurons, in me?" (23). To Holland, the outer world is comparatively trivial, for, ultimately, it is the inner, socialized world that decides the "how" of perception. Beyond the distinction between individual judge and, as he puts it, "not-me," he contends that knowledge of the world is intimately derived--a decisively internal process where the outer can only be understood as it relates to the inner. This is an intrepid statement of the process of perception because it centers the world around the ego. In this sense, I see both an element of truth, which contributes to my own argument for why and how one would be inclined to fill the "silence," and a point of contestation, for we are largely not masters of those ideologies that orbit us and, thus, we are in no position to say that "not-me" is, at least, secondary in rank. The inner-self is influenced heavily by the "not-me" or outer world. This is done so regularly, in fact, that the very implements the inner-self uses in order to negotiate the constant barrage of external stimuli are themselves externally derived. Our methods of understanding are constructed, not innate. This, however, is only to the extent that ideologies are imposed, which is to say that it only goes so far as the ability of social values to infiltrate one's psyche. Though the ability is, without a doubt, great, there is, I think, a potentially 38
more influential force that emerges from more primal (which is not to say "savage") impulses. In relation to the "moment," an explanation of one's primal impulses as opposed to one's socially dictated impulses requires an understanding of Steinbeck's concept of the "phalanx" or "group-man." The "phalanx," simply, is a metaphor derived from ancient Roman military tactics where individual soldiers unite in order to facilitate the realization of some goal. In the actual sense, a Roman phalanx was a four-sided unit able to protect its members and go on the offensive simultaneously. The tactic was without a doubt efficient and effective as the Roman army proved time and again to be a lethal fighting force. Like a school of fish or a herd of animals, the "phalanx" worked off of primarily one principle: there is strength in numbers. At the same time, the individual who is a part of the phalanx is, to an extent, empowered because there is built into the "groupman" the element of protection and, from that, freedom from worry. This is to say that the interests of the individual are best served by the advent of the group. It is a complementary relationship like, I might imagine, any good relationship where individuality grows within the context of the group. While the actual phalanx was held together for the common purpose of vanquishing an enemy, Steinbeck's metaphorical "phalanx" appeals to a more humanitarian goal. It is not aggression, per se, that binds Steinbeck's "group-man" but rather the common necessity of love. Some critics are overly wary of inter-human relationships grounded solely in affection. There is the unfortunate tendency, in fact, to characterize such relationships as inherently problematic. Some critics even push the envelope by implying that such relationships are morally questionable. Robert Cardullo, for example, wagers that George's attachment to Lennie is "unnatural" (3), suggesting that the love between the two men is homosexual in nature. Accordingly, the human connection between the two bindlestiffs is sexually motivated; indeed, George's elusiveness when asked to explain the reasons why he and Lennie travel together makes sense, at least, within the framework of this analytical lens. When Cardullo asserts further that George's "unnatural" love for his compatriot functions as a way to "put up with one such as Lennie" (2­3) in that George somehow needs to feel sexually attracted toward Lennie in order to justify their relationship, an egregious line of logic is being perpetuated. What is being presupposed in this reasoning is that, beyond the possibility of there being an enlightened form to their relationship, their relationship is one ultimately centered around function. In other 39
words, there is no cohesion between George and Lennie beyond that which is provided by impersonal necessity. Theirs is an arrangement and not a friendship. The demands of an existence where, oftentimes, George and Lennie "ain't got any" (11) ketchup both metaphorically and literally has warranted the formation of a partnership where practical concerns can be addressed. Cardullo's supposition, perhaps, is one that, at least, credits George for seeking ways to emerge from the cold confines of a relationship based solely on usefulness; nonetheless, the basis of his position fails to consider a fundamental dimension of Steinbeck's art. Although the ranch boss echoes the suspicion that George may be "takin' his [Lennie's] pay away from him" (22), adding validity to any argument that George and Lennie's relationship is purely one grounded in practicality, such an argument can quickly be dismissed by George's response: "No, `course I ain't. Why ya think I'm sellin' him out?" "Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is." George said, "He's my ... cousin. I told his old lady I'd take care of him. He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid. He's awright. Just ain't bright. But he can do anything you tell him." (22) Of course, George admits later that the story about Lennie being kicked in the head by a horse was completely made up. This might be an irrelevant but amusing detail--an ornamental tidbit, perhaps--if it were not for the fact that George never actually articulates clearly the reasons why he looks after Lennie. The question simply evaporates as the plots heats up. Knowing something about the ideal Steinbeck seeks to express, however, equips the perceptive reader with the tools to answer the question nonetheless. George "take(s) so much trouble" for Lennie because he loves him. It is not a love of convenience where he loves more so the thought of not being alone and not Lennie per se, and it is most certainly not a homosexual love, which, as far as I am concerned, is absurdly reductionistic not to mention politically obsequious. As a two-person exemplification of the "phalanx," George and Lennie have a love where the individual grows and is nurtured under the auspices of the group. They are the ideal complement. It is interesting that any characterization of this type of relationship is beyond the breadth of George's vocabulary as well as it is beyond the comprehension of the ranch boss. Neither can justify in spoken language the need for or the nature of an agapic relationship, 40
although George, at least, intuits that such a relationship is worth defending. An honest question is answered with an off-the-cuff lie and, the Truth (that being the bond between two people which renders words futile) remains hidden in yet another contrivance of man. It is important to reiterate the true core of George and Lennie's relationship because it provides a premise for understanding the "moment." Agapic love is a powerful agent in Steinbeck's fiction not because of its ability, as some would have it, to jerk tears but for its ability to repudiate deftly manners of human inter-relationships that emanate from social mandates. Most obviously, the social mandate in Of Mice and Men is one advanced by the Great Depression, albeit it certainly did not begin with the infamous Wall Street crash of 1929. The primary Cain value of selfishness only found a more fertile ground from which to grow during the 1930s, and it was Steinbeck's noble charge, it seems, to remind America that truly decent relationships are not built upon distrust and resentment but, rather, upon reciprocated compassion. If this is hokey then the accuser is a victim conditioned to believe that agapic relationships are valueless in the grand scheme of an advancing society. On the contrary and as Steinbeck would have it, agapic relationships are the cornerstones of great societies because they simply address basic human needs before other needs as directed by whatever social movement are even considered. Steinbeck's was an almost impossible task toward profound ends. The reader witnesses Steinbeck's "phalanx" in the agapic relationship between George and Lennie. Steinbeck begins early in the novella, in fact, when the two companions dream in unison and, in doing so, reveal that a hallmark of an agapic relationship such as Steinbeck presents it is the open recognition that agapic feelings exist: Lennie was delighted. "That's it--that's it. Now tell how it is with us." George went on. "With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us." Lennie broke in. "But not us! An' why? Because... because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why." (14) The passage is famous. The conversation, worn to each of them like a favorite sweater, exposes the quintessence of their camaraderie. It is as 41
basic to their well-being as it is complex in light of sundry pejorative social mores whose subscribers would readily brand such a relationship as bizarre, yet what is noteworthy particularly about this prescribed exchange is that it is public, meaning that it is openly admitted. There is no secret between George and Lennie about how they feel about each other. There is simply agape: Steinbeck's "group-man" ideal exemplified in the smallest group possible. A common functionalist argument for George and Lennie's relationship being the way that it is--endearing, perhaps even touching--would be that it sets the stage for an ironic ending. The killing of Candy's dog, accordingly, is seen as foreshadowing: a useful literary device to show, in this case, the sometimes tragic discrepancy between the demands of an oftentimes unforgiving society and the tender bonds of love. It is easy to see the appeal of this situation. What surfaces by juxtaposing the "moment" with the cataclysmic end scene in such a clinical manner, however, is a stilted analysis that ignores the fact that the very nature of George and Lennie's relationship is, in and of itself, important. Any qualification that the relationship is less than essential to understanding Steinbeck's humanitarian mission is, thus, frustratingly dismissive. No doubt, the novella's conclusion is ironic, yet I contend that the irony long precedes the abrupt ending. Beyond the clinical irony of George's introduction of a bullet to Lennie's head, there is an irony encapsulated in a "moment," which addresses adroitly issues that are common to both characters and the reader alike. Recognizing the "moment" as a doublebladed sword wielded by Steinbeck as a means to foreground the problem of the "Cain" hegemony against the backdrop of a fiction and to do this for readers themselves very much enmeshed in those values, in fact, necessarily broadens an approach to any thought-to-be textbook literary device. Simply, more can be gleaned from the "moment" by understanding that much of what the "moment" means is derived through participating in it. The reader is as much a part of the semantic of the story as the characters. As an example of the "group-man" ideal, George and Lennie's "unusual buddyship" (Bellman 26) becomes a point of reference throughout the novella. All other situations are judged according to the criteria set by two men who have somehow transcended the predominant Cain morality of the world and, instead, defensively situated themselves in the context of a yet-to-be-realized dream: "a little house an' a room to ourself. Little fat iron stove, an' in the winter we'd keep a fire goin' in it" 42
(58). The fact that the pair is composed of opposites--one, large and brutish and the other small and quick--further demonstrates that a "phalanx" can successfully emerge out of contrary components. Although an argument certainly exists that such an ideal "suggests the futility of the all-too-human attempt to recapture Eden" (Goldhurst 135) where George and Lennie are merely naпve dreamers wishing to reverse the degenerative direction of humankind, at least, among themselves, the fact of the matter is that, above every other relationship in the novella (Curly and his wife, Curly and Slim, everybody and Crooks), theirs is a relationship that strives toward perfect goodness. By contrast, the Cain values that allow the outcome of the "moment" to occur are those that are socially debilitating. There is no redeeming quality; rather, what surfaces is an example of how not to regard a fellow human being. As such, it is precisely in the interchange between the "moment" and the reader where Steinbeck's tacitly delivered agapic invitation occurs. It is a deduction that draws upon comparison. Witnessing the ineffable bond between George and Lennie then experiencing the "silence" of a moment in lieu of witnessing the bunkhouse-men come to the assistance of an old man reluctant to part with his canine companion can lead to only one conclusion beyond the functionalistic notion that the death of Candy' s dog is merely a foreshadowing device. Choosing to love one another in the agapic sense of the word is not only away to reject popular, yet destructive standards, but it is the only way to preserve the possibility of utopian communities. The realization of this context is the quintessence of Steinbeck's vision, and to repudiate it or deem it to be merely "sentimental" would be to grossly overlook Steinbeck's humanitarian mission. Peter Smagorinsky remarks in "If Meaning Is Constructed, What Is It Made From?: Toward a Cultural Theory of Reading" that " [r]eading is [...] a constructive act done in conjunction with mediating texts and the cultural-historical context in which reading takes place" (137). Selfevident to most though it may be, this is a truth that, in fact, evolves as the cultural-historical context occupied by the reader inevitably evolves. In other words, a reading of a text metamorphoses with the accumulation of time no matter if it is done by the same reader. Interpretation and the context from which an interpretation takes place is an ever-changing phenomenon. The "silence" that is filled in the "moment" as a means for the reader and Candy to form, if you will, a surrogate agapic relationship in the image of George and Lennie in reaction to the lack of words or 43
actions from the bunkhouse-men is filled with successively different intuitive materials. A reader of Of Mice and Men upon its 1937 publication would have responded differently than a reader of today. While simple-sounding, this is an important facet in understanding the importance of an agapic invitation to a present-day audience. As the curse of Cain has mutated since the end of World War Two and the inception of a society whose values are relative if not based on capitalistic struggle altogether (and here, I speak from the perspective of a classic Marxist), so does the "silence" in the "moment" grow more deafening.5 The need to participate in an agapic relationship in the way that George and Lennie participate in each other is greater in the present than it was a few short decades ago, and it will be greater still in the future given the relentless momentum of "progress." This is the value of a "moment" concerning an old man, a dog, and a small group whose members tragically choose to refrain rather than to react because of what society mandates as right. In this light, the social worth of Of Mice and Men, in general, and the "moment," in specific, grows exponentially. Steinbeck's subtle imploration cunningly keeps pace with society's machinations on the human spirit, yet the responsibility of the first step toward communion still remains, as it always has, with the reader. It is, first, to see the example that Steinbeck provides in George and Lennie, and then it is to seek to replicate it by participating in the text according to Steinbeck's agapic vision. The old man suffers under the weight of the silence, and the dog unwaringly receives its fate, but the message is ultimately not one that privileges passivity: a laissez-faire approach to the darker times of life. Steinbeck demands a stronger regard for human suffering. In truth, Steinbeck's is an appeal to reject Cain values in place of love and compassion, for only by those values can there be holistic well-being. In a phrase, this constitutes the core of Steinbeck's humanism. Before any realization of agape can occur, there is initially the consideration of choices. In terms of the "moment," the reader sees what route was chosen and, hence, sees the outcome as it affects the characters involved. Without a doubt, Steinbeck intends for the reader to witness the results of a poor choice as a means, I would argue, to edify. Because the responsibility of authorship is, in part, surrendered by Steinbeck, how- 5 Of course, this is in reference to the ideological decay that was a part of the postmodern experience. The idea that Cain values have only been exacerbated as a result of this facet is not difficult to discern under this lens. 44
ever, the reader is presented with an opportunity to demonstrate what can be learned by, at least in a meta-textual sense, filling the "silence" in a manner that bolsters corn passion. Like the characters, the reader is presented with an agapic invitation. Steinbeck's desired response from the reader is obvious and, in light of the evident trend of Cain values today, necessary, yet the actual decision resides nonetheless within the individual conscience where occurs the battle between social mandates and spiritual imperatives. Interactive though the "moment" may be, what meaning is derived comes from precisely how the conflict is understood; however, given the nature of Cain values to be infectious, what once may have depended may, in the more "modern" future, depend no longer. WORKS CITED Bellman, Samuell. "Control and Freedom in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men" The CEA Critic 38:1 (1975): 25­27. Benchley, Nathaniel. "John Steinbeck." Paris Review 12 (Fall 1969): 161­188. Cardullo, Robert. "On the Road to Tragedy: The Function of Candy in Of Mice and Men" Ed. Karelisa V. Hartigan. All the World: Drama Past and Present, Volume II. Washington D. C.: UP of America, 1982. Crosswhite, James. "Authorship and Individuality: Heideggerian Angles" Journal of Advanced Composition 12:1 (Winter 1992): 91­109. Goldhurst, William. "Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck's Parable of the Curse of Cain" Western American Literature 6 (1971): 123­135. Holland, Norman N. "Where is a Text?: A Neurological View" New Literary History 33:1 (Winter 2002): 21­38. Jackson, Joseph Henry. Introduction. The Short Novels of John Steinbeck. By John Steinbeck. New York: Viking Press, 1963. Mizener, Arthur. "Does a Moral Vision of the Thirties Deserve a Nobel Prize?" New York Times 9 December 1962. Smagorinsky, Peter. "If Meaning is Constructed, What Is It Made From?: Toward a Cultural Theory of Reading" Review of Educational Research 71:1 (Spring 2001): 133­169. 45
KATALIN G. KБLLAY A LONG ROW OF BOOKS "READ AND REREAD": THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BY HEART QUOTATIONS IN EUGENE O'NEILL'S LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT From the various possibilities of taking the problem of "texts and contexts" to heart, my choice fell upon the investigation of intertextuality in one of O'Neill's most painful and most influential autobiographical plays, Long Day's Journey Into Night. More precisely, I would like to examine the literary context of the characters' individual reading experiences within the text of the drama, with a special focus on the dialogues in which other texts are quoted by heart. The title of my paper reflects on the stage directions in Act One. Before the play actually begins, a long passage describes the scenery, including the contents of two separate bookcases which indicate a division in the family with respect to literary tastes: "Against the wall between the doorways is a small bookcase, with a picture of Shakespeare above it, containing novels by Balzac, Zola, Stendhal, philosophical and sociological works by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Engels, Kropotkin, Max Sterner, plays by Ibsen, Shaw, Strindberg, poetry by Swinburne, Rosetti, Wilde, Ernest Dowson, Kipling, etc." [...] "Farther back is a large, glassed-in bookcase with sets of Dumas, Victor Hugo, Charles Lever, three sets of Shakespeare, The World's Best Literature in fifty large volumes, Hume's History of England, Thiers' History of the Consulate and Empire and miscellaneous volumes of old plays, poetry, and several histories of Ireland."1 1 All references to the text are based on the following edition: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, volume 2, Fifth Edition. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998. pp. 1289­1367. 47
O'Neill adds the following remark: "The astonishing thing about these sets is that all the volumes have the look of having been read and reread".2 For me, reading and rereading O'Neill's play, it has always been an astonishing thing about the long lists of books and the remark that they obviously cannot be acted out in a theater-performance, since not even the keenest-eyed spectator could decipher the authors and titles of books in a bookcase on stage, not to mention their look of "having been read and reread". What, then, is the dramatic role of these volumes, and for what purpose is the owners' habit of rereading mentioned? Can the various literary, philosophical and historical works have a special "air" which contributes to the peculiar atmosphere of the room? And does such an unseen presence of conflicting and intermingling ideas and harmonizing or discordant tones and tunes of poetry provide life in this living room, with comfort or with unease? To what extent does the authenticity of an actual performance depend on the exact following of these stage directions? O'Neill, having been brought up as a man of the theater, must have been aware of all these questions, self-reflectively directing them at his own art, the same way he directs the painful questions of family bonds and tragic home-truths at his own life. . In any case, the presence of books clearly indicates that the Tyrones, whose summer home opens up before the audience, are a family of letters. Similarly, can the crisis and singular tragedy opening up, journeying through the single day in August, 1912 till midnight be seen as a tragedy of letters? What is the dramatic role of literature (if any) in a family crisis? Perhaps, by offering analogous parallels of fate and critical situations, literature (both in the form of the presence of books read and reread and in the form of texts of various sources quoted at random in the actual dialogues) can turn the "singular" into "plural", providing the play with a timeless human context of pain and misery. But the plurality thus achieved does not only stress the shift from the personal to the universal: it also calls attention to the uniqueness of the individual tragedy in question, since this particular constellation of books exists only in this room, on these shelves. At first sight, it seems that the difference between the two bookcases indicates a generation gap: as opposed to the realist, naturalist, anarchist and decadent authors read by the young Tyrones, we find conformity, 2 Ibid., p. 1290. 48
romantic fiction, idealist conservativism and its canonical representation in the volumes on the shelves of the father. The sons prefer philosophy, the father prefers history. However, neither of the bookcases are strictly canonical in the sense of following either an Irish or an American tradition--the lists create a miscellaneous sensation of erudition in European culture. The picture of Shakespeare is decisive: on the one hand, it is clearly recognizable even for the less keen-eyed spectators; on the other hand, it is placed above the young generation's bookcase, thus indicating that they, too owe something to their father's master. Shakespeare's role in this drama is highly controversial. Whereas the "three good sets" should, in James Tyrone's view, set an example of a standard of historical, ethical and aesthetic value to the children (if Jamie, 33 and Edmund, 23 can still be regarded as such), for Tyrone himself Shakespeare's name is an ever-painful reminder of what he might have been: the three sets triply emphasize the failure of his carreer as a Shakespeare actor, selling his talent for money. There is a scene in Act Four when he reflects upon this, but as Pйter Egri observes in The Birth of American Tragedy, "the ageing actor goes on complaining about the talent-ruining, soulbuying evil effect of greediness, but at the same time he gets heavily to his feet and, groping uncertainly for the lights, clicks out all the three bulbs of the chandelier one by one; `there's no need to make the Electric Company rich', he says, repeating a habitual phrase and falling back to a customary attitude. The gradual putting out of the lights provides a conspicuous memorable picture of his niggardliness and seems to symbolize the continuous and irreversible extinction of his talent, indicating, and at the same time explaining, the process of his particular journey into night."3 Nevertheless, in Act Four, well under the influence of alcohol, he seems to agree stubbornly with Edmund's scornful suggestion saying that for him, Shakespeare was an Irish Catholic, and this gesture, though quite absurd, is one of self-identification, it acknowledges his intimate, almost family relationship with his favorite writer. Here is a list of the Shakespeare plays which are referred to or from which excerpts are quoted throughout O'Neill's drama: Othello and King Lear in Act One; King Lear in Act Two; none in Act Three; The Tempest, Macbeth, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Othello, Richard III, and Hamlet 3 Egri, Pйter. The Birth of American Tragedy. Budapest: Tankцnyvkiadу, 1988. p.160. 49
in Act Four. The titles show a preference for tragedy and the three sets as well as the repeated references might accentuate a tragic, irreversible destruction in this family. When, for example, Tyrone boastfully recalls the famous actor's, Edwin Booth's words of praise from the past "That young man is playing Othello better than I ever did!"4--the sentence does not only refer to past glory, it may also indicate Tyrone's tragic ability to bring ruin to the ones he loves most. Or when Edmund defensively reminds his father how well versed in Shakespeare he himself had been, bringing up the case when he earned five dollars from Tyrone by learning Macbeth's part "and recited it letter perfect", Tyrone answers approvingly "That's true. So you did." Then "[He smiles teasingly and sighs.] It was a terrible ordeal, I remember, hearing you murder the lines"5. "Murdering the lines", of course, refers to Edmund's mechanical way of recital, however, there is a tragic undertone in this phrase stressing the murderous nature of the text which in turn might bring out murderous inclinations in the reader. So, although in his career Tyrone had left Shakespeare for the better paying popular dramas (e.g. The Bells, or, strictly following autobiographical references, the title role of Count Monte Christo), his private life seems to be haunted by the invisible presence of Shakespearean tragedy. It remains a question whether such a presence is inevitably harmful or it may be helpful in any way in the middle of a family crisis, on the day when it turns out that Edmund has consumption (thought to be a lethal disease by the family) and Mary, the dearly loving wife and mother relapses to her drug addiction. Isn't the tragic Shakespearean undertone, so emphasized, more dangerous and destructive than the decadent, melancholic poetry with which Jamie and Edmund identify themselves? James Tyrone would religiously insist that in Shakespeare "You'll find what you are trying to say [...] as you'll find everything else worth saying."6 And as an answer to Edmund's Baudelaire-quotation, he adds: "Pah! It's morbid nonsense! What little truth is in it you'll find nobly said in Shakespeare."7 For Tyrone, the Shakespeare-echoes bring quality and dignity to the atmosphere of petty 4 Long Day's Journey Into Night, p. 1354. 5 Ibid., p. 1347. 6 Ibid., p. 1344. 7 Ibid., p. 1345. 50
quarrels and insoluble problems. His love for Shakespeare is like his love for each member of his family, "in spite of everything"8. Still, it is worth examining what exactly is quoted "nobly" from these dramas in the conversations. Before doing so, it must be noted that taking any text out of context and bringing it into everyday dialogue inevitably has a humorous effect. The source of the comic is the presupposition that every participant of the conversation is familiar with the original text and applies it to the situation. This type of humour may be "inclusive", selfironical, creating a bond between the participants or "exclusive", directed at one of the members of the company, hurting that person's feelings. In O'Neill's drama we find humor at work in both ways, for example when in Act One, referring to Tyrone's snoring, Jamie quotes from Othello: "The Moor, I know his trumpet".9 In Tyrone's answer both the release and the tightening of the tension can be felt: "If it takes my snoring to make you remember Shakespeare instead of the dope sheet on the ponies, I hope I'll keep on with it." Mary intervenes with the remark: "Now, James, you mustn't be so touchy", but she herself might also have been sensitive to Tyrone's sentence, since this is the first time in the drama when the later so significant word "dope" is uttered, although in a completely different context. Interestingly enough, the Shakespeare-quotations throughout Long Day's Journey are not taken from the most famous, dramatically decisive parts of the plays, they seem to be accidentally picked to become aphoristic, well-known phrases in the family conversations. Still in Act One, according to the stage directions, Tyrone stares at Jamie, then "quotes mechanically" from King Lear: "Ingratitude, the vilest weed that grows"10. These excerpts seem to have become proverb-like but communicatively empty wise sayings which are habitually repeated without any particular evocation of the spirit of tragedy. In Act Two, Tyrone addresses Edmund with a similar quotation, also from King Lear, which Edmund finishes, indicating that he has heard it innumerable times: T.: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is..." E.: "to have a thankless child".11 This quotation is almost automatic ­ especially because in this scene Edmund is far from being ungrateful, he is simply too surprised by 8 Mary says these words twice in a conversation in Act Three, Ibid., p. 1336. 9 Ibid., p. 1295. 10 Ibid., p. 1300. 11 Ibid., p. 1325. 51
his father's generous gift (the ten-dollar bill) to say "thank you". However, this reflex-like recital of Shakespeare might again show a more intimate relationship with the text and with each other: the lines may work as secret family passwords, strengthening the bond between the speakers. The rest of the Shakespeare-excerpts also seem to be quite trivial but, in Act Four, it can be observed that there is a tendency in them to become more and more relevant and connected to the fate of the Tyrones as the hours pass. James Tyrone's quotation from The Tempest is immediately subverted by Edmund--perhaps because the words reflect upon a dangerous distraction from reality, too painfully applicable to the situation. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."12 But Edmund's ironical reply, "We are such stuff as manure is made on, so let's drink up and forget it", is not only subversive, it also stresses the necessity of distraction. A long debate follows over Edmund's taste in literature, during which Tyrone desperately cries out: "Where you get your taste in authors--that damned library of yours! [He indicates the small bookcase at rear] Voltaire, Rousseau, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Ibsen! Atheists, fools and madmen! And your poets! This Dowson and this Baudelaire, and Swinburne, and Oscar Wilde, and Whitman and Poe! Whoremongers and degenerates! Pah! When I have three good sets of Shakespeare there [he nods at the large bookcase] you could read."13 After the literary debate, followed by mutual accusations, it is again a Shakespeare line that reconciles father and son, now from As You Like It: "E.: I didn't mean it, Papa. [He suddenly smiles, kidding a bit drunkenly] I'm like Mama, I can't help liking you, in spite of everything. T.: [grins a bit drunkenly in return] I might say the same of you. You're no great shakes as a son. It's a case of `A poor thing but mine own.' [They both chuckle with real, if alcoholic, affection. ...]14 I can't help remembering Prospero's somewhat weightier but similar words about Caliban from The Tempest, "This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine." However, at this point in O'Neill's drama, the real darkness is not yet acknowledged. What is faced in the next Shakespeare-quotation, from Julius Caesar, during the 12 Ibid., p. 1344. 13 Ibid., p. 1346. 14 Ibid., p. 1350., cf. As You Like It, V.4. 57­61 52
same conversation, is Tyrone's inferiority and weakness: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings."15 Jamie is the next person to quote from Othello to Edmund, in his drunken travesty of the Last Judgement: "Slip a piece of change to the Judge and be saved, but if you're broke, you can go to hell! [He grins at this blasphemy and Edmund has to laugh. Jamie goes on.] `Therefore put money in thy purse.' That's the only dope. [mockingly] The secret of my success! Look what it's got me!"16 The seriousness in the sarcastic tone recalling a dialogue between Iago and Roderigo might not come directly from Shakespeare's text, but again from the word "dope" (now in the sense of `advance information for prediction'). It is questionable whether the word "that" in "That's the only dope" refers to money or to Shakespeare (or literature in general). If "dope" can in any way be connected to literature, it will be worth examining the possible correspondances in the role of whiskey, drugs, the symbolic fog and readings throughout the play. Before asking the question to what extent literature might be regarded as a special narcotic, I would like to pay attention to the two remaining references to Shakespeare, both made by Jamie. When he recovers from his drunken knock-out, Jamie "suddenly points a finger at" Tyrone and "recites with dramatic emphasis" from Richard III.: "Clarence is come, false, fleeting, perjured Clarence, / That stabbed me in the field by Tewksbury. / Seize on him, Furies, take him into torment."17 And he immediately lapses into the role of the Furies he had conjured up, tormenting his father with a quotation from Rosetti, thus reconciling the contents of the two bookcases: "Look in my face. My name is MightHave-Been; / I am also called No More, Too Late, Farewell." Tyrone's answer, "I am well aware of that, and God knows I don't want to look at it."18, clearly shows that he is stung both by Shakespeare and by Rosetti speaking through Jamie, and that these quotations are no longer mechanically repeated aphorisms or secret family passwords: they carry home-truths, so painful that some kind of anaesthetic would be in need to bear them. Instead of his usual whisky, Tyrone now turns to the 15 Ibid., p. 1354. 16 Ibid., p. 1361. 17 Ibid., p. 1363. 18 Ibid., p. 1363. 53
possibility of sleep: "I think I'll catch a few winks"19, but in this final scene of the drama it is impossible to hide from home truths: the torments have to continue, first in the form of Mary coming down from the spare room, carrying her wedding dress, playing the piano in the parlor, and entering the living room, then in the form of Jamie, sardonically and disrespectfully referring to Hamlet: "The Mad Scene. Enter Ophelia!"20 And from now on, like the slap across the mouth which Jamie gets from Edmund, flashes of alternating passions of anger, love and sorrow will create constant tension, constant high voltage till the end of the play. In the present paper, I intend to return to this last scene, from the point of view of the role of the Swinburne poem Jamie recites while his mother desperately and distractedly keeps searching for something missing, but before that, a couple of disturbing questions need to be discussed. The first of these questions has already been mentioned: whether literature can fit in the line of the various distracting and pain-killing narcotics that have a decisive role in the drama, from the concrete drug (morphine) taken by Mary, through the almost equally harmful whisky drunk by Tyrone and the boys, to the more abstract and symbolic fog surrounding the house, all of which separate the family members from each other, embracing them at the same time with a sensation of protection. Literature, to some extent, is one of these: reading can take the reader out of the everyday context, it can also evoke the past and provide one with a virtual world--and even if the works read are tragic or shocking, the consciousness of the virtuality keeps the reader safe from harm. The embarrassing or disturbing moment only comes when the correspondances between the virtual world and the everyday context become all too evident to deny, when the text surprises the reader with a sudden home truth. This can happen when books are not only read, but reread, when texts become, so to say, "intimate friends", when parts of them are even known by heart, when they gain a new life and a new meaning by being quoted in different situations. In O'Neill's play, in fact, nobody is reading on stage: what is displayed is only the magic presence of the volumes and the equally magic new life of well-known texts, kept exclusively in the protagonists' mortal memories, and quoted, mechanically or on purpose, for the sake of staying alive. When in Act Four, Edmund recites Baudelaire's prose poem, for example, the text carries 19 Ibid., p. 1364. 20 Ibid., p. 1364. 54
both the encouragement to turn away from everyday problems (in its content) and the commandment to turn towards a conflict between himself and his father (in the actual conversational situation). "Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually. Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken."21 Baudelaire's advice, ironically, is followed by all the three male Tyrones: they certainly are drunken, especially through Act Four. But doesn't Baudelaire's text in itself refer to something more than to the mere distraction from everyday life? Doesn't it offer a new way of perception, in which drunkenness not only dulls but also sharpens one's sensitivity to existential questions? It is in this sense that poetry fits in line with wine. As the phrase "a touch of the poet" (itself the title of another play by O'Neill) might refer to a drink. The Tyrones "drink hearty", and when they recite, they also "quote hearty", i.e. by heart, at the risk of the throbbing, delicate balance of their vulnerable hearts. Unlike James Tyrone who says "I wouldn't worry about the virtue part of it, if I were you"22, I also intend to search in this paper for a possible ethical dimension in the gesture of keeping such an intensive and intimate relationship with literature. But before examining possible manifestations of virtue, let me put my second disturbing question: to what extent does it alter the status of the quoted texts that two of the protagonists (Tyrone and Jamie) are actors by profession, and Edmund, too can be regarded as a talented amateur? When memorizing and quoting texts is part of one's job, who can tell to what extent the words recited by heart are taken to heart? What if all the quoted texts are parts of some show, what if the Tyrones are actually engaged in a never-ending rehearsal for some great performance? This suggestion is not so much justified in the actual quotations as in the repeated stories told from the family's past. When, for example Edmund is touched by his father's story of his miserable childhood, Jamie cynically asks: "He's been putting on the old sob act for you, eh? He can always kid you. But not me. Never again."23 If the confessions 21 Ibid., p. 1345. 22 Ibid., p. 1345. 23 Ibid., p. 1357. 55
themselves are not more than texts recited, life and literature become hopelessly--or, in an aesthetic sense, blissfully--entangled. It would be so reassuring to suppose that such an experience of aesthetic delight might make life more livable. If a hope like this exists, then the "grand perfomance" they keep rehearsing would be the artistic staging of something very simple, i.e. ordinary, everyday life in a habitable home, which Mary so much longs for. However, it is precisely this artistic simplicity which is unattainable for the Tyrones. Now, that Mary's name has been mentioned, I must put my third disturbing question: how come, that Mary never quotes from any of the works mentioned, although she is obviously familiar with them, since she understands the humor in the allusions? How come, that in Act Three, dominated by Mary, there is a complete lack of recitals? Of course, if recitals are not taken so strictly, she, too, keeps repeating stories from the past, what's more, she even starts "quoting" a very well-known text: "Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with Thee; blessed art Thou among women." She gets so far, but then, abruptly, self-critically and "sneeringly" adds: "You expect the Blessed Virgin to be fooled by a lying dope fiend reciting words! You can't hide from her!"24 What is the status of this special quotation? In what way is the prayer different from Tyrone's Shakespeare or Jamie's and Edmund's Rosetti and Baudelaire? First of all, Mary recites alone, without the purpose of human communication. She either wants to establish a contact with her lost "real" self (the coincidence of names might even allow that she in fact addresses her ideal self, the happy "Mary" she had once been or might have been, with whom the Lord is), or she wants to get through to the eternal ideal, trying to find her way back to both childish and motherly innocence. Her self-critical sensitivity does not allow her to finish the whole prayer, she thinks reciting words is a way of hiding, she does not seem to believe in the magic power of "quoting hearty". Or can her case prove that she believes in this power with even more vehemence than the men of the family? Can she be the one who truly, "religiously" takes the words to heart and simply cannot bear any false or mechanical undertones? It is she from "all the four haunted Tyrones"25 who submerges the most deeply in 24 Ibid., p. 1333. 25 "O'Neill claims in his dedication of the play to Carlotta Monterey that he wrote it `with deep pity and understanding and forgiveness for all the four haunted Tyrones'." 56
narcotic, so both the above discussed conflicting consequences of distraction and sharpened sensitivity are at work in her case with the highest intensity. If her recited words can in any way be taken as parts of a rehearsal, then surely hers is the grandest performance, the most authentic and artistic role-play in the closing scene of the drama. Let me now return to the painful final situation with Mary looking for something and Jamie reciting from Swinburne's "A Leave-taking". The poem here is far from being background music to the action, it is part of a careful choreography. Each stanza comes right after a futile attempt at getting through to Mary on the part of Tyrone, Jamie and Edmund, respectively, each stanza heartbrakingly emphasizes Mary's indifference, while she almost ritually passes behind the chairs of each man in the family. I would like to quote this complicated and absurd dance and music in full length. MARY: [...] What is it I'm looking for? I know it's something I lost. [She moves back from TYRONE, aware of him now only as some obstacle in her path.] TYRONE: [in hopeless appeal] Mary! [But it cannot penetrate her preoccupation.She doesn't seem to hear him. He gives up helplessly, shrinking into himself, even his defensive drunkenness taken from him, leaving him sick and sober. He sinks back on his chair, holding the wedding gown in his arms with an unconscious clumsy, protective gentleness.] JAMIE: [drops his hand from his face, his eyes on the table top. He has suddenly sobered up, too--dully] It's no good, Papa. [He recites from Swinburne's "A Leave-taking" and does it well, simply but with a bitter sadness.] "Let us rise up and part; she will not know. Let us go seaward as the great winds go, Full of blown sand and foam; what help is here? There's no help, for all these things are so, And all the world is bitter as a tear. And how these things are, though ye strove to show, She would not know." MARY: [looking around her] Something I miss terribly. It can't be altogether lost. [She starts to move around in back of JAMIE's chair.] JAMIE: [turns to look up into her face--and cannot help appealing pleadingly in his turn] Mama![She does not seem to hear. He looks away hopelessly.] Quoted by Pйter Egri, in: The Birth of American Tragedy. Budapest: Tankцnyvkiadу, 1988. p. 161. 57
Hell! What's the use? It's no good. [He recites from "A Leave-taking" again with increased bitterness.] "Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear. Let us go hence together without fear; Keep silence now, for singing-time is over, And over all old things and all things dear. She loves not you nor me as all we love her. Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear, She would not hear." MARY: [looking around her] Something I need terribly. I remember when I had it I was never lonely nor afraid. I can't have lost it forever, I would die if I thought that. Because then there would be no hope. [She moves like a sleepwalker, around the back of JAMIE's chair, then forward toward left front, passing behind EDMUND.] EDMUND: [turns impulsively and grabs her arm. As he pleads he has the quality of a bewilderedly hurt little boy.] Mama! It isn't a summer cold! I've got consumption! MARY: [For a second he seems to have broken through to her. She trembles and her expression becomes terrified. She calls distractedly, as if giving a command to herself.] No! [And instantly she is far away again. She murmurs gently but impersonally] You must not try to touch me. You must not try to hold me. It isn't right, when I am hoping to be a nun. [He lets his hand drop from her arm. She moves left to the front end of the sofa beneath the windows and sits down, facing front, her hands folded in her lap, in a demure school-girlish pose.] JAMIE: [gives Edmund a strange look of mingled pity and jealous gloating] You damned fool. It's no good. [He recites again from the Swinburne poem.] "Let us go hence, go hence; she will not see. Sing all once more together; surely she, She too, remembering days and words that were, Will turn a little toward us, sighing; but we, We are hence, we are gone, as though we had not been there. Nay, and though all men seeing had pity on me, She would not see." TYRONE: [trying to shake off his hopeless stupor] Oh, we're fools to pay any attention. It's the damned poison. But I've never known her to drown herself in it as deep as this. [gruffly] Pass me that bottle, Jamie. And stop reciting that damned mobid poetry. I won't have it in my house! Throughout the scene, Jamie, the most cynical, but also the most sensitive member of the family recites bitterly and self-defensively. At the same time, he exposes himself the most to the painful experience of literature corresponding to reality. Mary's ghost-like figure circulating around the three men, acting out her own absence, calls attention to the 58
intensity of the need of a good mother. And it may be noted that the difference between the appearance of an ideal mother and the actual Mary is frightfully slight: perhaps I do not go too far by suggesting that the most caring mother one could imagine is similarly circulating around the beloved members of her family, herself like air, a presence unseen, unnoticed but essential for life. The slight difference, however, is essential and depends on the mode of perception. It is not all the same whether one experiences a visible absence or an invisible presence. But what is the sensory organ that would perceive such a difference? In Swinburne's poem, the words "know", "hear" and "see" are stressed, corresponding to the brain, the ear and the eye, respectively. These organs are no longer quite reliable for the four tired and tortured Tyrones. Perhaps, quoting by heart enables Jamie to set his heart into motion, and in the indifferent, miserable figure recognize a throbbing similar to that of the ideal as well as to that of his own, Tyrone's and Edmund's. It is also significant that although Swinburne's poem is entitled "A Leave-taking", all the three men remain seated, arranged like an audience for Mary's upcoming "grand performance". Maybe it is not only "hopeless stupor" but also the above mentioned throbbing that keeps them there. To me, it seems that the ethical dimension (if there is any) of the habit of quoting and rereading texts (as well as each other) lies in this gesture: instead of springing up, slamming the door and fleeing aghast from this intolerable scene, each in their own isolation, they remain together. Tyrone tells Jamie to stop quoting. Is it because he thinks it is a bad text and a futile gesture, or because he thinks it is all too unbearably relevant? Does the sentence "I will not have it in my house" refer only to the "morbid" kind or to any poetry? Supposing that he and the two boys still believe in the power of poetry, is it possible that in Mary's closing monologue, in spite of the absurdity, "in spite of everything", they are able to find some professional and aestheic delight, highly appreciating the masterful performance of a quality actress? And if so, can this play be regarded as a tragedy of letters? Mary, "facing front" throughout her monologue turns her back on both bookcases if the stage directions are strictly followed. The text she says, however, in which three mother-figures are mentioned (her own mother, Mother Elizabeth and the Blessed Virgin), is high quality literature.What does this tell about the dramatic role of literature in a family crisis? Perhaps that books read and even reread do not have the power to solve insoluble problems, to prevent the family from disintegration, to make 59
everyday life livable. At the same time, these texts may create a triple bond which does not disintegrate: a bond of belonging to each other, a bond of familiar intimacy with texts and a bond to a special notion of value. The whole text of O'Neill's play testifies to this value. Is it possible to imagine a family (not necessarily of actors, but of letters) in which sentences like "There's no use making the Electric Company rich"26 or phrases like "books read and reread" are quoted almost mechanically as secret family passwords, or may even carry the surprise of sudden home-truths, "in spite of everything?" This, I think, is the challenge of the significance of by-heart quotations. 26 Long Day's Journey Into Night, p. 1354. 60
БGNES ZSУFIA KOVБCS REMAPPING THE JAMESIAN LEGACY: TONI MORRISON'S LITERARY THEORY IN CONTEXT Introduction Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark has become a major reference point in contemporary American literary theory. It forms part of the flowering of African-American studies has experienced since the 1990s. The 1993 Nobel Prize winning African American writer examines canonized American literary terminology and the texts that inform the construction of the classical American literary canon. Her intention is to draw a map of a critical geography that opens up space for discovery. In the new critical space African American texts are located as part of the geography of American literature. Morrison is concerned with how Europeanized white American literary practitioners silenced the African American presence in American literature. To counter this process, Morrison contends that the basis of the American experience lies in the dynamic coexistence of Europeanized Americans and African Americans. Morrison's project is to study the dynamism of silencing in American literature and in critical texts about American literature. Though ambitious, the conceptual map Morrison draws is rather sketchy (although the argument was published in two versions, an article in 1990 and the book in 1992). Nevertheless, the frame can be fleshed out if we pose further questions. For me the weakness of the argument lies in its obscure relation to the contemporary American critical context, a background which remains unexplained: the two existing footnotes in the first essay of Playing refer to two interpretations, there is no specific reference to any theoretical text in it. To my mind, this suggests a lack that might be intentional, an awareness of this weakness. Therefore I set 61
out to investigate the context of Morrison's argument and look into the problem of how the position she explicates fits the directions of American critical thinking in the 1980s. I claim that her concerns represent a growing interest in contextual issues like race, class and gender that characterizes American critical thinking the eighties but is at the same time saturated by the terminology of traditional literary scholarship she professes to reform. This ambivalent connection to traditional American literary scholarship can be articulated best through Morrison's relation to the critical reception of Henry James. Despite the ambivalence, her ideas remain provoking, as one can see in some of the applications of her mappings that represent the most challenging directions in literary studies in the early nineties, within and without the bounds of her initial conceptual frame. I. A New Model of American Literary Discourse Morrison claims that American literary criticism needs to be reformed since it traditionally has ignored a continuous African-American presence. The characteristics of American literature can be found in the notion of "Americanness" that excludes an African-American experience. Within this view, American literature is only concerned with the opinion, talent, and power of white men. In contrast, Morrison proposes the view that American literature characteristically responded to a dark AfricanAmerican presence. "These speculations have led me to wonder whether the major and championed characteristics of our literature--individualism, masculinity, social engagement versus historical isolation; acute and ambiguous moral problematics; the thematics of innocence coupled with an obsession with figurations of death and hell--are not in fact responses to a dark, abiding, signing Africanist presence" (Morrison 1992, 5). Just as the founding the American nation required a coded language to mark the problems and moral questions of racism, so its national literature required its restrictions and codes that are still present in the 20th century. The argument is built on the key terms "Africanism" and "AfricanAmerican presence." Morrison's notion `Africanism' covers all the presuppositions, readings and misreadings that constitute the Eurocentric body of knowledge about African peoples. These include "both a way of talking about and a way of policing matters of class, sexual license, and repression, formations and exercises of power, and meditations on ethics and accountability" (7). In America, a special type of this knowledge is 62
called American Africanism, but also South-African and European variations exist. The concept resembles Edward Said's term, "orientalism" that refers to the construction of a fictive Europeanized image of the Orient by colonizers. The companion piece of the concept `Africanism' is the notion of `African-American presence.' It refers to a special history of the effect Africans had on American literature. For Morrison, AfricanAmerican presence becomes problematic in the context of American literature. How does an African presence function in this context? The issue is at least twofold: on the one hand, how a coded literary language turns from oppressive to seemingly subversive, and, on the other, how it limits or influences the perspective of literary critics when they think about American literature. No scholar before Morrison has asked this question about American literature for two reasons. First, the coded literary discourse did not allow for the discussion of the topic but required a poetics of silence. It was considered a graceful, well-bred, liberal gesture to ignore racism, to enforce its invisibility through silence (10). For another, the literary discourse about African-Americans traditionally studies racism from the perspective of the sufferer, in terms of its consequences on the victim. As opposed to this, Morrison investigates the effect of racism on those who practice it: "the impact of racism on those who perpetuate it [...] what racial ideology does to the mind, imagination, and behavior of masters" (11, 12). So the new objective of literary studies is to retrace the ways canonized writers and critics practice racism in American literary discourse. At this point it might be useful to comment on the personal background of Morrison's new objective. The new perspective she offers is a result of her personal conviction that concerns her role as a writer. As a student, as a reader, she was reading as she had been taught to read; in other words she had no expectations whatsoever about the representation of the Africanist presence in American literature. She did not even think such a link was possible. Later on, already as a writer, she articulated for herself the task of a writer as a personal responsibility for language. For her, this is the question of how one handles the discourses one applies in writing and how one makes use of the social contexts these discourses are tied to. Her view is that the writer's role lies in thematizing the ideological presuppositions of social discourses. A writer is able to imagine what he or she is not, to bring the unknown close by and distance the familiar, dust off the myth and look behind it (Laclair 1993, 372 and Surбnyi 2007, 63
16). In other words, the writer has the ability to imagine others and the threat that others pose for him/her (Morrison 1992, 4). Thinking along these lines made her realize absences within criticism, the actual blindness of criticism towards the treatment of African-American characters. Where she as a writer found an African-American character central to the text, in critical accounts she could only locate a white spot or refusal to notice. This, eventually, led to the careful formulation of her views. Her textual analyses focus on rereadings of nineteenth century and early twentieth century works in which African characters seem of minor importance. Her examples include Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym, Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. In Poe's text Morrison places the role of the mysterious whiteness of the Pole and the white giant into context. Whiteness is the reason of the death of the black servant, Nu-Nu, and the giant figures the blinding, unpiercable whiteness. Both figures are typical of literary representations of the Africanist presence (33). In Huck Finn, again, the main problem is not Huck's coming of age but rather the Africanist presence, as Huck is rafting down the Mississippi in the company of a black slave, Jim. It is certainly true that Twain is criticizing the institution of slavery and middle-class features in Huck's character. Yet the adventures could not be realized without Jim's active assistance. Huck's own coming of age and freedom is partly a result of a slave's help. So Jim cannot just be allowed to go free or escape at the end of the story: the catalyst would then be lost. In accord with that, Tom Sawyer's appearance at the end, the reinforcement of Jim's slave status is to provide the story with a relieving (abiding) closure (55). Thirdly, Hemingway's To Have and Have Not tells the story of the classical American hero: the isolated individual struggling with the state that limits his freedom. The hero has a black helper whose aid is indispensable for the hero at first. Hemingway applies racial stereotypes for the main African-American character: he has no name, no sex, no individuality. It is only later on in the story that he is given a name and it dawns upon us that he can steer and also think--as far as one can make this out on the basis of his unfinished sentences and complaints. The relationship between hero and wife is also built on the exclusion of the black (dark) presence (69­80). Finally, from the perspective of an Africanist presence, Cather's Sapphira has failed to become part of the Cather canon not because it is less imaginative than her other works (as critics like to claim) but because it treats a topic that has traditionally been a taboo for 64
literature. The problem is trying to come to terms artistically and critically with the novel's concerns: "the power and license of a white slave mistress over her female slaves" (18). Morrison distinguishes three stages within the history of literary representations of the Africanist presence in American literature, in the literary construction of racism (63­64, Klein 1994, 660). The first phase is that of hierarchical differences, the stage when a European sense of superiority over blacks came into existence. At the same time, the perceived intellectual and moral inferiority of African-Americans legitimated the institution of slavery. In this phase the African characters represented are ignorant, wild, and different. In the second phase the Africanist presence was used as a subterfuge for thinking about the nature of white identity. The representation of an African-American character was not to be interpreted on the basis of African-American history or lack of rights but rather as a representation of the insecurities of creating a new world. So the African character always had a reflexive role. The romance, as a genre, represents the themes and problems of the new world, in which questions and anxieties are inscribed into the African characters who signified the dark side of the American Dream (36­37). The question of the rights of man in America, for instance, was yoked by Africanism (38), as slavery highlighted freedom for Enlightened contemporaries. In the third phase blackness becomes the rhetoric of fear and desire. The black characters or other representations of blackness articulate a double extreme experience. Images of blackness can be both good and evil, moral and immoral, chaste and guilty at the same time. The representation of the Africanist presence in the American literary discourse is becoming more and more metaphorical throughout the three stages enlisted above. Through this process, the concept of race loses any biological origin and becomes a culturally constructed notion. A Morrison puts it: "Race has become metaphorical--a way of referring to and disguising forces, events, classes, and expressions of social decay ad economic division far more threatening to the body politic than biological `race' ever was. [...] [R]acism is as healthy today as it was during the Enlightenment. [...] [It] has assumed a metaphorical life so completely embedded in daily discourse that it is perhaps more necessary and more on display than ever before." (63) Thit is the urgent reason why Morrison the writer considers it our most immediate task to study the mechanisms of racial language use in the American literary discourse. 65
II. Context: Morrison's relation to James's legacy Morrison's project of redrawing the map of American literature is an ambitious project that, as we have seen, contains several powerful claims. These are, naturally, derived from a specific theoretical position (Wallringer 2007, 117). Despite the existing background, we have seen that the keynote essay in Playing titled "Black Matters" contains only two references to two interpretations, one pertaining to a primary text, the other to a critical misreading: two examples. There is no reference to any theoretical text, so the representatives of a traditional notion/map of American literature are not criticized directly. This is the more challenging when you realize that contemporary theoreticians are not pointed out, either, although references to them would indicate that Morrison is actually not drawing the map of an altogether `white' or unknown intellectual landscape. I argue that her text aims at reforming Lionel Trilling's liberal notion of literature and at taking issue with Richard Chase's romance thesis from the fifties. Relying on contextual rewritings of the liberal tradition in the 1980s and retaining some of the traditional ones, Morrison locates the place of the Africanist presence as a decisive contextual factor in the discourse of American literature, but at the same time remains entangled with the terminology contested. Despite her intention to make it new, Morrison's text is saturated by Henry Jamesian critical terms that became cornerstones of `liberal' American literary theory in 1940­50s. As a James scholar, I was mightily surprised to notice that some of Morrison's key terms are linked to Jamesian theory. The most spectacular one of these, for me, is the term `the literary imagination' in the title of Morrison's book. In Jamesian parlance the literary imagination is the motor or basic principle of literary creation (James 1963, 56). In James's postromantic model understanding is an endless process that is triggered by empirical stimuli in the perceiver's mind. This fluid understanding is always idiosyncratic, characteristic of the mind of the perceiver rather than of the stimuli on the basis of which it came into being initially. Understanding in process creates experience, and this experience we normally call knowledge. An author creates literature by describing experience that comes into being in his/her mind. In his well-known essay, "The Art of Fiction," James lectures on the play of the literary imagination, his model of experience points out the significance of personal experience in literary creation (Kovбcs 2006b, 34). Morrison shares the interest in the authorial imagina- 66
tion, yet for her it is the linguistic aspect of writing that functions as the motor of the creative process. The activity of authorial imagination makes it possible for a writer to problematize the social role of stereotypical, oppressive, exclusive discourses, for instance that of metaphorical racism. The second surprise comes when we consider the elements of Morrison's objective explicated above. Let us quickly recall how she motions us to perform the intellectual work needed for the study of racist discourse and its practitioners: "what racial ideology does to the mind, imagination, and behavior of masters" (emphases mine) (12). These elements can again be linked to Henry James. First of all, the terms mind and imagination are key concepts of the Jamesian model of understanding. Secondly, investigating manners or behavior is again a Jamesian earmark as he is known to be author of novels of manners, and displayed the movement of the human mind in the context of social interactions in his novels. Moreover, the term master relates very strongly to James as well: not only did he write a metafictive short story titled "The Lesson of the Master," but James the master is the critical code name referring to James in the early 1900s when he wrote his major novels, as is indicated by the title of the fourth volume of Leon Edel's James biography. No wonder that the title of Colm Tуibнn's biographical metafiction, The Master, refers to James, too. Using these four terms together not only implies but points towards a Jamesian model of (literary) understanding. Morrison's first example of absences in criticism brings up James's critical reception, too. Referring to effects of racist discourse in criticism, the black princess in his What Maisie Knew is singled out as a case in point. Her presence is silenced and made insignificant in critical accounts. An example referring to James criticism again, after all the hints enumerated so far, sounds as if Morrison said: had you by any chance missed the references to James so far, here is one more for you to stumble into.--Have we met a contradiction in Morrison's argument? On the one hand, she relies heavily on Jamesian terms in her title and the articulation of her objectives. On the other hand, she refers to James-related criticism as a critical landscape that needs a new map. The answer is no; relying on Jamesian terms need not imply an identification with the Jamesian project. Rather, the intertextual connection points towards the latent critical legacy of James in Morrison's argument, the very tradition Morrison is intentionally criticizing, an ambiguity at most. Looking into the literary debates on canon formation in American criticism during the 80s helps us place this ambivalent James-related 67
tradition. Amy Kaplan's The Social Construction of American Criticism provides us with a Foucaldian genealogy of the realist novel in America and together with this a historical survey of the changing interests of American critics in the novel as such. This theme, in itself worthy of lengthy discussions (Kovбcs 2006a, 83), proves relevant for Morrison to the extent of a parallel: placing Kaplan's narrative beside Morrison's proposal, Morrison's theoretical preferences become much more focused. According to Kaplan's introduction, the reception of the realist novel in America is built on a rhetoric of absence condemning American society. This rhetoric originates from Henry James's Hawthorne. As far as James is concerned, in American society one can find a significant lack of social institutions: The negative side of the spectacle on which Hawthorne looked out, in his contemplative saunterings and reveries, might, indeed, with a little ingenuity, be made almost ludicrous; one might enumerate the items of high civilization, as it exists in other countries, which are absent from the texture of American life, until it should become a wonder to know what was left. No State, in the European sense of the word, and indeed barely a specific national name. No sovereign, no court, no personal loyalty, no aristocracy, no church, no clergy, no army, no diplomatic service, no country gentlemen, no palaces, no castles, nor manors, nor old countryhouses, nor parsonages, nor thatched cottages nor ivied ruins; no cathedrals, nor abbeys, nor little Norman churches; no great Universities nor public schools--no Oxford, nor Eton, nor Harrow; no literature, no novels, no museums, no pictures, no political society, no sporting class--no Epsom nor Ascot! Some such list as that [44] might be drawn up of the absent things in American life--especially in the American life of forty years ago, the effect of which, upon an English or a French imagination, would probably as a general thing be appalling. The natural remark, in the almost lurid light of such an indictment, would be that if these things are left out, everything is left out. The American knows that a good deal remains; what it is that remains--that is his secret, his joke, as one may say (James 1879, 44­45). James contends that Hawthorne's romances testify to what extent a talented writer can be limited by an underdeveloped social context. Referring to James, several later critics adopted the argument that because of the underdevelopment and short history of American society it is impossible to write a European style realist novel in the US. Based on the example of F. R. Leavis's The Great Tradition about the masters of the English novel, Richard Chase wrote his groundbreaking study, The American Novel and Its Tradition, in which he expounded his romance- 68
thesis with reference to James. Chase constructed an academic argumentation to support the claim that no good novel can be written in America because of historical reasons. Instead, the real American genre is the romance. In a romance the socially isolated hero starts out on a melodramatic quest in a symbolic universe where social limitations do not hold (Chase 1957). Kaplan comments that the romance-thesis is built on the presupposition about an opposition between the workings of the human mind and of social reality (Kaplan 1988, 2). In other words, in a romance the individual mind can operate without limitations even amidst a thin social context. Chase's romance-thesis and its presuppositions remained to be axioms of American literary criticism until the 1980s. Although Chase himself refers to James when making the romancethesis, Kaplan maintains that the real horizon of his work is comprised of Lionel Trilling's liberal literary criticism and the strategies of reading devised by American New Critics. Trilling adopts the rhetoric of absence James initiated and also the presupposed opposition between the workings of the human mind and the social context. He extends James's list of absent things with a new item, "manners," and endorses the view that the function of literature is to study the workings of the liberal imagination in the individual mind, rather than to reflect social relations in the real. Instead of a realistic representation of the real, the aim of literature is to represent the workings of the human mind, of the moral imagination (Trilling 1951, 206). Trilling's model survived other contemporary critical schools and determined American critical thinking for decades to come. Returning to Morrison's text, on the basis of Kaplan's argument the James-related terminology in Morrison connotes the liberal America tradition а la Trilling, the tradition that elevated James to the position of `the master.' Indirectly, this also explains the theme of the second essay in Morrison's book that explicated problems with the romance tradition in American literature. As we have seen already, Morrison holds that the romance genre had a significant role in the metaphorization of race in literary discourse. In the second phase of metaphorization romance was one of the major areas for the substitution process about the nature of white identity, rather than the space for the melodramatic quest of the socially isolated hero. After all these theoretical meanderings, we can again wonder why Morrison remains silent about both the representatives of the old literary tradition and the proponents of the new ones she sympathises with. 69
Kaplan's account again gives us a hand here, as it helps us to situate the conceptual background Morrison is actually applying. As Kaplan recounts, there was a renewed interest in realism in the 1960s, yet this return to the social was still characterized by preserving the mind/real opposition. Only in the 1980s can she witness the elimination of the binary opposition between social context and literary form (Kaplan 1988, 6). Yet she is content with neither poststructuralism nor literary history, the main approaches used in the 1980s. She thinks poststructuralists focus on fictionality and are always pointing out how a realist text deconstructs its claims for referentiality, while literary historians treat realism as an answer to the threatening features of capitalism. Kaplan maintains it is not enough to eliminate the opposition between the mind and the real, because the relation of the two spheres is to be thought of as a dynamic process. Therefore we can neither claim that literature deconstructs referentialy (focus on the mind), nor that it reproduces the real (focus on the real) but need to consider both sides. A dynamic relation of the two sides means that the construction of the real happens in language, in a language that is far from being innocent, a language that is influenced politically, ideologically, in other words socially. So a literary text can be thought of as a discursive practice, as a language use that has a formative role in the construction of our knowledge about the real. The realist texts Kaplan investigates bear the traces of this struggle to construct a knowledge about the social realm. Kaplan's account of the reception of the realist novel provides a survey of critical approaches in the US and indirectly helps us place Morrison's project and its ambivalent relation to traditional American literary scholarship. On the one hand, Morrison's objective about representing and subverting the effects of the metaphorization of race in literary discourse is parallel to Kaplan's project to map conflicting discursive practices. Similarly to Kaplan, Morrison thinks of writing as becoming (Morrison 1992, 4), and finds herself face to face with social influences that have been encoded linguistically through history. Naturally, one cannot simplistically claim that Morrison is an intellectual apprentice of Kaplan, or for that matter, of Foucault, yet Kaplan's work represents an excellent example for the kind of critical thinking Morrison's texts in 1990 and 1992 could actually rely on. Morrison's approach is avowedly more of a compound ­ it has a quiltlike structure, as she likes to put it-- than that of Kaplan, as Morrison often refers to feminist arguments and also the poststructuralist supplementational rhetoric of blindness and 70
insight explicitly. Moreover, while Kaplan discusses discourses of consumer capitalism and surveillance because she is interested in how novels actively construct a sense of reality, for Morrison the same discussions come replete with a specifically Americanized political mission when they become methods for studying how racist discourses construct our sense of reality through American literature. On the other hand, Morrison's discourse itself is intervowen by the terminology of traditional American criticism (the Jamesian legacy), her periodization of the metaphorization of race in American literary discourse reflects classic divisions of American literary history. One might conclude that challenging as the language aspect of Morrison's theory might be, her reliance on traditional categories of scholarship might be less useful and also makes one wonder to what extent her excellent stylistic practice has been wrought out theoretically. III. Reappearances of Morrison's framework Morrison's manifesto has been out for more than fifteen years, so one has the chance to look at what has become of her project of redrawing the map of American literature from the perspective of the African American studies (Wallringer 121­122). Yet Morrison's contribution has elicited a wider response. From among the various possibilities, let me focus on two arbitrary examples in order to indicate possible directions of extending the project. The most up to date and widely known reaction to Morrison's appeal came from Eric J. Sundquist in his 500 page literary history To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1993). The main objective of Sundquist's study echoes that of Morrison: to awaken readers to the significant role African-American presence plays in traditional American literature. This objective is pursued in the era 1830­1930. The very first footnote of the Introduction refers to Morrison's two programmatic articles (and Ellison), and the project is declared to form a part of Morrison's agenda. In spite of this, most of the discussions cover works by African-American authors from the era, not rereadings of traditional works by white authors. The book analyzes "black" and "white" texts in turn, since Sundquist contends that a focus on neither corpus is sufficient in itself to portray the continual race related crisis in American cultural and political life (Sundquist, 1993, 7). There is a lot at stake as 71
Sundquist's ultimate aim is to document how black and white texts form an intertwined American literary tradition. The second example shows how Morrison's argument can be used as the frame of reference for the recanonizaton of a white 19th­20th century American author, Edith Wharton. In 1995 Elizabeth Ammons devotes a whole article to expounding Morrison's project in the context of Wharton studies. Wharton, an upper class American dame from New York City's gentile elite of the turn of the century was active as a creative writer from 1890s till 1930s. Ammons follows Morrison's lead in approaching Wharton's texts: Ammons' starting point, her chosen texts, her treatment of racist discourse in Wharton all echo the tenets of Playing in the Dark. Ammons opens her narrative with the problem of blatant censure in Wharton editions and criticism so far. As a prime example, she names R. W. B. Lewis, the author of the first reliable and academic biography of Wharton, the prominent Wharton scholar to date, who in his edition of Wharton's correspondence omitted all the letters that had any anti-semitic references, actually quite a significant number of them. Thereby Lewis and his co-editor, Nancy Lewis, modified the image of the author represented by the collection. In turn, Ammons investigates the workings of anti-semitic discourse in Wharton's memoirs, letters, and three novels. She comes to the conclusion that Wharton's anti-semitism plays a basic role in all these texts, it even enables one to articulate radical rereadings of the novels. In her analysis of The House of Mirth, for instance, Ammons rewrites her own former account of the novel along the lines of the race agenda. Formerly writing about the changing of social values, now she explains Lily Bart's suicide with anti-semitic sentiments towards her Jewish suitor, Rosedale, as it is encoded in the racist discourse that constructs her sense of reality. Formerly she argued that Lily's suicide becomes inevitable because she is unwilling to defend her social reputation with new and revolting means, by blackmailing someone from her own set (Ammons 1980, 42). In her rereading of the text and of her own former interpretation, Ammons claims that Lily commits suicide not because she is unwilling to change her manners but because she shares the assumption that to her set even "death is preferable to interracial sex" (Ammons 1995, 81). Although both examples alter the initial project to some degree, even Morrison would approve of these critics' thematization of racist discourse. Sundquist and Ammons display how culturally encoded strategies 72
of racist discourse silence the Africanist or the `Semitist' presence in 19th century texts and in Wharton, respectively. Conclusion Morrison's text formulates a methodology for studying the cultural construction of race. In particular, it opens up new spaces in researching and thinking about American literature. In general, Morrison's argument can be understood as one of the metanarratives of the cultural turn in literary studies in the 1990s. WORKS CITED Ammons, Elizabeth. "Edith Wharton and the Issue of Race" In Millicent Bell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Edith Wharton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 66­86. ----. Edith Wharton's Argument with America. Athens: Georgia Univesity Press, 1980. Chase, Richard. The American Novel and its Tradition. Garden City, NY.: Doubleday, 1957. James, Henry. "The Art of Fiction" In Morris Shapira, ed. R. R. Leavis, Pref. Henry James: Selected Literary Criticism. London: Heinemann, 1963 (1884). 49­67. ----. 1879. Hawthorne. Available: http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/hjj/nhhj2.html, access: April 23, 2008. Kaplan, Amy. The Social Construction of American Realism. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1988. Klein, Donald and Hisham H. Amin. "Playing in the Dark" African American Review 28 (1994): 659­663. Kovбcs, Бgnes Zsуfia. "Szempontok a kortбrs amerikai irodalom olvasбsбhoz" Hнd 70. 6­7 (2006a) 82­95. ----. 2006b. The Function of the Imagination in the Works of Henry James. Lewiston­Queenston­Lampeter: The Mellen Press, 2006b. Leclair, Thomas. "`Language Must not Sweat': A Conversation with Toni Morrison" In Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed. Toni Morrison: Critical Perspectives Past and Present. New York: Amistad, 1993. 369­ 377. 73
Morrison, Toni. 2003. Nobel Lecture. Available: http//:nobelprize.org/nobelprizes/literature/laureates/1993/morrison-lecture.html, Access: April 15, 2008 ----. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the literary imagination. Camb., Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992. ----. "From Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature" In Harold Bloom, ed. Modern Critical Views: Toni Morrison. New York: Chelsea, 1990. 201­30. Sundquist, Eric J. To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature. Cambr. Mass.: The Belknap Press of The Harvard University Press, 1993. Surбnyi, Бgnes. "The Bluest Eye and Sula: black female experience from childhood to womanhood" In Tally, Justine, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 11­25. Trilling, Lionel. "Manners, Morals, and the Novel" In The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society. New York: The Viking Press, 1951. 205­222. Wallringer, Hanna. "Toni Morrison's Literary Criticism" In Tally, Justine, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 115­124. 74
KATALIN BНRУNЙ NAGY NATIVE NORTH AMERICA AS REFLECTED IN THEORIES OF COLONIALISM AND POSTCOLONIALISM: AN OVERVIEW Contemporary Native American writing--be it literary, critical, historical, anthropological, ethnographical, or political--is historically conscious, carrying the burden of colonialism; consequently, always in search of survival techniques, that is, possibilities for dialogue between Native and Western interpretations of past and present, often theorized in the critical language of postcolonialism. The essay below will give an overview of the still prevailing colonial situation in Native North America and will highlight those postcolonial concepts that apply. One of the most prominent ways through which colonialism survives is what Calvin Martin called "historiographic colonialism" (33). Martin himself vaguely defines this term as excluding "the Indian thoughtworld" (33) from American histories, but a handful of meanings have been bestowed upon this category by others since the time Martin introduced it. In my understanding it conveys the following implications: 1) American historiography has been mostly concerned with White history dating from 1492, ignoring the several thousand years of indigenous history (precontact issues have dominated discussion in anthropology, ethnology, ethnohistory but not historiography);1 2) 90% of post-contact Indian history has been written by non-Indians; 3) history of Indian-White relations, which, from the Native perspective, has a narrow focus on "diplomatic history or foreign policy" (Fixico 89); 4) what has been 1 According to Donald F. Fixico, "different schools of thought like the Germ Theory and Turner Thesis have encouraged historians to ignore the original inhabitants of the entire Western Hemisphere." ("Ethics" 85) 75
written on indigenous history and Indian-White relations is usually biased and rests on documents, produced by colonists and explorers, not incorporating arguments from Native American oral history (Axtell 14);2 and 5) Western historiography has used an "imaginative double vision," as Christopher Vecsey points out (qtd. in Axtell 23), using "deep research and empathy to see other people as they saw themselves, but [...] [using] [...] hindsight and objectifying scholarship to see them as they could not see themselves, as only we can. Thus we achieve historical vision, at once `loving and scrutinizing,' [...] without needing to commit professional and cultural suicide."3 This way historians can rest assured that the "hegemony of Western historiography" (Nabokov 239) remains undisturbed. When pondering over the effects of Western historiography and anthropology on Native American existence, C. Richard King concludes: Historical and anthropological discourses [...] sanctioned the appropriation and naming of difference, mirroring the power to take, name and recreate spaces, to simultaneously dispossess and redistribute peoples. They fixed the past, legitimating hierarchies and asymmetries within narrative histories. Interpreting cultures, they secured colonial contexts. (5) Thus, historiographic colonialism implies not only a dishonest representation of the past of the colonized, but also altering the future by sanctioning the wrong direction the past took for the colonized. "[M]isrepresentation of reality" becomes "its reordering" (Loomba 57), literally a matter of life and death for native peoples in everyday existence. Evidently, historiography and colonialism intertwine, and they do so as political, ideological, and power discourses. Depending on which evolutionary stage the native-colonizer relationship is in, their struggles have been theorized into colonialism, post-colonialism, postcolonialism, and neo-colonialism. 2 Angela Cavender Wilson calls this "double standard": American historians do not consult a nation's own material if that nation happens to be Native, as they do in case of other, e.g. European nations (101­102). 3 Peter Nabokov outlined the major schools in American Indian historicity, with a view on how scholars balance their "loving (or hating) and scrutinizing" feelings towards their Native subjects: to the "armchair evolutionists" belong (a) the "school of suspicion," (b) the "school of empathy," and (c) the "school between the two camps"; then there are (d) those who represent "historical particularism"; and, finally, (e) the "antihistorical school" (6­14). 76
There is no consensus concerning which stage Native North America belongs to. Not in the neo-colonial one, as that would entail formal independence, while "remaining economically and/or culturally dependent" (Loomba 7), and no Indian nation is independent.4 The official status of Native Americans has changed from foreign nations (with whom treaties were made, and who were to be pushed Westward) first into "dependent domestic nations"5 (to be locked into reservations and watched over paternalistically), later into citizens of the States in 1924 in the US (without their consent and with an assimilating intention), thus cutting off any hope for total independence. Colonialism, then, is far from over for Native Americans; consequently, we cannot talk about the post-colonial condition, either. Post-colonialism is understood as what comes after the colonial period, implying the end of it. When addressing such issues, most American Indian critics respond the same way as Arnold Krupat does, proclaiming that "there is no `post-' to the colonial status of Native Americans" (30), who still try to survive under the colonial imposition. Post-colonialism and neo-colonialism must, therefore, be crossed out. I examine below how colonialism and postcolonialism (theorizing the former and its passing) may be appropriated to the Native American situation. Colonialism By definition, European colonialism is "the forcible takeover of land and economy"; it is the "re-structuring" of colonized economies "in order to fuel" European societies; it is also "the export of Western technologies" and ideas (Loomba 20­21). Beyond this generalized picture, however, the devastating machinery of racism and genocide looms large when one studies the Native American situation.6 4 Reservations in the US and reserves in Canada are granted only semi-independence, the paternalistic states still act as guardians over Indians. 5 "John Marshall's description of Indian tribes as `dependent domestic nations' has become the dominant phrase used in describing the Indian tribal legal status" (V. Deloria 117). 6 The fact that White settlers themselves were colonized people for a while and that "colonial America" for some still means only America having been part of the British Empire will not be taken into consideration. For Natives, both colonized and later noncolonized whites represented colonial oppression since Whites continued the same old colonial policy in their own post-colonial time. 77
As Jace Weaver points out, the first "official" reaction of Europeans to the indigenous population was "not alterity but sameness" (9), especially once Pope Julius II declared Indians to be human beings in 1512. Yet, Europeans, no matter which country they came from, "regarded Native cultures and religious traditions as pagan and diabolic" (9). At the root of this prejudice is the colonizers' sense of themselves as a chosen even superior people in some specific way. Blinded by their own superiority, the colonizers are "disconnected from other peoples because the others are not chosen" (Mohawk 439).7 A constant concomitant of colonialism, then, is racism.8 The most devastating phenomenon through which racial discrimination manifested itself was genocide.9 As a reminder of what a complex and wide-ranging ethnic genocide constitutes, the United Nations' Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (drawn up in 1948, effective 12 January 1951) should be recalled, which specifies in Article II those activities that are to be considered genocidal and that are criminal offences under international law. Below follow the 5 points (listed in Churchill 45 and Deloria 241) with examples added; all the points are applicable to Native American colonial history and show how this colonial situation lived on into the 20th century: 1) "[k]illing members of the group"--the massacre of Indian communities for four centuries, with the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 as a closing incident;10 7 Here Mohawk draws on Ruth Benedict's Race, Science, and Politics. 8 John Mohawk identifies three types of racism that have exerted influence on the fate of Native peoples: theological, scientific, and ecological racism (440­42). For a more elaborate discussion of the topic, see Robert E. Bieder's Science Encounters the Indian, 1820­1880: The Early Years of American Ethnology. 9 For Devon A. Mihesuah, colonialism in Native America implies "genocide, loss of lands, encroachments onto their lands by Euro-Americans and other Indians, intermarriage with tribal outsiders, population loss from disease, warfare, and removal" (38). Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, on the other hand, groups the genocide, Native peoples had and still have to endure, into three categories: religious genocide (the wiping out of people and cultures in the name of a certain theology); racial and ethnic genocide (atrocities stemming from "irrational hatreds against `others,'" like the Nazi Holocaust); political and economic genocide ("plural society brought about by invasion and colonization provides a structural base for genocide as pressures of domination, exploitation, and subjugation arise") (189­190). 10 Native North America has suffered dramatic demographic changes due to genocide-- massacre included to a great extent--and epidemics. Research conducted in the 1960s 78
2) "[c]ausing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group"--giving Indians poisoned wine, blankets, and gifts as tokens of friendship, thus causing death, epidemics, "bodily or mental harm";11 or the slaughter of the buffalo, the economic and cultural base of the Plains Indians, in the 1870s;12 3) "[d]eliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part"--forcing Natives to leave their homes and sacred places and move under bad weather conditions to new locations;13 4) "[i]mposing measures intended to prevent births within the group"--the involuntary sterilization of many Native women in the US during the 1970s; 5) "[f]orcibly transferring children of the group to another group"-- taking Indian children to off-reservation boarding schools and denying them the right to speak their languages or practice their Native customs. (by California anthropologists Woodrow W. Borah, Leslie B. Sompson, and Sherburn F. Cook), then in the 1980s (by Henry F. Dobyns, Russell Thornton, and Kirkpatrick Sale) raised the estimate of pre-contact population in North America from the earlier 1-2 million to 9-15 million inhabitants, of which--depending on which estimate we consider--95 to 99% were exterminated by 1900. (Even if we consider the lowest earlier estimate of 1 million pre-contact Indians, population loss amounts to twothirds of the population.) "Surely, there can be no more monumental example of sustained genocide--certainly none involving a `race' of people as broad and complex as this--anywhere in the annals of human history" (Stiffarm and Lane 37). 11 A well-known example is the 1623 English-Powhatan peace conference, to which Powhatan leaders were invited by the English. At the end of the peace talks poisoned wine was served, while a toast to "eternal friendship" was proposed. The Indians who did not die at once were shot. Afterwards, the war between the Powhatan and the English continued for nine years, since the Powhatan refused to attend other peace conferences. At the time of John Smith's arrival, approximately 30 000 Powhatan and allied Indians lived in the area. By the middle of the 17th century "only 2000 remained--decimated by warfare, disease, and migration" (Nies 131). 12 By the 1880s more than 30 million buffalos were slaughtered and less than a thousand remained. The hides were shipped East, and the other body parts were left rotting. According to General Sheridan, the buffalo hunters "have done [...] more to settle the vexed Indian question than the entire regular army"; "[f]or the sake of a lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffalos are exterminated" (Nies 281). 13 An infamous case is the Trail of Tears, when 16 000 Cherokees were forced to walk for six months from Georgia to Oklahoma under harsh weather conditions in the winter of 1838. Thousands fell victim to the journey. It all happened with disregard for the 1832 Supreme Court ruling in the Worcester v. Georgia case, which stated that: "The Cherokee Nation, then, is a distinct community, occupying its own territory, with boundaries accurately described, and which the citizens of Georgia have no right to enter [...] " (Debo 121­22). 79
North American governments could have been found guilty in these points (and could still be found guilty in some); probably the reason why, although more than a hundred nations quickly ratified the Genocide Convention, the United States declined to do so for forty years (Churchill 46). Genocide, then, is not only the killing of individuals, but also the "destruction of a [recognizably distinct] human group, even though the individual members survive" (qtd. in Churchill 45), as worded by the United Nations. In this broad sense of the term, genocidal intentions are still there in the Indian policy of White governments. There have been various attempts at breaking the endurance of the indigenous population as an ethnic group. 1) One method was to keep down population growth--beside the sterilization of women (1970s), the relocation policy was to depopulate reservations by drawing Indians away from poverty into big cities with unkept promises of great opportunities (1940s­80s); then reservations were hit by the Termination Act of 1953, which dissolved Indian nations found to be too small, suspended federal services, and declared them non-existent (109 tribes were terminated, only a few were restored in the 1970s); "the statistical extermination" of Natives (Churchill 59) introduced with the Dawes Act refers to "the practice of official identity" being declared on the basis of blood-quantum (1/4th of one's blood should be of Indian parents). 2) Western economic models were forced on Natives, yet real growth was blocked to pose no danger to Whites--the General Allotment Act or Dawes Act (1887) broke up some of the reservation land units used/cultivated by a specific tribe, and land parcels were allotted to Indians for individual use, to cultivate not in the traditional, communal, but in the Western way. Fishing and hunting rights granted in treaties have often been violated either by restricting Indians, contrary to their treaty rights or by changing territorial conditions in ways that their livelihoods became endangered. Finally, the US government still acts as a father over his Indian "wards." It feels entitled to exercise power over the mineral resources on reservations, thus robbing the Indians of much of the profit, keeping them in economic dependency--a key symptom of colonialism. 3) Yet another attempt at breaking ethnic endurance was to weaken Native spiritual strength--ignoring the sacredness of certain geographical locations in removal policies or in establishing mining or industrial areas. The sacredness of burial grounds has also been ignored as if those were archeological sites; sacred objects are put on display in museums, as if those objects did not belong to anyone. All the above generally holds true despite the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, passed in 80
1978, in which it is stated, that "henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiian, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites" (Hampton 182).14 Court cases prove how ineffective the law is.15 Forcing the Euroamerican education system on Natives has also been a very effective way of "despiritualizing" through assimilation16--after the mission schools of Spanish and French Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and British Protestants, off-reservation boarding schools, and, finally, public schools have been attempts at neutralizing traditional Native education. The Indian Education Act (1972) proposed to widen "Native American participation in and control over the education of their children" (Noriega 386), however, according to Phyllis Young (an American Indian Movement member, active in setting up "survival schools" on reservations), "nothing really changed, [...] Aside from some cosmetic alterations like the inclusion of beadwork, traditional dance, [...] the curriculum taught in Indian schools remained exactly the same, reaching the same conclusions, indoctrinating children with exactly the same values as when the schools were staffed entirely by white people. [... ] It's really a perfect system of colonization, convincing the colonized to colonize each other in the name of `selfdetermination' and `liberation'" (qtd. in Noriega 387). Another weaken- 14 Churchill and Morris point out, on the one hand, how curious it is that Native Americans, who became citizens of the US in 1924 and thus should be free to exercise their religion according to the First Amendment to the Constitution, would need a religious freedom act (17). In my understanding, Churchill and Morris here underline the depth to which "theological racism" against Native Americans has permeated the American thought and how difficult it has been to fight it. Churchill and Morris also call our attention to the fact that the act "lacks any sort of enforcement provisions [...] and should therefore be viewed as a gesture (or perhaps a `policy aspiration') rather than as a law, per se" (17). 15 In the Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association case of 1988, the ruling favored society's broader economic interests against Indian religious rights and allowed the destruction of religious sites (Churchill and Morris 20). Another telling example is the Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith case of 1990. Here the argument was over the use of peyote in the Native American Church. Peyote was not outlawed, but according to the decision of the Supreme Court, "the indigenous spiritual practices would henceforth be subject to supervision under the legal codes of individual states" (Churchill and Morris 21). 16 Benedict Anderson calls this "mental miscegenation" (qtd. in Loomba 173). In Ania Loomba's interpretation "the underlying premise was [...] that Indians can mimic but never exactly reproduce English values, and that their recognition of the perpetual gap between themselves and the `real thing' will ensure their subjection" (173). 81
ing component is that the role of Native women that has been going through a change devastating to traditional spirituality; some Native societies were matrilineal in pre-contact times, with women making important decisions, often owning property, being the spiritual strongholds of the community, educating children. Clearly, this is reflected in Native cosmologies, which "exhibit an abundant presence of feminine elements" (Jaimes and Halsey 319). Western civilization imposed on this heritage its own distorting patriarchal system, by not negotiating with women, only with men, by restructuring property rights and shifting them to the male side, and by taking children away from the influence of mothers and grandmothers.17 The traditional male role has been altered, too, the warrior protecting his people became anachronistic, the result of which is a sense of alienation and/or a split personality (Duran and Duran 36­39).18 "The commodification of indigenous spirituality" (Whitt 140) is yet another, although, a quite recent phenomenon of spiritual subjugation in colonialism.19 Thus, colonialism in North America with the "acculturation stress" (Duran and Duran 32) continues, undisturbed. The 21st-century dawns on this race with the lowest incomes in the Unites States, the highest infant mortality rates, the greatest unemployment and the least success in educational achievements (Churchill 58). Discovery narratives, published in the last decade of the 20th and the first decade of the 21st century, relate to the Quincentenary from this cultural/historical colonial background. 17 Native women fight to preserve tribalism and do not, in general, consider feminism an alternative. As Janet McCloud put it, "Many Anglo women try, I expect in all sincerity, to tell us that our pressing problem is male supremacy. To this I have to say, with all due respect, bullshit. Our problems are what they've been for the past several hundred years: white supremacism and colonialism. And that's a supremacism and a colonialism of which white feminists are still very much a part" (qtd. in Jaimes and Halsey 332). 18 "The split ego, then, will keep one aspect of the person in touch with the pain and one aspect identifying with the aggressor. It is a well-known historical fact that some of the greatest Native American leaders were either betrayed or killed by Native American men who lost themselves in their identification with the aggressor" (Duran and Duran 36). "The warrior is further split into yet another double bind--being Native American and also living as a white person" (Duran and Duran 39). 19 Laurie Anne Whitt argues that the "transformation of indigenous spiritual knowledge, objects, and rituals into commodities, and their commercial exploitation constitute a concrete manifestation of the more general, and chronic, marketing of Native America" (140). She calls this "cultural imperialism," which "serves to extend the political power, secure the social control, and further the economic profit of the dominant culture" (140). 82
Weaver argues that colonialism in North Amrica is no longer "classic colonialism," which is out for land, which spreads from a metropolis, and where the colonizers are in a minority on the colony (13). Consequently, contemporary discovery narratives present a more sophisticated picture of the colonial context, displaying both its classic and "modern" attributes, since, by now, Weaver points out, Native Americans have become "victims of internal colonialism" (emphasis added), under the control of which "the native population is swamped by a large mass of colonial settlers who, after generations, no longer have a mйtropole to which to return" (13). Krupat confirms the use of "internal colonialism" for the current situation and makes the term interchangeable with "domestic imperialism," which he defines as the "conditions of politically sustained subalternity" (30). Howard Adams elucidates what those conditions are: under "internal colonialism," he argues, "the dominant society controls and monopolizes the important cultural institutions, the legal and political apparatus, and the class structure [...] traditional cultural values and customs are being penetrated and the content being redefined and structured" (9). Ron Welburn's "domestic colonialism" is close in essence. His picture of it reflects, however, the counter-ripple effect in which the colonial grasp has spread from outside, moving inside in the case of Mexico, the US, and Canada. "Domestic colonialism," Welburn declares, "creates reservations and reserves, ghettoes and barrios, and these reflect a perverse concentricity of colonized peoples in old settler postcolonized societies, a kind of concentric jaw structure" (115). Postcolonialism Whether postcolonialism applies to the colonial situation in Native North America to any extent today is another highly ambiguous issue. As opposed to the chronologically defined "post-colonial" (the era after colonialism, eliminated earlier in this chapter as inapplicable in the present discussion), the "postcolonial" expresses a theoretically more relevant category, overlapping the boundaries of colonialism and its aftermath, often not only rooted in, but coexisting with, the colonial. In almost canonized words, postcolonialism "is the discourse of oppositionality which colonialism brings into being" (Ashcroft, Griffith, and 83
Tiffin 117);20 a counter-(post)-colonial discourse, that is able to "destabilize existing systems of signification of otherness, seen as falsely universalist and hence imperial, and replace them with new ones that are pluralist" (Kahn 8), intending to undermine the cultural hegemony of the West. However, there is a growing discontent as to whether postcolonialism truly speaks for the colonized subject inside the rhetoric of sophisticated pluralism. "Many critics," as Loomba notes, "have suggested that postcolonial studies [...] remain curiously Eurocentric, dependent upon Western philosophies and modes of seeing, taught largely in the Western academy, unable to reject convincingly European frames of reference, and guilty of telescoping the diverse parts of the world into `the colonial question'" (256).21 Arif Dirlik goes to the extent of arguing that "[p]ostcoloniality is the condition of the intelligentsia of global capitalism" (356). If so, instead of breaking a universalist hegemony, under the guise of postcolonialism, the West does nothing more than replace one discourse with another, by which it graciously pardons itself, and, at the same time, it secretly keeps the monopoly of defining itself in relation to Others and Others in relation to itself. As "narrative is authority itself" (Lyotard 321), the authority of the West maintained through power over discourse stays intact. Is postcolonialism, then, "a less visible colonialism" (Armstrong 9)? The question naturally arises, since colonial power developed through authority over language,22 and now the postcolonial plays along the same line. By being "a direct derivative of postmodern theories" (Okonkwo 1), 20 Oppositionality in postcolonialism does not imply it being the opposite of the colonial, but refers to the stance the postcolonial takes in handling the colonial. 21 Saeed Ur-Rehman's article, "Decolonizing Post-colonial Theory" (where she uses "post-colonial" as "postcolonial"), is an outburst against the theory, calling it "despotic" (31), one that writes a "hegemonic discourse" (31), in which "still the Western episteme dominates" (33), which commits the sin of canonization (35), with the final achievement of the post-colonial center replacing the colonial center (37). Chidi Okonkwo strikes a less emotional note when elaborating on the crisis in postcolonial discourse in Decolonization: Agonistics in Postcolonial Fiction (1999). 22 When Scott Manning Stevens describes the paradigmatic stages of linguistic encounter after the discovery, he describes the White man's taking linguistic possession over the Natives from the "denial of the presence of a real language" (3) through "linguistic fantasy" (4) and "linguistic despair" (10). Michel-Rolph Trouillot adds to the picture the "metalanguage of grammarians," the existence of which "proved the existence of grammar in European languages," while "spontaneous speech proved its absence elsewhere, [...] again a proof of the inferiority of non-whites" (7). 84
the postcolonial "drive toward identity centers around language, partly because, in postmodernity, identity is barely available elsewhere" (During 125). Moreover, to understand who writes the text of identity (who is in power), it is crucial to know what language it is written in. Is it in Cherokee, Kiowa, or Sioux or in any language of any indigenous nation in the postcolonial state? No, it is in English. No wonder many feel that power never shifts, only the name of the game changes. Colonized people have lived under the assimilating pressure of being forced to use the colonizer's language. By now many of them have little or no access to their aboriginal languages. But "[l]anguage as culture is the collective memory bank of a people's experience in history" (Thiong'o 289) and changing from one language to the other entails a change of cultures and "memory banks." Under such circumstances, self-expression becomes extremely difficult; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is rightly skeptical in searching for an answer to the question "Can the Subaltern speak?" (104). Raja Rao describes the phenomenon from the perspective of the subaltern; "One has to convey in a language that is not one's own the spirit that is one's own"; "English is not really an alien language to us. It is the language of our intellectual make-up," "but not of our emotional make-up" (296). Beside "dividedness" or "doubleness" there is the experience of struggling with "voicelesness." As Dennis Lee put it: To speak unreflectingly in a colony, then, is to use words that speak only alien space. To reflect is to fall silent, discovering that your authentic space does not have words. And to reflect further is to recognize that you and your people do not in fact have a privileged authentic space just waiting for words; you are, among other things, the people who have made an alien inauthenticity their own. You are left chafing at the inarticulacy of a native space which may not exist. So you shut up. But perhaps--and here was the breakthrough--our job was not to fake a space of our own and write it up, but rather to find words for our space-lessness. Perhaps that was home. (400) Even though colonized people speak the language of the colonizer, they are still excluded from the power game over the discourse as they do not have natural access to the language in which to participate. In case they want to fight, they are handicapped into a Catch-22 situation: 1) keeping the heritage and remaining indigenous goes along with either the frustration of "in-between-ness" and "spacelessness" or with withdrawing into traditionalism and from the game altogether; 2) a successful 85
participation for the sake of the heritage, understood as key in the survival of Native peoples entails the loss of that heritage to some degree--one is to assimilate completely either to the Whites, or to images/stereotypes of the Natives created by Whites, to be accepted into the arena. As Louis Owens argues, "In order to be recognized, and thus have a voice that is heard by those in control of power, the Native American must step into that mask and be the Indian constructed by white America" (176). There are also other factors that contribute to the hard feelings Native American critics have about the term "postcolonialism." Leela Gandhi observes that "a distinctly `romantic' vocabulary marks the prose of several postcolonial literary theorists" (161); Native Americans have a long enough history of being romanticized to distrust similar approaches. Yet another factor is that a number of postcolonial writings ignore the Native situation altogether.23 Also, in an effort to throw off the colonial yoke, Native Americans find "postcolonialism" unhelpful as it is "depoliticized" (Weaver 14). As a result, some Native critics reject the discourse of postcolonialism as non-applicable to the colonial situation; others see it as universalist, depoliticized, Eurocentric and want none of it, while still others accept it under reserve. The less canonized Native definition of postcoloniality is that it is an attitude for cultural resistance and revival, a means of reimagining community, homeland, ethical values, body, mind, and spirit, of decolonizing the consciousness of communities by pronouncing 23 Elleke Boehmer, for example, proposes at the end of her list of what to take as postcolonial writing that "[t]he United States is excluded because it won independence long before other colonial places, and its literature has therefore followed a very different trajectory" (4); Boehmer pretends throughout Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995) that there is no indigenous colonial or postcolonial situation, let alone literature to consider in the US. Louis Owens makes a similar complaint about Homi Bhabha's The Location of Culture (1994), in which "Bhabha gives the impression of being acutely aware of a wide panoply of minority voices," "referencing Hispanic and Black American writers, for instance, and extensively praising Morrison's Beloved, but nowhere, not even in a widespread aside, does he note the existence of a resistance literature arising from indigenous, colonized inhabitants of the Americas [...]. How, one wonders, can this student of postcoloniality, difference, liminality [...] be utterly ignorant of or indifferent to such writers as N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Silko, Louise Erdrich, Simon Ortiz [...]? How, one wonders, can any serious student of the `indigenous or native narrative,' the term Bhabha uses to define his subject, not read and deal with Vizenor's radically indigenous theory?" (172). 86
the present integrity of one's people and the struggle they must insist upon in order to reclaim, reconstruct, and reactivate the integrity and continuity of their social, psychological, "internatural," and metaphysical ecologies (Welburn 111, emphasis added). Native postcolonialism is, thus, more of an activity than a passive analytical stance.24 Still, Native theoreticians have picked up on some arguments of the postcolonial rhetoric, like the center-margin dichotomy; the colonial gaze; who is whose Other; mimicry; stereotyping; questions of power and ideological authority. Due to differences in the two Weltanschauungs-- Native and Western--and to the manifold perspectives from which these differences are looked upon, Native critics find postcolonial theory wanting and thus add novel approaches and concepts to it. King, for example, raises issues concerning putting "colonized peoples on display" (3), concerning the exhibition of Native America in the United States. Tamara L. Bray edited The Future of the Past on the issue of repatriation in Native America, touching on archeological, religious, and historical matters. Eduardo Duran and Bonnie Duran call attention to the need of incorporating elements of Native American cosmology--such as "process thinking" or the "noncompartmentalization of experience" (15)--into postcolonial theorizing, while Welburn misses "ecological consciousness" (109) in postcoloniality. Weaver introduces a new term when offering that postcolonial Native hermeneutic is "we-hermeneutic" (22), which takes into account the "communal character" of Native existence, along with the importance of land and recent land claims (21). Weaver also makes the point that Native communality and postcolonialism come together only as a paradox, since "postcolonialism is obsessed with the issues of identity and subjectivity" (14). In Native American Postcolonial Psychology (1995) the Durans describe how peoples "assaulted in a genocidal fashion," internalize after despair "what appears to be genuine power--the power of the oppressor. [...] merely a caricature of the power actually taken from Native American people" (29). Such an act, however, leads to self-hatred,25 24 As Alfred J. Lуpez remarked, "I see postcolonial writings generally as less object than activity, a body of work that seeks to address [...] contingencies in the hope of finding ways of thinking and living in its unprecedented historical moment" (6). 25 This resembles Albert Memmi's theory of the psychological paradox of admiration and hate underlying the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized (45). 87
which can be either internalized (the symptoms are alcoholism and suicide) or externalized (manifesting itself in violence). The Durans compare the psychological effects of the Nazi Holocaust with those of Native genocide and come to the conclusion that both end up in posttraumatic stress disorder. It is "generationally cumulative" in both cases as "dysfunctional behavior will [...] become the learning environment" (31) for children. Nevertheless, there is a crucial difference: "the world has not acknowledged the Holocaust of native people," and this "lack of acknowledgement remains one of the stumbling blocks to the healing process of Native American people" (30). Native Americans expect a healing process that ends colonialism to evolve from without: from a changing policy in Indian-White relations; and also from within: from the maintenance of traditional cultures by flexibly adopting them to contemporary realities. WORKS CITED Armstrong, Jeanne. Demythologizing the Romance of Conquest. Westport: Greenwood, 2000. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 2002. Axtell, James. "The Ethnohistory of Native America." Rethinking American Indian History. Ed. Donald L.Fixico. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1997. 11­27. Benedict, Ruth. Race, Science, and Politics. New York: Viking, 1945. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1995. Bieder, Robert E. Science Encounters the Indian, 1820­1880: The Early Years of American Ethnology. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1986. Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literature. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Bray, Tamara L., ed. The Future of the Past: Archeologists, Native Americans, and Repatriation. New York: Garland, 2001. Churchill, Ward. Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003. Churchill, Ward, and Glenn T. Morris. "Key Indian Laws and Cases." Jaimes 13­21. 88
Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. Anti-Indianism in Modern America. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2001. Debo, Angie. A History of the Indians of the United States. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1988. Deloria, Vine, Jr. Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties. Austin: U of Texas P, 1985. Dirlik, Arif. "The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism." Critical Inquiry 20 (1994): 328­56. Duran, Eduardo, and Bonnie Duran. Native American Postcolonial Psychology. Albany: State U of New York P, 1995. During, Simon. "Postmodernism or Postcolonialism Today." Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin 125­29. Fixico, Donald L. "Ethics and Responsibilities in Writing American Indian History." Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians. Ed. Devon A. Mihesuah Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1998. 84­99. Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. Hampton, Carol. "Peyote and the Law." Between Two Worlds: The Survival of Twentieth Century Indians. Ed. Arrell Morgan Gibson. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1986. 166­83. Jaimes. M. Annette, ed. The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance. Boston: South End, 1992. Jaimes, M. Annette, and Theresa Halsey. "American Indian Women: At the Center of Indigenous Resistance in Contemporary North America." Jaimes 311­44. Kahn, Joel S. Culture, Multiculture, Postculture. London: Sage, 1995. King, C. Richard. Colonial Discourses, Collective Memories, and the Exhibition of Native American Cultures and Histories in the Contemporary United States. New York: Garland, 1998. Krupat, Arnold. The Turn to the Native: Studies in Criticism and Culture. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1998. Lee, Dennis. "Writing in Colonial Space." Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin. 397­401. Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London: Routledge, 2001. Lуpez, Alfred J. Posts and Pasts: A Theory of Postcolonialism. Albany: SUNYP, 2001. 89
Lyotard, Jean-Francois. "Universal History and cultural differences." The Lyotard Reader. Ed. Andrew Benjamin. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. 314­23. Martin, Calvin. "The Metaphysics of Writing Indian-White History." The American Indian and the Problem of History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987. 27­34. Memmi, Albert. Dominated Man: Notes Toward a Portrait. London: Orion, 1968. Mihesuah, Devon A. "Commonality of Difference: American Indian Women and History." Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1998. 37­53. Mohawk, John. "Looking for Columbus: Thoughts on the Past, Present, and Future of Humanity." Jaimes 439­44. Nabokov, Peter. A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. Nies, Judith. Native American History: A Chronology of a Culture's Vast Achievements and Their Links to World Events. New York: Ballantine, 1996. Noriega, Jorge. "American Indian Education in the United States: Indoctrination for Subordination to Colonialism." Jaimes 371­402. Okonkwo, Chidi. Decolonization: Agonistics in Postcolonial Fiction. New York: St. Martin's, 1999. Owens, Louis. "As if an Indian Were Really an Indian: Uramericans, Euramericans, and Postcolonial Theory." Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres. 15, 170­83. Rao, Raya. "Language and Spirit." Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin. 296­97. Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "Can the Subaltern Speak?" Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. Eds. Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 66­111. Stevens, Scott Manning. "Mother Tongues and Native Voices: Linguistic Fantasies in the Age of the Encounter." Telling the Stories: Essays on American Indian Literatures and Cultures. Ed. Elizabeth Hoffman Nelson and Malcolm A. Nelson. New York: Lang, 2001. 3­18. Thiong'o, Ngugi wa. "The Language of African literature." Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin 285­290. 90
Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon, 1995. Ur-Rehman, Saeed. "Decolonizing Post-colonial Theory." Kunapipi: Journal of Post-Colonial Writing 20 (1998): 31­39. Weaver, Jace. "From I-Hermeneutics to We-hermeneutics: Native Americans and the Post-Colonial." Native American Religious Identity: Unforgotten Gods. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1998. 1­25. Welburn, Ron. Roanoke and Wampum: Topics in Native American Heritage and Literature. New York: Lang, 2001. Whitt, Laurie Anne. "Cultural Imperialism and the Marketing of Native America." Mihesuah 139­71. Wilson, Angela Cavender. "Power of the Spoken Word: Native Oral Traditions in American Indian History." Rethinking American Indian History. Ed. Donald L. Fixico. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1997. 101­16. 91
ZOLTБN PETERECZ TEXT AND PRETEXT: AMERICAN WAR RATIONALES IN 1917 THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND AMERICAN NEUTRALITY The four main points of the foreign policy of the United States used to be democracy, staying aloof from power alliances, freedom of the seas, and the Monroe doctrine. This set of thinking defined the country's behavior from the very beginning. After the nation won its independence from Great Britain and started to build democracy, George Washington set the tone with his farewell address in which he warned against entangling alliances. The country was not to deal with European affairs. Freedom of the seas basically meant free trade between countries and the strong merchant class of the US was striving on it. No wonder when the nation went to wars, it was with the aim to protect the freedom of the seas. First, the young US Navy was engaged in an effective fight against the pirates of the Barbary states in the Mediterranean in 1801­1805. A few years later it was the British impressments that kept harassing American free shipping. This was the main reason why the War of 1812 broke out: the molested shipping could not produce free trade--the main element of the well-being of the US, especially in New England. In 1823 the Monroe doctrine declared that the western hemisphere was closed to European colonization while leaving open the possibility of United States expansion. In the next 90 years the US invoked the doctrine on many occasions to justify territorial growth and achieving an unmatched influence in the Western hemisphere. As the First World War broke out in Europe, in the summer of 1914, the United States found itself at a crucial juncture. In accord with the long-held tradition of staying out of European problems, President Woodrow Wilson was quick to reinforce neutrality. A few weeks into the 93
war, he called on Americans to be "neutral in fact as well as in name" and "impartial in thought as well as in action."1 This was an important stand to make and a sign of isolationism toward Europe, meaning that the United States concentrated on Latin America and the Far East instead. Aside from the traditional neutrality of the country in European affairs, Wilson represented a Christian idealism, which believed that war was wrong and evil, and it was to be avoided by all possible means.2 The majority of the American citizens shared this view. They felt that the raging war in Europe was not their business. To be sure, there was a small and fierce minority that wanted to enter the war, but the President, the legislative branch, and the public mood frustrated their eagerness. On the other hand, the country had been striving to get access to more and bigger markets, and the Great War, as World War I was called then, offered a great chance to increase the country's export dramatically. With the seemingly limitless resources of the United States, the European countries leaned heavily on American imports, and with time this need only grew. Inevitably, the Allied side was the bigger benefactor of American shipments. This fact was partly due to the geographical facts, England and France offering an easier route, but the British blockade over Germany also made it really difficult to trade with the Central Powers. The fact that the United States had a much larger trade with the Allies clearly questioned the neutral status Wilson spoke of so eloquently, however, the country benefited from the situation financially. The war proved to be very profitable for the U.S.--the output of the industry rose from $20 billion to $30 billion, a 50% upsurge, while the total of foreign exports and imports tripled.3 Hand in hand with the financial gain, the country had to face geopolitical questions too. A German victory would have meant a possible totalitarian rule over the whole of Europe, and the United States' belief in democracy and free trade would have suffered a great blow in that case. In addition, the Anglo-Saxon bond was a natural tie that caused a large majority to feel sympathetic toward Great Britain. The Allies were aware of this situation and, with England's lead, appealed to the United 1 Congressional Record, 64th Cong., Appendix, 524. 2 This idealism did not make Wilson refrain from using military force against small Latin American countries through the 1910s. See the cases of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. 3 E. Dodd, William. Woodrow Wilson and His Work. New York: Page and Company, 1927. 158. 94
States for bigger help. The main priority was to bring America into the war--an objective that Germany wished to avoid at any cost in the beginning. In early 1916, the German Undersecretary of State Arthur Zimmermann declared: "Our situation is such that we cannot bear to have America as an enemy."4 The Germans also thought that the many Germans living in the United States gave some kind of insurance against the U.S. joining the war against their Fatherland. As the war got protracted, more and more incidents happened on the high seas that endangered American neutrality. The Germans, facing an effective British blockade, which was aiming to put as many hardships on Germany as possible, used a new weapon: the submarine. Since submarines were almost defenseless on the surface, it was only a logical necessity that they struck from under water without any warning--in a way that met indignation throughout the world. The most famous incident happened on May 7, 1915, when an English ocean liner, the Lusitania was torpedoed. The American nation was shocked to learn that 128 of their citizens lost their lives in a total of 1,198 due to a German submarine attack. The incident stirred up feelings and the first wave of strong sentiment against Germany swept across the country. Wilson though kept his calm: "I am keenly aware that the feeling of the country is now at a fever-heat and that is ready to move with me in any direction I shall suggest, but I am bound to weigh carefully the effect of radical action now based on the present emotionalism of the people."5 The Germans never took full responsibility and through careful diplomatic correspondence managed to escape the wrath of the United States. This was not very difficult, because Wilson himself did not want to engage in a war. Even when almost a year later, on March 24, 1916, the Sussex was sunk by a German submarine and Americans fell victims anew, the confrontation was restricted to notes once more. Although the U.S. threatened to sever diplomatic relations with Germany, the Germans reacted with the "Sussex pledge" on May 4, 1916, which promised that "merchant vessels [...] shall not be sunk without warning and without saving human lives, unless these ships attempt to escape or offer 4 Hanssen, Hans Peter. Diary of a Dying Empire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1955. 121. 5 Hilderbrand, Robert C. Power and the People: Executive Management of Public Opinion in Foreign Affairs, 1897­1921. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1981. 123. 95
resistance."6 For the next few months, the Germans were indeed more careful in this regard and the relations for the time being became somewhat less tense. This helped Wilson focus on reelection in the fall. With the slogan: "He kept us out of war," he managed to win, since the majority was still against the idea of war. The "strict accountability," which the first Lusitania note promised seemed to have enough influence on Germany. The Kaiser himself was weary of the North American country: "America has to be prevented from participating in the war against us as an active enemy... The war must first be won, and that requires that we do not make new enemies."7 But as the war progressed, more and more voices in the German High Command favored unrestricted submarine warfare, regardless of whether it would draw America into the war or not. The Sussex crisis made these people think twice and for a few months in the wake of the affair, there was only latent contemplation on the issue. Not much time had elapsed though before the German military leaders gained more and more power while the civilian and peace-minded people had less room for maneuver. Secretary of State Gottlieb von Jagow declared in October 1916: "All reports indicate that unrestricted submarine warfare means war with America."8 But it was too late to raise such voices and they were not welcomed either. In November, after Jagow's resignation, Zimmermann became the new Secretary of State. American Concerns over Japan and Mexico Interestingly enough, the general reigning idea in German military circles was that they had a chance to keep America out of the war. They looked at the world map, and in the light of the last two decades' events and theories, some of which were questionable, they came up with a solution: the United States must be deterred from Europe in case she decided to want to enter the war. The logical plan was to create a suitable situation on the American continent toward this end. The idea was as simple and brilliant as ridiculous and flabbergasting. The Germans had 6 Gerard to Lansing, May 4, 1916. Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1916. Supplement, The World War. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1916. 259. 7 Jonas, Manfred. The United States and Germany: A Diplomatic History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984. 109. 8 Hanssen, Diary of a Dying Empire, 162. 96
the notion that Japan was eager to attack the United States and that Mexico was nurturing plans to retaliate against her bullying northern neighbor. As far as Japan was concerned, Americans had been looking at the Far Eastern country with suspicion. The early twentieth century in the United States was characterized by the fear of the "yellow peril," a feeling that too many Japanese had arrived in the U.S. and the Japanese foreign policy was challenging American interests. American diplomats had frequently dealt with Japan. As early as 1907, Commander W.L. Howard, the American naval attachй in Berlin, became convinced that a war between the two countries was unavoidable.9 He also reported that both the British and German admiralties agreed that it would end with a Japanese victory.10 The same year, Howard wrote to the office of Naval Intelligence that his British colleague was on the opinion that Japan was preparing to attack the United States.11 This view did not really alarm the administration due to the fact that Japan lacked money to think seriously of a war with the US. When World War I broke out, Japan, as her treaty with Britain compelled her to do, declared war on Germany on August 23, 1914, and soon took over German possessions in the Far East.12 Japan quickly realized that the European powers were putting all their energies into the war in Europe and were rendered helpless in the Pacific theater. Being confident of their military superiority, they thought the time had come to spread their influence over China. Japan wanted the huge market and other economic possibilities the large country offered. This move further impaired Japanese-American relations. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz wrote to the German Foreign Office: "For the time being I doubt...that Japan is ready to get involved in war with the United States and England, but in case the Japanese-American tensions resulting from the China question further increase, I do not totally rule that out."13 Although both Japan and 9 Braisted, William Reynolds. The United States Navy in the Pacific, 1897­1909. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958. 198. 10 Ibid., 198. 11 Ibid., 209. 12 Curry, Roy Watson. Woodrow Wilson and Far Eastern Policy, 1913­1921. New Haven: United Printing Services, 1957. 108­9. 13 Mehnert, Ute. "German Weltpolitik and the American Two-Front Dilemma: The `Japanese Peril' in German-American Relations, 1904­1917." The Journal of American History, 82, no. 4 (March, 1996): 1470. 97
the United States were weary of the other, the equal suspicion they held about each other gave impetus to such German opinions. The most troubling news though, to both the administration and average American citizens, was the information that Japan might have harmful schemes against the U.S. in Mexico. After the conclusion of the Gentlemen's Agreement in 1907, which curbed Japanese immigration to the United States, Japanese moved to Mexico in larger numbers. Americans watched this Japanese influx with growing apprehension. William II even sent letters to Theodore Roosevelt and warned him of Japanese soldiers in Mexico disguised as farmers with the aim to attack the Panama Canal in case of war.14 As Johann Heinrich Graf von Bernstorff, the German ambassador in Washington, reported in 1911: "American public opinion is gradually approaching hysteria with regard to Japan."15 Tensions climbed further when in 1913 a Japanese shipment of arms arrived in Mexico.16 In January 1914, the Wilson government expressed regrets that Japanese naval officers had accepted entertainment by the Mexican revolutionary government. Americans shared the feeling that they must watch out for Japan. In spite of the perception that Japan posed a threat, what really possessed the U.S. was Mexico. The revolution that broke out there in 1910 plunged the country into turmoil and the warring sides could not come to a satisfactory conclusion for years to come. Since Wilson held the notion that well-established democracies, meaning close replicas of the United States, should work in Latin America, he watched the unfolding situation closely. By October 1915, Wilson had made up his mind that recognition of Venustian Carranza, who promised to implement a democratic government, was still the best available option. But Carranza was not friendly with Wilson and wanted to solve his problems without American help. The inner strife between warlords that characterized Mexico soon led to a major problem between the two countries. Carranza was able to overcome his two main challengers for power, Emiliano Zapata in the south and Francisco "Pancho" Villa in the north. The latter, bitter at his losing ground in the battle for power, had decided to vent his anger on 14 Jonas, The United States and Germany, 90. 15 Katz, Friedrich. The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, The United States and the Mexican Revolution. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981. 76. 16 Curry, Woodrow Wilson and Far Eastern policy, 131. 98
America, which he considered as the main scapegoat in Carranza's success against him.17 On March 9, 1916, Villa and his men raided the town of Columbus, New Mexico, where they killed seventeen people. The almost unbelievable and brazen act of Villa met quick action and on March 15 a punitive detachment crossed the border. The expedition, led by General John J. Pershing, failed to capture Villa, but had to face Carranza, who had given no permission for an American unit to enter Mexico. On June 20, even a clash occurred between the armies and an American­Mexican war seemed imminent. Only the European war and the serious problems it caused prevented the crisis from deepening. After long and futile discussions, Wilson agreed to withdraw the troops in January 1917, a move which was completed on February 5.18 The Germans tried to make the most of the situation and aided Villa with munitions for months to come.19 Dual Tension: Great Britain and Germany The main reason Wilson's attention turned more and more toward Europe was the threat of getting drawn into the conflict. The President was determined to stay out of the war, but the clouds were gathering, especially in the forms of deteriorating German­American relations. The Germans were always able to diminish the American government's anger with great diplomatic skill. Despite all the German efforts, the whole U.S. looked at Germany with a growing resentment. Germany, on her part, saw Mexico as an ideal player to distract her northern neighbor. If the United States were tied down in America, she would not be able to enter the war effectively. To reach this goal, rumors started to emanate from Berlin. The press both in Germany and the United States picked them up and they spread like wildfire. To spice things up, Germany used its long-standing obsession that Japan was to attack the United States. In 1911, there was a story in the American newspapers about a secret treaty between Japan and Mexico against the United States, which seems to have been only a 17 True, in November 1915, it was with American help that Carranza could score a decisive victory over Villa. 18 Katz, The Secret War in Mexico, 313. 19 Thurston to Foreign Office, March 24 and March 27, 1917, The National Archives of the United Kingdom (subsequently: TNA), FO, 115/2265. 99
German scheme. The widespread rumors were reported to the Japanese Foreign Ministry by the consul in Portland: One hears, for example, that this maneuver by American land and naval forces is aimed at restraining Japanese intentions toward Mexico... One hears that there are observers that have seen 50,000 Japanese currently carrying out military maneuvers on the Pacific Coast of Mexico... One also hears that negotiations for an alliance are currently in progress between Japan and Mexico.20 In February 1915, an anonymous article in the Atlantic Monthly warned of the "yellow peril" and stated that "in spite of all denials, Japan is flirting with Mexico... Japan would like to make Mexico into a base of supplies for the protection of its interest on this continent."21 Despite any hard evidence of such Japanese efforts, the general public and official feeling was that Japan might want something in Mexico, a country that had already meant a lot of trouble to the U.S. The belief that the Germans were dangerously active in Mexico was strong in all walks of American life. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, for example, wrote in his diary in October 1915: "Germany desires to keep up the turmoil in Mexico until the United States is forced to intervene."22 Indeed, based on constant reports from American agents in Mexico, the administration knew that Germany was trying to flare up Mexicans against the US. In 1916 it was the "Plan of San Diego," which stunned every one that heard about it. The plan was aiming to produce a revolution that was to start in Texas and to spread over from there to other American states, hopefully culminating in a separate republic of Mexicans, Negroes, and Indians.23 During June of 1916, reports from agent Canada in Mexico arrived with information that the "German Minister, von Eckhart, and Consul General here are doing everything possible to induce Mexico to make war on the U.S."24 He added that "German reserved and non-commissioned officers residing in the U.S. have been ordered...to place themselves at the disposal of the Mexican Government."25 Interestingly enough, in 1916 it was Mexico that wanted 20 Katz, The Secret War in Mexico, 77­78. 21 Ibid., 78­9. 22 Tuchman, Barbara. The Zimmermann Telegram. New York: Bantam Books, 1971. 86. 23 Ibid., 93. 24 Canada to Lansing, June 18, 1916, National Archives and Record Administration (subsequently: NARA), Washington, D. C., M336, 862.20212/55. 25 Canada to Lansing, June 19, 1916, NARA, M336, 862.20212/30. 100
to conclude a treaty with Germany, but the latter refused it due to political considerations.26 Obviously, Germany wished to avoid further conflict with the United States. In 1917, however, this Mexican initiative must have been a basis on which the Germans built their fantastic idea. Parallel to the disturbance in Mexico, Germany tried to play the Japanese card as well. Secretary of State Jagow held in the spring of 1916 that "all sorts of inflammatory propaganda material against Japan" ought to be distributed in California.27 Bernstorff reported that he kept launching "material fit to deepen the American anxiety about the Japanese peril into the American press."28 In November 1914, the American ambassador to Tokyo, George W. Guthrie, reported that the "Germans are making efforts here to estrange America and Japan."29 Gerard sent reports about rumors that Japan was seeking a separate peace with Germany in order to attack the United States.30 As it turned out, this piece of information proved to be reliable, because the Germans indeed tried, although futilely, to come to an agreement with Japan.31 The Japanese basically used these German attempts to exert pressure on England in order to gain more freedom in the Pacific. On the other hand, since the outbreak of the war, the different aims of the U.S. and Great Britain and, consequently, their different interpretations of certain issues led to an unfriendly stance between them. The British were quick to put a blockade on Germany to starve them out. But American companies also traded with Germany and other neutral countries from where Germany could get access to these shipments. The blockade flew in the face of the American idea of free seas and trade. Americans saw the British practice of taking neutral ships into port for inspection for contraband of war as harassment and violation of their rights. A long series of protests was sent from the State Department to London without much effect. The British always seemed to understand international law in a different light. In March 1915, they issued the 26 Boghardt, Thomas. The Zimmermann Telegram: Diplomacy, Intelligence and the American Entry into World War I. Georgetown University: Working papers Series, No. 6­04, 14. 27 Mehnert, "German Weltpolitik and the American Two-Front Dilemma, 1471. 28 Ibid., 1471. 29 Ibid., 1473. 30 Ibid., 1473. 31 In detail see Ikle, Frank W. "Japanese-German Peace Negotiations during World War I." The American Historical Review 71, no. 1 (October, 1965): 62­75. 101
Reprisals Order of March, which basically ordered all ships of presumed enemy destination to be subject to seizure.32 The tug-of-war of differing opinions went on and by 1916 the relations had worsened. The reason for the tension was mainly economic. On July 18, 1916, the British government issued a blacklist of eighty-seven American firms (containing roughly other 350 Latin American ones).33 These firms were accused or suspected of trading with the Central Powers. It was forbidden for British subjects to have any dealings with these firms. Fury swept across the United States. As Acting Secretary of State Frank Polk wrote to House: "This blacklisting order of the English...is causing tremendous irritation and we will have to do something."34 Wilson was perhaps the angriest. On July 23, he wrote to House: "I am, I must admit, about at the end of my patience with Great Britain and the Allies. This black list business is the last straw... I am seriously considering asking Congress to authorize me to prohibit loans and restrict exportations to the Allies... Can we any longer endure their intolerable course?"35 A strong protest was sent to Britain on July 26 to which no answer arrived for months.36 The antagonistic British policy toward the US and the conciliatory stance applied by the Germans caused a stalemate as to what the US should do. In November, freshly reelected, Wilson was at the end of his patience with the British. Britain also began to realize more and more that they needed American material help, if not outright military assistance. Since financially Great Britain had weakened in the first two years of the war, and there was no hope of a speedy conclusion, they tried to be friendlier with the US. The future giant of economics, John Keynes, wrote for the War Committee of Britain in November: "...the policy of this country towards the U.S.A. should be so directed as not only to avoid any form of reprisal or active irritation, but also to conciliate and to please."37 32 Spencer, Jr., Samuel R. Decision for War, 1917: The Laconia Sinking and the Zimmermann Telegram as Key Factors in the Public Reaction against Germany. Rindge: Richard R. Smith Publisher, Inc., 1953. 21. 33 Link, Arthur S. Wilson: Campaigns for Progressivism and Peace, 1916­1917. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965. 65. 34 Ibid., 66. 35 Ibid., 67. 36 The black list issue remained a serious issue until the U.S. had declared war on Germany. On April 27, 1917, the London Gazette announced that the American firms were dropped from it (Bailey, Thomas A. "The United States and the Black List During the Great War." The Journal of Modern History 6, no. 1 (March, 1934): 32.) 37 Link, Wilson, 180. 102
During the winter, the British adopted this analysis and began working on a rapprochement with America. Break with Germany Germany's military leaders, Paul von Hindenburg, Erich Ludendorff, and Henning von Holtzendorff, whose influence was significant on William II, went unopposed. These three persons shared the strong belief that they had found the only solution to decide the debacle in the form of the unrestricted submarine campaign. Even the possibility of America entering the war could not veer them off this course. As Holtzendorff wrote to Hindenburg in December 1916: "[I]n spite of the danger of break with America, an unrestricted U-boat war, promptly launched, is the proper means of winning the war. Moreover, it is the only means to this end... I guarantee that for its part the U-boat war will lead to victory."38 Zimmermann also accepted and represented the view that Germany might have a good chance to achieve positive results by launching an unrestricted submarine warfare. In January 1917, in front of the Finance Committee he said: "If submarine warfare accomplishes the expected results, America will not have time to attack before victory is certain... submarine warfare is, under the circumstances, our last and ultimate means."39 One could no longer talk about civilian leaders or voices in Germany as 1916 came to an end. By the end of December, even Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, the last person that represented a sober view and was against a drastic and final step, seemed convinced and declared that "the advantages of an absolutely ruthless U-boat war are greater than the disadvantages resulting from the United States joining our enemies."40 On January 9, 1917, a meeting took place at Pless, the German military headquarters, to decide the question of the U-boat war. Here, the Kaiser was reassured that an unrestricted submarine warfare would produce results. Holtzendorff promised to William II: "I give your Majesty my word as an officer that not one American will land on the continent."41 After the decision, Rudolf von Valentini, chief of the Kaiser's civil 38 Ibid., 242. 39 Hanssen, Diary of a Dying Empire, 162­3. 40 Link, Wilson, 241. 41 Asprey, Robert B. The German High Command at War: Hindenburg and Ludendorff Conduct World War I. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991. 294. 103
cabinet, wrote in his diary: "finis Germanie."42 With this step, the die had been cast. Germany had stepped on a path that was almost without doubt to bring the United States into the war. Zimmermann was not present at the Pless meeting, but earlier he had conferred with Ludendorrf and the two seemed to agree on the U-boat war as the right step for Germany.43 On January 31, Bernstorff handed a note to Lansing containing the exact information regarding the submarine warfare. The message was a harsh one and declared that a zone will be created around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the Eastern Mediterranean. The insolent note left no room for misunderstanding: "All ships met within that zone will be sunk."44 Furthermore, it gave instructions as to how American ships should bear certain marks, follow a certain route, and were allowed to travel only once a week to Europe.45 On the same day, Zimmermann said before the Financial Committee in Berlin: "We have done and will continue to do all in our power to keep America out. I do not know whether we will succeed. America is and will be uncertain. I will not speak more optimistically than I think. And I believe that America will enter the war."46 As was seen, this possibility was beyond realistic concern for the people that steered Germany's fate. The news of the German note caused a serious consternation throughout the nation, particularly for Wilson. The concordant opinion of the newspapers was that it was intolerable. With the New York World in the lead, basically every newspaper cried out for severance of diplomatic relations and agreed that this should mean war.47 Wilson was shocked to hear this turn of Germany. He had been led to believe that the Germans wanted to conclude the war by a peace conference. They seemed to be more in line with his plans than the British. Since the Lusitania incident, the Germans had appeared to back down in the face of American protests and Wilson, almost naively, believed they were playing a fair game. His anger was understandable. According to Joseph P. Tumulty, his secretary, the President's first reaction was that this meant war.48 But Wilson faced 42 Valentini, Rudolf von. Kaiser und Kabinettschef. Oldenburg: Gerhard Stalling, 1931. 146. 43 Boghardt, Thomas. The Zimmermann Telegram, 9. 44 Scott, Diplomatic Correspondence, 301. 45 Ibid., 303. 46 Hanssen, Diary of a Dying Empire, 162. 47 Link, Wilson, 292. 48 Hilderbrand, Power and the People, 133. 104
a serious dilemma: he obviously had to respond to the note with the harshest possible answer, but did not want to close the door on his vision: a negotiated peace. He held the conviction that it was his ultimate role to bring it about. Throughout 1916, he frequently expressed his solid belief that America must give up her isolationist stance. He realized that in order to achieve his aims, the old-fashioned neutrality must end. "We are participants, whether we like it or not, in the life of the world;" "...no nation can any longer remain neutral;" "...the business of neutrality is over;" "...the day of isolation is gone."49 When he spoke of giving up neutrality, he meant that the country had to face a bigger involvement in international affairs. On January 22, he delivered his famous "peace without victory" speech before Congress, which outlined for the whole world what agenda he would like to see implemented. It meant a peace achieved at the negotiating table and not on the battlefield. He wanted to do away with the old world order, which he believed to be the main cause behind the European carnage. Soon he declared that "peace cannot securely or justly rest upon an armed balance of power."50 Rather, he saw the solution in open diplomacy. Certain people saw his opening toward Europe as a departure from the Monroe Doctrine, which had defined the country's foreign policy for the past 90 years. The New York Sun harshly criticized his December 21 peace note as one that would make the US enter "political entanglements of European concern and conversely admitting European powers into political engagements of purely American concern."51 Senator Lodge said the peace note was sending "the Monroe Doctrine straight to the tomb."52 The idealistic Wilson, even in the face of the brazen German note, stalled for time waiting for something miraculous to happen. Despite the general public mood in the country, Wilson went only as far as breaking of diplomatic relations with Germany. In his February 3 speech to the joint session of Congress he stated in his eloquent style: I cannot bring myself to believe that they [Germany] will indeed pay no regard to the ancient friendship between their people and our own or to the solemn obligations which have been exchanged between them and 49 Ibid., 136­8. 50 Congressional Record, 65th Cong., 1st Session, Senate, 3. 51 Ibid., 64th Cong., 2nd Session, Senate, 830. 52 Ibid., 830. 105
destroy American ships and take lives of American citizens in the willful prosecution of the ruthless naval programme they have announced their intention to adopt. Only actual overt acts on their part can make me believe it even now... We do not desire any hostile conflict with the Imperial German Government... We shall not believe that they are hostile to us unless we are obliged to believe it.53 This fact countered some opposition and genuine surprise. Lansing, just three days prior to the German note, reflected on the situation and wrote: "Sooner or later the die will be cast and we will be at war with Germany. It is certain to come. We must nevertheless wait patiently until the Germans do something that will arouse general indignation and make all Americans alive to the peril of German success in this war."54 Lansing, who had been all along pro-Allies, was understandably disappointed with Wilson's mild reaction. Theodore Roosevelt, one of the main voices in favor of joining the war against Germany, did not beat around the bush: "I do not believe Wilson will go to war unless Germany literally kicks him into it," he wrote to Lodge in mid-February.55 Wilson, just as in the cases of the Lusitania and Sussex, was satisfied to give warning with words. The question is why. The only explanation is that the President still believed firmly that he would be able to make Germany accept his vision. His naivetй is easy to see and his assumption about a more liberal German leadership was a general feeling in America, exactly because of Zimmermann. When in November 1916, Zimmermann became Secretary of State for Germany replacing Jagow, America was satisfied, even optimistic. Due to the fact that Zimmermann was a representative of the middle class, his nomination was interpreted as a sign of liberalism in Germany. A longer article, written by Gilbert Hirsch, was published in the New York Evening Post and other papers under the headline: "Our Friend Zimmermann."56 The Literary Digest proclaimed that Zimmermann at the helm of the German Foreign Office was equal to the "Liberalization of Germany."57 The German press emanated comments that conveyed that Zimmermann was "a particularly warm friend" of the 53 Ibid., 64th Cong., 2nd Session, House, 2579. 54 Asprey, The German High Command at War, 287. 55 Ibid., 287. 56 Heinrich, Johann--Graf von Bernstorff, My Three Years in America. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920. 349. 57 Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 111. 106
United States, and the American papers "joyfully echoed" these reports.58 In addition, both House and Gerard found Zimmermann friendly and able.59 Wilson would have never thought that with such changes in the German leadership and attitude the Germans would act in the most condemnable way. If he had known Jagow's opinion about Zimmermann that he "always swam with the stream and with those who shouted loudest," the President might have had second thoughts.60 The overall view among the German leaders was optimistic. There was even a thin line of reasoning that America might not join the war after all. Zimmermann's main argument against the American entry, although he had admitted it as almost certain, was based on the outcome of the 1916 elections: "The people of the West [of the US] are not opposed to us, and Wilson was elected by the Western States. Besides, Wilson was elected as the friend of peace. He can declare war only with the approval of Congress, in which body the Western and Middle States are in a majority."61 This argument did not lack absolute substance. While the Eastern part of the US was reacting to the war much more sensitively, the rest of the country lived happily in its isolation. The news of the war could not really penetrate their daily life. David Houston's, Wilson's Secretary of Agriculture, visit in the West left him with the impression that people there were not concerned with either Mexico or Europe, and the sinking of the Lusitania was not a topic there.62 These states were simply too far away to be directly affected with the war in Europe. Zimmermann Sends His Telegram While Americans in general were against entering the war, the Allies, Great Britain in particular, had been eagerly waiting for the United States to join them. It was the American material help in the first place that the Allies wanted. Germany, as was seen, was also of the opinion that the North American power would join the war. Both countries acted fittingly to their own conviction, which resulted in one of the most famous diplomatic incidents. The German "overt act" that Wilson spoke about 58 Bernstorff, My Three Years in America, 349. 59 Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 112. 60 Boghardt, Thomas. The Zimmermann Telegram, 7. 61 Hanssen, Diary of a Dying Empire, 168. 62 Houston, F. David. Eight Years with Wilson's Cabinet, 1913­1920 Vol. 2. Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1926. 132. 107
and many had been waiting for had already been committed. It offered the justification on a plate why the United States should enter the war against Germany. Parallel to the fateful decision at Pless on January 9, the German Foreign Office was working on a secret plan. In line with the German belief that Mexico was the Achilles' heel for the US, and Japan was perceived as a threat there, Zimmermann chose a seemingly logical solution. The idea was that an alliance should be established between the three countries with the main purpose of distracting the United States to the utmost.63 The warm German­Mexican relations made Zimmermann believe that such a plan was feasible. Since Japan had been playing a twofaced game with Germany, but it was on good terms with Mexico, it was also natural to count on Mexico to persuade Japan to join such an alliance. All this was worded out in a clear and compelling fashion: ... we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: Make war together, make peace together. Generous financial support, and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you.You will inform the President [of Mexico] of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves.64 Zimmermann decided to send this telegram to Mexico. The first problem that Zimmermann encountered was how to send the message and exactly where. There were two major obstacles the Germans had to overcome. One was that right after the war started, the British cut Germany's transatlantic cables, thus depriving Germany from direct cable communication with overseas countries. From then on, Germany had to rely on either wireless communication or other countries' telegram cables. Either way, they had to face the possibility that the enemy, first of all England, might get access to the messages. The other difficulty was lack of time. After the decision was made that the submarine warfare must 63 The brain behind the scheme might have been von Kemnitz, Adviser at the Foreign Office on Far Eastern and Central-American Affairs. (New York Times, May 15, 1920.) 64 Full decoded version, February 19, 1917, TNA, HW7/8. 108
start on February 1, there was not much time. So the original plan, the only one that could have provided safety for the secret message that a German submarine should transport the letter fell through.65 It would have taken about a month for a submarine to get to Mexico and deliver the message. This predicament forced the Foreign Minister to find an alternative way. On January 16, the telegram was sent. It was attached to a longer one, which was from Bethmann to Bernstorff, informing him about the final decision on the launching of the unrestricted submarine warfare. Naturally, the message was encoded and Zimmermann felt assured that his message would be delivered in due time. The real "gatekeepers" had no illusions about German motives. The British Naval Intelligence had been busy from the start of the war and gathered as much information as possible about the German plans. The most secret and effective division was Room 40, which was responsible for deciphering German secret messages. The director of this section was Sir William Reginald Hall, who was eager to get every piece of information about the enemy.66 The British had managed to put their hands on the German diplomatic codebook used between Berlin and Washington, and via Washington the Western Hemisphere.67 From this point on, Great Britain knew basically all the important information about German plans, location of submarines, or messages sent to German diplomats. So, when Zimmermann sent his telegram, the very next day it was in Room 40. On the evening of January 17, Admiral Hall had to make a significant decision. Nigel de Grey and his colleague, Dilly Knox, had made good progress with the deciphering the first day.68 A skeleton version of the full telegram appeared and its importance was unmistakable for de Grey. He asked Hall: "Do you want America in the war Sir?... I've got a telegram that will bring them in if you give it to them."69 A proposal for 65 Hendrick, Burton J. The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page. Vol. 3. Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1925. 339­40. 66 According to Page, Hall was "a genius--a clear case of genius" (Hendrick, The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, 61). 67 Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 12­9. 68 For a long time, William Montgomery had been credited as the co-decipherer of the telegram. But according to de Grey, it was Knox, who first worked on the telegram, but his weak German made him ask for de gray's help. (Account by Nigel de Grey, October 31, 1945, TNA, HW3/177). 69 Ibid. 109
an alliance with Mexico and Japan was understandable from the part of the text that they had managed to decipher and the concluding sentence, "our submarines ...will compel England to peace in a few months," was too ominous.70 Hall knew right away what he had in his possession. His first reaction, after thinking over what he had just read, was how to tackle the inevitable problem: "Our first job will be to convince the Americans that it's true--how are we to do that? Who would they believe? Is there any Englishman whom they will believe?"71 It was obvious that information of such magnitude and content would be highly suspicious in the Americans' eyes. It would have been immediately declared as an English machination, an effort on the British side to draw America into war. Hall had to be careful. If he handed his find over right away, it would not contain the full translation of the text, which was crucial to its result. On the other hand, America had no way of knowing that the British were systematically reading their cable messages. This was a factor that could be brought to light under no circumstances. The American reaction, with Wilson in the lead, was not hard to anticipate. After all the tension during 1916, the recent refusal to both the German and Wilson's peace notes, the news that England had been using such an illegal and unethical method could have jeopardized the value of the captured telegram. Hall needed time to come up with the solution. He decided that safest and most soluble way would be to try to get the telegram in Mexico City. Since the original was sent to Bernstorff to Washington, he was to forward it to Eckhardt, the German minister in Mexico City. The telegram was an attachment to the note of the submarine telegram, so Hall calculated that Bernstorff would send a new telegram from Washington to Mexico City in the code that London did possess. According to Bell, Hall had a "plant" in the telegraph office in Mexico City.72 On February 5, the order went out to get the copies of all German cables from Washington to Mexico.73 So when Bernstorff indeed sent the telegram to Eckhardt, the British managed to get a copy of it. It is impossible to know when exactly the telegram was stolen in Mexico City 70 First draft of decoded version, January 16, 1917, TNA, HW7/8. 71 Account by Nigel de Grey, October 31, 1945, TNA, HW3/177. 72 Kahn, David. "Edward Bell and His Zimmermann Telegram Memoranda." Intelli- gence and National Security 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 149. 73 Director of the Intelligence Division to Bayley, February 5, 1917, TNA, HW3/178. 110
and when the final version of it translated.74 The time lapse is important though, because many historians have assumed that Hall withheld the telegram till he thought it best to hand it over from a diplomatic point of view. It is a valid point that he played with time somewhat, but in light of the evidence that is at hand, it is more probably that it was Hall's tactics to save his section's activity from being discovered that caused the delay.75 Also, the telegram from Zimmermann to Bernstorff was in a new code. The British were not able to read it perfectly and they needed an absolutely readable version. That was another reason why they needed to get the Mexican version of the telegram, which indeed was in the code they possessed. Wilson's Decision Wilson was aware of the force of public opinion and knew too well that he could not ignore it. He believed that he was the representative of the people but he also held the belief that as president he enjoyed the ultimate voice in matters.76 This was the corner stone of his political decree and he proclaimed in his book that the "nation as a whole has chosen him [the president], and is conscious that it has no other political spokesman. He is the only national voice in affairs."77 Wilson tried to put this into practice and throughout the war, he set out to make propaganda for his agenda. In the beginning of his presidency, he used the press, but from the summer of 1915 onward, he rather chose a more frequent personal presence in front of Congress. He calculated that this method insured him a greater access to wider public attention.78 In his speeches, even if indirectly, he always spoke to the citizens believing that they 74 There is a fully deciphered version of the telegram that was sent from Washington to Mexico City with a date of February 19, 1917 (TNA, HW7/8). Tuchman also says it was on February 19 (Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 154­5). According to Andrew, however, Hall got news from Mexico City on the 10th and that Thurston, the British Minister there, had gained a copy (Andrew, Christopher M. Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community. Sevenoaks: Sceptre, 1986. 171­ 172.) 75 Account by Nigel de Gray, October 31, 1945, TNA, HW3/177. 76 He regarded himself the "trustee" of the nation. (Tumulty, Joseph P. Woodrow Wilson As I Knew Him. Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1921. 234. 77 Wilson, Woodrow. Constitutional Government in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press, 1908. 68. 78 Hilderbrand, Power and the People, 106. 111
would listen to him. He was aware of the national pride and general fury when Americans' interests were hurt. So he felt that he had to do something momentous when the Germans started unrestricted submarine warfare. If nothing else, national pride had to be defended. Wilson himself wrote to Senator Stone in an open letter in February 1916 that he could not "consent to any abridgment of the rights of American citizens in any respect. The honour and self-respect of the nation is involved. We covet peace, and shall preserve it at any cost but the loss of honor."79 It is important to consider what decision Wilson would have made without listening to public opinion. If he had relied only on the facts and realities of the international landscape, he would have had no other choice than taking the firmest stand against Germany. His naive plan to bring about a peace that would be just and lasting faced the danger of an autocratic hegemony in Europe, which was lurking in the shape of a German victory. In that event Europe would have been pushed into an antidemocratic state--the only thing that Wilson and the United States could not afford to happen. Wilson may have taken a more belligerent step without the American public, but he needed to have the nation behind him. This was an inseparable piece of his political philosophy. So his sensitivity to the majority's mood in his own country and the looming danger on the international scene forced him to steer cautiously. He saw the solution in the arming of the merchant ships. Clearly, after such an act, the country was on the very brink of war. However, Wilson gained some time and Americans had time to adjust to the idea that soon they might find themselves in the "European" war. Due to a small group of Republican senators' filibustering, the Armed Ship Bill fell through first, but a more momentous event had already started to shake the solid foundations of a neutral United States. On February 24, Page sent a confidential telegram from London to Wilson and Lansing. In it he informed them that Balfour, the British Foreign Minister, handed him a deciphered telegram.80 He went on to give the translation of the telegram and gave a "strictly confidential" explanation as to how the British had been able to get access to Bernstorff's messages to Mexico.81 Naturally, he was saying what Hall was feeding him. The British hoped that such a gesture and proof would 79 Tumulty, Woodrow Wilson As I Knew Him, 207. 80 Page to Lansing, February 24, 1917, NARA, M336, 862.20212/69. 81 Ibid. 112
help to achieve what many German submarines had not: to bring the US into the war. Page gave the first interpretation of the British service and goodwill in the same telegram: This system has hitherto been a jealously guarded secret and is only divulged now to you by the British Government in view of the extraordinary circumstances and their friendly feeling towards the United States. They earnestly request that you will keep the source of your information and the British Government's method of obtaining it profoundly secret but they put no prohibition of the publication of Zimmermann's telegram itself.82 The British obviously took a risk. If the information that they were able to read German messages got out, the Germans would surely change their code system and the Allies would be denied very important information. This risk was worth trying to prove to the US how friendly Britain was and implicitly they suggested that the telegram should be publicized. They were aware of the huge impact it would be able to cause. They were correct. Wilson read the telegram on the 25th. Not much is known of his feelings after-wards, but there are two notes that shed light on his mood. According to Polk, Wilson showed "much indignation and was disposed to make the text public without delay."83 The other is William Hull's memory of the meeting on February 28 between Wilson and the leaders of the Emergency Peace Federation, of which Hull was a member. He remembered that Wilson said "that it was impossible to deal further in peaceful method with [the German] government."84 Since Wilson was known as striving for peace, the people present must have been shocked when he said: "Dr. Hull, if you knew what I know at this present moment, and what you will see reported in tomorrow morning's newspapers, you would not ask me to attempt further peaceful dealings with the Germans."85 It is clear that the President was angry, disappointed, and as belligerent as he could be. But he was still cautious and did not jump to fast conclusions. In his address on February 26, he did not mention the telegram. One reason is that he had only one day to react. He found that 82 Ibid. 83 Link, Wilson, 346. 84 Link, Arthur S. ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. Vol. 41. Princeton: 1983. 305. 85 Ibid., 305. 113
not enough. The other was the predictable reaction of Congress that the whole telegram was just a British scheme to lure the country into war. Wilson's awareness of public opinion made him decide soon in favor of publication of the telegram. In fact, he wrote to House the very next day he read the telegram: "We shall probably publish it (that is, let it be published) on Wednesday."86 He knew it would generate public support for his next decision about Germany. Since public mood always seems to polarize when two contradictory paths are available, Wilson was positive that American public feeling would be on his side. But the predictable public fury would mean having to make a strong step against Germany. House and Tumulty were also for publication. House hoped for publication and emphasized that it would make a "profound impression both on Congress and the country."87 Lansing suggested issuing it not officially but through the Associated Press to attract more attention.88 The President agreed. In his eyes Germany had become a country that would never accept his ideas and would stubbornly fight on. Decision was all the more urgent, because the loss of life was steadily climbing and the Germans were continuously hurting commerce through sinkings. As far as American commerce goes, the war produced an increase in American trade. The war orders on export trade were 60% of all orders between August 1915 and May 1916, in a total of $3,601,186,000.89 The export in 1916 was $5,481,000,000. As a clear sign to which side America was committed, $3,382,000,000 of this amount, almost twothirds, went to the Allied belligerent countries. With Germany threatening the safe conduct of delivering such orders, the United States could have lost an enormous profit. Parallel, the Allied countries had accumulated huge debts toward the US. By 1917, Great Britain had six times as high a debt as prior to the war, France was a close second, while Russia's and Italy's added debts were close to that of Great Britain's.90 In the event of a German victory, these debts would have never been paid back, a course the United States did not want to take. The role of big business is well discernible. As early as August 1914, J. P. Morgan Jr., James Stillman, and George Baker, only known as the 86 Ibid., 288. 87 Ibid., 297. 88 Hilderbrand, Power and the People, 134. 89 Congressional Record, 64th Cong., 1st Session, Appendix, 1766. 90 Ibid., 65th Cong., 1st Session, House, 6585. 114
Trio, started to give a series of loans to the Bank of England.91 These funds were used to stabilize the frail British currency and finance the large-scale purchase of arms and ammunitions. Loans were offered to France and Russia later on as well. American Banking Syndicates provided $1,764,752,532 to the Allies till April 1917.92 Naturally, this activity of the Trio was not altruistic in nature. They used it to expand their financial influence and kept buying up British and other interests in Central and South America.93 As can be seen, the opportunities offered by the war worked in harmony with the drive in American business for ever bigger markets. American business kept growing but also shifted the country financially inseparable from the Allies.94 It had become a financial necessity to save them. The representatives of these business circles had friends in the Legislative body, too. They tried to help them and exerted as much influence as possible on the political decisionmaking. They vigorously pursued their interests and were helped by the events of early 1917. What no Congressmen, staggering debt, or a friend of the President could have achieved for the business society was done by the German telegram. The War Entry On March 1, 1917, the Zimmermann telegram was published and it proved to be a bombshell. The Times informed the readers: "Germany Seeks Alliance Against Us," while the World's headline read: "Mexico and Japan Asked by Germany to Attack U.S."95 The Chicago Daily Tribune and the New York Tribune informed the country about the deplorable German act this way: "U.S Bares War Plot," "Germany Asked Mexico To Seek Alliance with Japan for War on U.S.," "Congress Faces War Demand."96 The news swept through the country and two distinctive feelings arose on Capitol Hill. The first was patriotic fury. The House of 91 Hart, John Mason. Empire and Revolution. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002. 312. 92 Ibid., 531­539. 93 Ibid., 319. 94 As an illustrious example of this, J. P. Morgan said: "We have overt support to the Allies by America's principal bankers, and their commitment via cash to Russia, Great Britain, and France. Their investors are likewise committed." (Ibid., 305). 95 Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 170. 96 Spencer, Decision for War, 1917, 73. 115
Representatives was full of voices that called for strong and firm steps to defend American interests, commerce, lives, and, perhaps above all, prestige.97 The House passed the bill for arming the merchant ships by an overwhelming majority of 403 to 14, with 17 abstentions.98 The other reaction was lack of belief in the telegram's authenticity. This was manifested strongly in the upper house. On March 1, the Senate was like a beehive and debate was the order of the day. Senator Stone warned that the telegram may be a fake and outside forces wanted "to excite the public opinion of the American people... A publication of this nature is calculated...to excite the public opinion and to inflame the public mind of the country, and thus develop a tendency toward working up a spirit of belligerency on our part."99 Mississippi Senator John Williams posed the question: "Is there a letter like this signed by Zimmermann...in existence in the possession of our Department of State, and, secondly, is that letter authentic?"100 Senator James O'Gorman, implicitly referring to the British be-hind the telegram, said: "More than once in the history of our own country a belligerent nation has resorted to deceit and forgery in an effort to induce us to become involved in a contest in which we were not concerned."101 There were also rumors that the administration had withheld the information. Senator William Borah, relying on "one of the most responsible papers in the country,"102 said that the "document has been in the hands of the Government since President Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with Germany."103 Others, like Senators Smith and Tillman, questioned the possibility of a Japan­Mexico­German triangle, thus not giving credit to the telegram.104 In wake of the debate, Senate Resolution No. 379, introduced by Senator Lodge on March 1, was passed, which requested the President to send information about the authenticity of the telegram. As Lodge wrote to Theodore Roosevelt on March 2: 97 Congressional Record, 64th Cong., 2nd Session, House, 4637­4641. 98 Ibid., 4692. 99 Ibid., 64th Cong., 2nd Session, Senate, 4571, 4593. 100 Ibid., 4596. 101 Ibid., 4597. 102 This was Hood's report in the Associated Press (Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 171). 103 Congressional Record, 64th Cong., 2nd Session, Senate, 4599. 104 Ibid., 4598, 4605. 116
As soon as I saw it [the telegram], I felt sure it came from the Administration. I felt that would arouse the country more than anything that has happened, and that it would widen the breach with Germany and drive us toward the Allies. The one thing lacking was a declaration from the President as to its authenticity, and with his endorsement on it I knew the country would be bound to accept it and that he would be tied up. It seemed an almost unlimited use in forcing the situation.105 Thus, the interventionist Lodge introduced the resolution not because he questioned, or was interested in, the genuineness of the telegram. For one, he thought it was the Government's intrigue. But he sensed the great opportunity to make the most of it in terms of provoking American entry. Wilson was quick to respond. Through Lansing, he gave assurances "that the note referred to is authentic, and that it is in the possession of the Government of the United States, and that the evidence was procured by this Government during the present week."106 Wilson wanted to avoid even the farthest possibility to be seen as hesitating or unsure. The next day, the newspapers proclaimed in headlines the Administration's reassurance. The government instructed Page to ask the British to let him decipher the telegram in order to make its authenticity bulletproof. On March 2, Page sent the news that second secretary of the embassy Edward Bell had done the deciphering, and he sent the original German text.107 In reality, it was de Grey who did the brunt of the work; Bell did only the very beginning.108 De Grey also ran into trouble while trying to put on a show for Bell, because he used a wrong codebook, but quickly used his memory and bluffed. According to de Grey it only worked because Bell "wanted to be convinced and anyhow regarded the whole thing as black magic. A more unconvincing demonstration could never have been given."109 The Administration now had hard evidence, but the last shred of doubt disappeared only after Zimmermann committed what could be simply labeled as one of the greatest diplomatic blunders of all times. In an interview on March 3 with William Bayard Hale, Hearst's 105 Link, Wilson, 354­355. 106 Congressional Record, 64th Cong., 2nd Session, Senate, 4618. 107 Page to Lansing, March 2, 1917, NARA, M336, 862.20212/81. 108 Kahn, "Edward Bell and His Zimmermann Telegram Memoranda," 145; Andrew, Secret Service, 175. 109 Account by Nigel de Grey, October 31, 1945, TNA, HW3/177. 117
correspondent in Berlin, Zimmermann admitted that he had sent the telegram: "I cannot deny it. It is true."110 Wilson must have been aware of the fervent public reaction after the publication of the Zimmermann telegram. No polls were carried out in those days, thus it is impossible to tell exactly what the different components of the nation thought about the situation. Newspapers of the day are, however, a good secondary source to establish the general feeling. The common voice was that of anger and indignation. The whole nation felt offended and threatened to some extent, although this feeling was mixed with disbelief. The Independent called the plan a "sheer lunacy," a "proof of the incurable stupidity of Germany in the field of diplomacy."111 Zimmermann's admission of his plot smashed whatever little pro-German sentiment was left in the United States. The telegram was the product of a coldly planned plot that threatened the country. This was what Wilson had counted on. That was the reason why he let the information go through the press: to influence the public. He knew that it was the most useful tool in his hand to fight Congressional antagonism, which finally took place in the Senate. The imminence of war was now admitted widely throughout the country; the pacifist voices diminished. Not only was the American foreign policy's most defended element, the Monroe Doctrine, challenged, but the country itself was threatened. This situation represented a cohesive force and was able to do what politicians rarely have: to unite the nation. Headlines gave proof to such a change. The Literary Digest on the March 17 issue claimed in its headlines: "How Zimmermann United the United States."112 The same newspaper a week before had already given account of the clamor for war, which was typical all over the country.113 The Omaha World Herald, in the remotest place from either Germany, Mexico, or Japan, reflected the change in isolationist mood: "The issue shifts from Germany against Great Britain to Germany against the United States."114 The Midwestern press, also an 110 Spencer 74­75. Lansing said of Zimmermann's admittance: "Of course the message was a stupid piece of business, but admitting it was far worse." (Papers of Wilson, 326) 111 Spencer, Decision for War, 1917, 80. 112 Ibid., 81. 113 May, Ernest R. The World War and American Isolation, 1914­1917. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959. 430. 114 Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram, 179. 118
isolationist group, declared as one voice that the US could not avoid war. The Southern states appeared also affected. The Outlook after a field trip reported on March 14 that the Zimmermann telegram had "got under the skin of a great many Southerners who have not been hitherto much affected by the war."115 Lansing reached the same conclusion. He wrote that the Zimmermann telegram "resulted in unifying public sentiment throughout the United States against Germany."116 All these opinions came as a positive echo to Wilson's second inaugural speech in which he asked for unity: "The thing I shall count upon, the thing without which neither counsel nor action will avail, is the unity of America--an America united in feeling, in purpose, in its vision of duty, of opportunity, and of service."117 The country was responsive. The President had already committed himself to armed neutrality as a penultimate step. With no authorization from Congress, he acted on his own. On March 9, he ordered the arming of the merchantmen and called Congress into special session on April 16.118 The Executive Order was issued on March 12 and formal notices went out the next day. This step did not have much time to be put to the test. On March 18 news arrived that three other American ships had been sunk. The news reinforced that Germany meant harm and was the enemy of the country. As an immediate effect, Wilson ordered the extra session to be moved two weeks forward on April 2. At that point it was clear that he was going to address the Congress to ask for declaration of war. Between his order to arm the merchant ships and to bring the extra session two weeks earlier only twelve days passed. It is highly indicative of Wilson's mindset: it is safe to conclude that by early March, in wake of the Zimmermann telegram, he himself had given up hope that peace could be reached and his country could stay out of the conflict. On April 2, amid high expectations, Wilson delivered his war message to joint Congress. Here the long agony ended both for Wilson and the country. The President finally had been freed from the burden of fighting for his, now proved impossible, ideal: luring Germany and the other 115 Spencer, Decision for War, 1917, 99. 116 Hilderbrand, Power and the People, 135. 117 Congressional Record, 65th Cong., 1st Session, Senate, 3. 118 Houston, Eight Years with Wilson's Cabinet, 241; Link, Wilson, 376. 119
belligerents to the table.119 Wilson's eloquent style echoed older patterns: "Our object...is to indicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power... The world must be safe for democracy."120 The United States had to go to war for a higher goal only and was forced to enter it. But clearly, the country would be the rescuer of mankind and the example of democracy. The whole speech was interwoven with grievances and atrocities that Germany had committed against the U.S. Interestingly enough, the Zimmermann telegram deserved only a sentence that read: "That it [Germany] means to stir up enemies against us at our very doors the intercepted note to the German Minister in Mexico City is eloquent evidence."121 He downplayed the telegram and its impact and concentrated on the harm Germany had caused against American shipping, Belgium, and democracy. It must have been a conscious choice on his part. A secret message was unworthy to get a prominent place in his war speech. The fact how much it had helped to turn the national sentiment toward this direction was a different matter. On April 6, Congress declared war on Germany. The Senate's result was 86 to 6, while in the House it was 373 to 50. The Aftermath It is equally interesting how the countries involved reacted to the news of the Zimmermann telegram. The two German hopefuls, Mexico and Japan, soon repudiated the German offer. The Mexican foreign minister denied knowing the telegram, although he did not rule out that Carranza might have been directly notified by the Germans.122 The Japanese Foreign minister referred to the German scheme as "ridiculous" and "declared that no proposals of any kind had ever been received in Tokyo from Mexico."123 In Great Britain, as could be expected, the main tone was that of happiness and relief. A major reason was that by early April 119 He confessed two days after the speech to his old friend and classmate, Cleveland Dodge: "[T]here is a certain relief in having the task made concrete and definite." (Curry, Woodrow Wilson and Far Eastern policy, 165). 120 Congressional Record, 65th Cong., 1st Session, House, 119­20. 121 Ibid., 120. 122 Fletcher to Polk, February 26, 1917. Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1917. Supplement 1, The World War. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1917. 235. 123 Balfour to Foreign Office, March 5, 1917, TNA, FO 204/492. 120
the submarine question had become serious. Losses were 536,000 tons of shipping in February, 571,000 in March, and 205,000 in the first ten days of April.124 This was a secret, but the United States participation made the whole British government let out a collective sigh of relief. The news meant that with time the losses would be cut back and the greater common effort would take its toll on the German submarine fleet. On the other hand, the German leadership was flabbergasted at the news. Zimmermann was defending himself before the Budget Committee that it was only a proposal and the plan was a sound one regarding its goals, that is, to distract the United States.125 It was altogether an offer in case the United States declared war. Zimmermann used the same line of reasoning in the German Parliament: "...I said that the briefing [the telegram to Eckhardt] may and should only come into effect in the following case, namely after a declaration of war on behalf of the United States, i.e. after the breakout the war between us. Gentlemen, I believe that the briefing is absolutely loyal toward the United States; that nobody can deny."126 What is more intriguing and shows that Zimmermann lied is the fact that on February 8, he sent another telegram to Eckhardt. In this dispatch he ordered Eckhardt to start talks with Carranza right away about an alliance between the two countries, dependent of the war between Germany and the United States, and already start talks with Japan.127 When the news got out, Zimmermann ordered Eckhardt to burn all compromising evidence.128 The German leadership finally concluded that Eckhardt was not to blame, but they had no clue where the betrayal took place.129 With the Zimmermann telegram well known to all, the Germans still hung on to their scheme. In fact, Germany's military leadership held to the belief for months to come that such a plan was feasible. They even tried to establish an alliance with Mexico in August, although in vain.130 The most important issue is how big a role the Zimmermann telegram played in bringing the United States into the war. As an immediate effect, it produced three sets of opinions: it made evident that Germany was not 124 Admiralty Secret Note, April 17, 1917, TNA, HW3/179. 125 Katz, The Secret War in Mexico, 351. 126 German Parliamentary Debates, XIII. Legislaturperiode. II. Session. Band 309. Berlin, 1917. 2898. 127 Zimmermann to Eckhardt, February 8, 1917, TNA, HW7/8. 128 Zimmermann to Eckhardt, March 7, 1917, TNA, HW7/8. 129 German Foreign Office to Eckhardt, April 4, 1917, TNA, HW7/8. 130 Katz, The Secret War in Mexico, 380­381. 121
going to bow to American initiatives and conclude peace with its enemies; that the Germans would not refrain from inflicting harm on the US; and that the telegram must be fake and others were at work to bring the US into the war. The careful British handover of the telegram to the Americans and Zimmermann's surprising admission of his authorship clarified the issues for the whole nation and made it obvious that America had no real other choice but join the war. The telegram proved many people right who had been saying that the only method to deal with the Germans was that of military response. The quick publication of the telegram helped the whole nation swing toward a general belligerence. Wilson, who all along had been burdened with his dilemma over a reachable peace and an inevitable war, recognized right away this possible tool in the telegram. With the telegram's predictable effects, he wished to achieve a unity of Americans in sentiment. He regarded it essential to have the public behind him, especially in the question of war. In the 1910s, the technology was able to assist the President to achieve this goal. But the Zimmermann telegram in itself was not the reason why the country joined the war. The basis to go to war was manifold. First of all, it was the question of neutral nations' rights on the high seas. The German submarine warfare hurt American shipping and pride continuously and drove an irreconcilable wedge between the two countries. Ever since the sinking of the Lusitania, relations were never again cordial and the German stubbornness thwarted any chance of concord. The question of Belgian neutrality and the German rape of it provided grounds for moral dislike against Germany. The authoritarian statehood of the Central Powers was an ideological challenge to America's democracy. By the same token, the whole Western democratic belief was questioned. Both the historical and ideological ties between the United States and England or France were much stronger than to be neglected. There was a very conscious British propaganda working in the United States. Although it never achieved such successes as with the Zimmermann telegram, it managed to emanate a certain amount of anti-German information. In contrast, the German propaganda was never nearly as flourishing. Wilson also wanted to be an active participator in the conclusion of a peace treaty. The only chance to do that, as the Allies had hinted, was to join the war. As he told Jane Addams on February 28, the representative of a neutral country could 122
only "call through a crack in the door" at the peace table.131 And there were the economic ties. As was shown above, the American business needed the war with its orders and markets. American companies reaped huge profits throughout the war and this had to be upheld. Therefore, it must be concluded that there were many causes for the United States to enter the war and no isolated incident can be pointed at as the main reason. The Zimmermann telegram had its unique role with its impact on national sentiment, which proved to be a very strong force. 131 Addams, Jane. Peace and Bread in Time of War. New York: King's Crown Press, 1945. 64. 123
JUDIT SZATHMБRI WISCONSIN: A MICROCOSM OF FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY This paper is constructed to provide an overview of the United States' Indian policy through representative federal acts directed at solving the Indian problem. Both "solve" and "problem" express the standpoint of the United States government and the attitude with which American Indians were viewed by mainstream society. The steadily growing visibility of the "Indian problem" pressured the federal government into action and, thus, the twentieth century has come to see numerous major orders targeting American Indian communities. The ones discussed here were selected out of the many due to the issues they address and the impact they, directly or indirectly, have had on present Indian affairs. I will demonstrate the original motives and unforeseen results of the 1887 General Allotment Act, the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, and the policies of termination and relocation in the particular setting of the State of Wisconsin. Questions of self-determination and land possession will be analyzed as key factors in the quality of one's minority status within the dominant society. The peculiar standing of the American Indian minority adds to the complex interpretations of the federal acts directed at solving the Indian problem. Upon the first contact with the Native inhabitants of the land Europeans saw two options for the American Indian: exterminate or assimilate. By the end of the nineteenth century extermination became a less realistic concept for the federal government due to costs of war and the increasing number of philanthropic attempts to save the man, if not the Indian. Independence as sought by the American Indian nations of the United States and the extent the United States allowed or hindered such attempts is an underlying issue of various government policies directed at the assimilation of Indian people. Self-determination is defined as the power 125
a given tribal entity possesses in controlling affairs within its territorial boundaries (O'Brien 45). Although the pendulum swung many times between the two extremes of assimilation and self-determination, the most harmful effects Indians saw in losing control over their own affairs lay in the opposing understanding and interests of self-determination. The federal government discarded the tribal element, and would acknowledge Indian self-determination exclusively at the individual level contrary to the Indian perception of the tribal nature of self-government. In terms of interests, the United States intended to deal with individuals, while Indians sought a special relationship with the federal government as independent nations. Historians Charles Olson and Raymond Wilson regard some of the acts discussed here as expressions of "the need to slow down" (161) the speed the United States intended to assimilate her Indian nations. The statement is valid and verified by the rather ambiguous intentions of government decisions. The discussion of such policies provides the bases for the establishment of a historical context which helps explain current Indian issues. Although federal acts were to remedy the national Indian problem, a demonstration of particular examples will highlight the discrepancies between intentions and results. Wisconsin: A "natural laboratory" In the preface to the 2002 edition of Wisconsin Indians Lurie claims that Wisconsin "has served as a kind of natural laboratory for most of the government's policies and programs while at the same time Wisconsin Indian tribes and organizations have exemplified and sometimes led in new developments to improve the lives of Indian people" (IX). The first half of the quotation reveals the experience of being an experimental "species" in government politics, whereas the second expresses the outstanding abilities and achievements of the state's Indian communities. The analysis of these two distinctive notions will highlight how Indian people profited from their relatively early experience of federal Indian policy. Lurie also claims that following the events of 1969--the first publication of her Wisconsin Indians--"Wisconsin continues to offer an unusual opportunity to understand the national Indian picture" (IX). This method also works reciprocally; the difficulties in mapping the Indian situation in multicultural America are easier to overcome with a special focus on one selected exemplary case. 126
Wisconsin hosts a large Indian population with tribes representing cultural and linguistic varieties. According to 2000 Census data the state's total population of 5,363,675 includes 47,228 American Indians and Alaska Natives (Wisconsin Census). In view of the fact that the Indian population of the state is "the fourth largest east of the Mississippi River" (Lurie, Wisconsin 1) may explain its function as an experimental area for government policies. The Wisconsin Census data does not offer the category of American Indian or Native Alaskan alone or in combination, but the Census is the only resource one may employ for information of racial composition. The Census of total population by race divided into counties includes the category of two or more races with no reference to what combination it refers to, thus the number of the American Indian populace of the state is rather an estimate than exact data. To illustrate the variety of Indian cultures in the state and prepare for the analysis of Wisconsin's particular standing in Indian policy the seven current tribes of Wisconsin will be discussed briefly. The Chippewa/Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Menominee, Brotherton, Stockbridge-Munsee are Algonquian, the Oneida, former members of the Iroquois Confederacy, and the Siouan Winnebagos belong to three different linguistic stocks. The Brotherton have applied for federal recognition to the Bureau of Acknowledgement and Recognition but have not received federal tribal status as yet. The United States' "divide and rule" policy affecting Indian populations is also a part of Wisconsin's Indian history. The Menominee, "the oldest known continuous residents [...] an undivided exclusively Wisconsin tribe" (Lurie, Wisconsin 10) and the Winnebagos, who now prefer to be called Ho-Chunk, were the first two nations populating the state. They arrived prior to white settlement, and lived in large communities which explains why "[the Winnebagos] were so particularly hard hit" with the "impact of new diseases" (Lurie, Wisconsin 13) brought by newly arriving Indians and white settlers. Due to the settlers' pushing Indians further west into the continent, Wisconsin also hosts "New York Indians" (Lurie, Wisconsin 10). The Stockbridge-Munsee, the Oneida and the Brotherton tribes are located in the north of the state. Their moving to Wisconsin in the 1820s and 1830s brought about clashes with the already present Menominee. Federal policy tried to compromise the conflicts "resulting in the most complicated set of Indian land transactions in Wisconsin" (Lurie, Wisconsin 10). There are six Chippewa/Ojibwa reservations in the state, and they are spread over a wide area which accounts 127
for the "rise to virtually autonomous bands" (Lurie, Wisconsin 9). The tribe also has relatives in Canada, Minnesota and Michigan. The Potawatomi were also refugees in the state and have ties with their tribe located in Canada, Oklahoma and Kansas. "The Potawatomis had a cohesive sense of tribal identity, and their dispersion into separate entities resulted from their treatment by the government" (Lurie, Wisconsin 9). Rather than analyzing individual treaties signed by Wisconsin Indians and the United States, I will list selected examples of the government's Indian policy and elaborate on how the state handles its own Indian problem. The twentieth century deserves special attention, as a number of precedents attracted national interest. Lurie states that "virtually every experiment in the history of the Indian policy has been tried out on one tribe or another in Wisconsin, but it seems that no matter what the government attempted, the effect was progressive impoverishment of the Indian people" (Lurie, Wisconsin 15). The precedents introduced here will describe how federal and state power affected any given Indian population, and how Indian people tried to counteract the destructive forces of certain policies. Imbedded in the United States Indian policy was the concept that Indian people were disappearing fast on contact with white people. Policy makers constructed their theories around the concept of the "vanishing race" still prevailing in mainstream America. However, already in the nineteenth century treaty making period, the process of vanishing stopped. As Lurie says: "Had the treaty makers glanced eastward at the Indians longest in contact with whites, they would have seen that not all of them vanished and their population had ceased decreasing" (Lurie, Wisconsin 17). The Oneida provide a relevant example to this fact. By the time Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848, except for their reservation all Indian land was in the possession of the United States with the intention of Indians being relocated in Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River (Lurie, Wisconsin 22). Just as the reservation system provided a potential alliance of former enemies by uniting their forces against the United States, such dangers were also imbedded in settling various tribes in the proximity of each other. Again, Wisconsin proves how federal Indian policy was tested on the state's Indian population. Three of the tribes were resettled in the state from the New York area; the Winnebago were divided within the state and western lands, while Wisconsin tribes who settled in the state earlier 128
were pushed to western territories. Only the Menominee avoided relocation (Lurie, Wisconsin 19­23). While most historians regard the 1889 Wounded Knee massacre to be the closing point of armed Indian resistance, the end of the treaty making period in 1871 and the 1887 obstruction of collective Indian land ownership had already paved the way for the last Indian war. Possession of tribal lands is a key issue in determining the status of the American Indian in mainstream American society and it is also a significant factor in the Indian communities' self-perception. Thus the analysis of federal Indian policy must appropriately begin with a measure targeted at the destruction of tribal land bases: the General Allotment Act of 1887. The General Allotment Act (1887) The General Allotment Act was to destroy first all that was left of the Indian spirit by terminating tribal land bases. Although the year 1871 was meant to be the ending of the treaty making period, the United States government found new means to retain some of the land mass assigned to Indians in treaties. Formerly granted reservations included in the numerous treaties between the United States and any given tribe were broken up into parcels of land and ownership of 180-acre or smaller tracts was assigned to individuals and family units. The rest of the land was offered to anyone for purchase with the idea that the proceeds would be reinvested in the government's integration process of the American Indian. The federal government designed a scheme by which the sums thus gained were to be used in the education of Indian people to acquire small-farmer skills and convert to an independent, agricultural way of life. The notion of independence in this context is defined by the United States and its political bodies, and not by the Indian communities affected by the act. Ideally, the thus trained Indian population was to become selfsufficient and independent of all government agencies for annuities and other aids for their survival. But this notion also implied the loss of tribal cultures. By losing tribal land bases, Indian cultures would be void of a literal and figurative home ground. Many foresaw the problems buried under the integrationist slogan of the allotment policy. The scheme of utilizing surplus lands resulted in the fact that two-thirds of the formerly established reservations' territory was sold out of Indian ownership by the mid-1930s (O'Brien 43). Thus lands, formerly secured by the treaties, fell 129
out of collective Indian control. Although the guidelines designed to govern the purchase of allotted and surplus reservation lands were to ensure the success of federal intentions to reshape American Indians as small-farmers, they did not achieve the federally desired aim. Experts predicted Indian assimilation into white culture would take approximately twenty-five years, and federal tax exemption during these years was supposed to assist Indian people in making a rather tolerable agricultural living. Another rule secured that allotments were not to be alienated for the same period of time. Small-scale farming did not prove to be a success. Firstly, the policy was introduced at a time when such agricultural methods were giving way to large-scale farming. The policy of allotment disregarded natural phenomena and some of the lands distributed among families were by no means suitable for farming. Also, many of the tribes lacked the tradition of family farming, and very little assistance was provided in terms of practical advice. Furthermore, the proximity of relatively well to do white neighbors who, at any time, could buy out Indian property created a rather insecure situation with regard to the rapidly shrinking tribal land base. Although tax exemption eased the burden of individual farmers, it did not compensate for the capital necessary for economic investment. Thus, white farmers in the proximity of reservations had the opportunity to rent Indian allotments for a nominal fee. More problems arose when allotted land became an issue of inheritance. The small acreage was divided into even smaller units, disabling heirs to make a living on farming. Since every single transaction was under the control of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was entitled to determine the fate of allotted parcels, much depended on the bureaucracy the Bureau of Indian Affairs represented. Corruption, which has posed a threat from the very first moments of the BIA's existence, seriously hindered a beneficial and effective handling of matters from the Indian point of view. The first and rather practical step of diminishing the land base of any tribal entity directly led to the second, more political aim. Just as all other government decisions concerning the Indian peoples of the United States of America, this act also had two dimensions: on the one hand, the government could carry out and fulfill its role as guardian of its wards. In the long run, however, assimilation was the ultimate goal: by forcing Indian nations, or rather, individuals and family units to conform to mainstream ideals and way of life, the government was to solve the Indian problem by making the Indian disappear. The General Allotment Act may 130
also be interpreted as the revision of the formerly favored treaty-making policy. However successful and pragmatic the concept of reservations was, it failed to work in every case. As the Wounded Knee massacre suggests, the radical and quite war-like Plains tribes would not obey integration, much less assimilationist attempts. There were other reasons why reservations could not be considered an ultimate bliss to solve the Indian problem. Some regarded them as a possible cradle for allied Indian resistance against government actions. The General Allotment Act answered all these doubts by shifting the Indian problem to the individual or family level and, instead of negotiating with tribes, the federal government had an easier access to peoples' control over their lives. With the loss of tribal land base, tribal governments also lost their say in tribal matters, since allotments were owned by family units. In the long run, tribal governments were expected to cease to function as a political body with power, however little it was, over Indian matters and this would have completed the assimilationist procedure. Vine Deloria argues that the most significant implication of the General Allotment Act is not included in the act itself, but is borne by the amendments which modified the original intentions of the government. It is explicit that the act, by assigning power to the president of the United States to decide single-handedly about allotting and purchasing land base, is a key factor in assimilationist attempts. More problematic is, however, the role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which, under the amendments, was to gain more control and act on behalf of designated American Indians (Deloria 247). Moreover, the "educational" implications to train Indians as farmers lost their original impetus in view of how the Bureau under the Department of the Interior gained more administrative control over Indian matters. Similarly to all the actions to "solve" the Indian problem, the General Allotment Act also had philanthropic implications. Many, who wanted to save the American Indian, joined the assimilationist circle with the belief that the only way for native peoples of the country to survive is to assimilate to the dominant society. This implied the inevitable loss of Indian cultures, but, in their view, it was a rather small price in exchange for American citizenship. Collective land ownership, the Indian agricultural methods and the cultural differences were obstacles towards total integration. The fact that Indian people did not wish to be integrated, much less to leave their cultures behind for a granted acreage of land was 131
not an issue taken into consideration by friends of the Indian. The door was opened wide by the government and by various means it was dragging American Indians in a space where, superficially at least, they could "upgrade" their status to that of mainstream Americans. The 1887 General Allotment Act had severe consequences in the state of Wisconsin. Due to different tribal organizations, the seven Wisconsin tribes were variously affected by the parceling out of reservation territory. The Menominee already operated their lumber industry, and held the largest reservation land in the state which was never subjected to allotment. Proponents of allotment saw the Menominee success as a proof to the American Indian adapting to mainstream values. Although the tribe managed to avoid allotment, their economic prosperity did not save the reservation from another harmful government policy introduced seven decades later. The Oneida and the Stockbridge-Munsee reservations were eliminated and by 1910 "all the land was divided and fee patents were issued, taking the reservation out of tribal trust status" (Lurie, Wisconsin 37). As opposed to the "almost three-quarters loss sustained across the country," in Wisconsin "about half of the total reservation acreage was lost" (Lurie, Wisconsin 37). Allotment bears its consequences even today, as when a tribally initiated business requires undivided land, parcels lost through the procedure of allotment may pose a problem. May it be lumbering, tourism, or any industrial or agricultural enterprise in the state, patchwork-like reservations make investment problematic. Self-determination also implies self-sustainment to a certain extent as federal assistance is unreliable to predict in long-term planning. And, though, allotment was repealed in 1934 with the passing of the Indian Reorganization Act, tribes are still struggling with its effects. The Indian Reorganization Act (1934) The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 seemingly follows the spirit of slowing down the assimilationist policy of the United States. The IRA, designed primarily to revoke the harms caused by the General Allotment Act, and partly to compensate for its wrongs, enabled tribal communities to organize their own governments and practice the long-sought selfdetermination. Self-determination in this context has two implications. Under the IRA, tribal governments are reorganized as "political communities that could govern their citizens and deal with the federal 132
government" (Lacy 92). By extension of this rule, the Indian Reorganization Act is also a promotion of the formerly disregarded tribal identity (Holm 140). As the urban Indian population is not viewed as a separate entity at this point in time, the power thus assigned to tribal governments only applies to matters within reservation boundaries. The Indian Reorganization Act targeted four areas of American Indian reservation life. The first one was to allow Indians "residing on reservations to establish local self-governments and tribal corporations to improve tribal resources" (Olson and Wilson 116). Disregarding urban Indian populations this title of the act was to be the forerunner of selfdetermination exclusively on reservations. Title II of the act aimed at assisting Indians by offering training "in forest management, public health, law enforcement and record keeping and provided scholarship money for gifted students" (Olson and Wilson 116) . Title III of the IRA was to end the General Allotment Act and to provide "consolidation of allotted and heirship lands into productive community use" (Olson and Wilson 116). Title IV established the Court of Indian Affairs to have "jurisdiction over reservation crimes and cases where at least one of the parties was Native American" (Olson and Wilson 116). The greatest achievement of the IRA is the result of its termination of the General Allotment Act. The Department of the Interior provided funds and returned some of the lands lost to allotment, but it was far less than the land which fell prey to the former government policy. Actual compensation for the loss of tribal land bases did not equal the fact that Allotment was outlawed. Although Olson and Wilson claim it an achievement, I do not believe that "the federal government had given at least lip service to the principle of self-determination" can be declared an overall success. Parts of the act targeting education, self-determination and jurisdiction in certain matters on Indian land are signs of the "revolutionary" changes in Indian policy after the General Allotment Act. Attempts had been made and many American Indians became aware of their power under the IRA, but the Act could not answer all the problems American Indians experienced. As the tragic effects of allotment became obvious by the 1920s, and John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs represented a more liberal view, a new policy was required to strengthen the Indian spirit. From the Indian perspective the first moves of the Act were unanimously viewed as positive. Repealing the allotment laws, reestablishing surplus reservation land and removing restrictions on exchanging allotment lands were vital deeds towards self-determination. 133
In addition, the referendum required of tribal communities to accept or reject the act was also a democratic notion never experienced by Indian communities before. Even the charting of tribal constitutions was assigned to Indian communities themselves. Such grand gestures of independence had never been displayed by the United States in its Indian policy. One of the most well-intentioned federal acts, the IRA is the first to allow existence within the Indian space and tribal entities to experience their own cultural existence. This existence, and the borders surrounding it are still drawn by the United States federal government, but it assists the ethno-racial bloc to construct itself from within, at least to a certain extent. This act may also be interpreted as a possible manifestation of future postethnicity, although its main function is to target the wrongs of former policies which the concept of postethnicity declares to go beyond. The benefits and novelties brought about by the IRA should point towards a brighter American Indian future in mainstream society. Yet, eventually, self-determination could not manifest at large. Even though the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 was devoted to the principle of self-determination and tribal constitutions were to demonstrate such a principle, the Secretary of the Interior was delegated "significant veto powers over tribal affairs" (Olson and Wilson 161). This issue is further explored by Deloria, who relies on the wording of the Indian Reorganization Act when he questions its benevolent nature: The legislation governing Indians has always been tied to the phrase "the Secretary of Interior may authorize, in his discretion." The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, generally thought of as the epitome liberalizing law toward the tribes, was replete with "the Secretary of Interior may authorize..." "the Secretary of Interior is hereby authorized to proclaim ..." "the Secretary of Interior is directed to make rules and regulations." Even the tribal elections have had to be governed by "the Secretary of Interior under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe." (qtd. in Steiner 264) The above excerpt highlights how Indian reorganization was allowed to materialize. Tribes were secured the right to counteract the previous destructive federal Indian policy by reorganizing themselves, as long as such reorganization did not clash with federal interests. After any given tribe's referendum to accept the IRA, tribes were to chart their own constitutions which, again although "had to be approved by the majority vote of the tribe" (Olson and Wilson 118) also required a consent from 134
the Secretary of the Interior (Olson and Wilson 118). Opponents to the IRA gained so much strength within a year after the act was passed, that "congressional appropriations to the Indian reorganization Act programs were cut beginning in 1935" (Olson and Wilson 120). An example from the State of Oklahoma illustrates the power the Secretary of the Interior held over Indian self-determination. Since reservations did not exist west of the Mississippi, Oklahoma Indians held a special relationship with the federal government different from that of reservation Indians. Under the Thomas-Rogers Bill American Indians in Oklahoma were placed under federal guardianship, but "in order to satisfy non-Native American assimilationists, mixed-bloods and assimilated Native Americans, the bill allowed Native Americans of less that half-blood Native American ancestry to be `relieved of all restrictions' on their property" (Olson and Wilson 121). Indians who did not subscribe to federal guardianship had to apply to a special committee to determine whether they were competent enough to handle their own property. And it was "the Secretary of the Interior [who] would make the final decision in lifting such restrictions, based on recommendations from a special competency commission" (Olson and Wilson 121). The explicit aims of the Indian Reorganization Act may be regarded beneficial, but the political operations underlying it raise doubts of its outcomes. Self-determination seems to bear paradoxical connotations for many American Indian advocates of the IRA. While it implies a great deal of independence possessed by the tribes, it also relies heavily upon the concept of federal trust status. Following in the footsteps of the treatymaking period, advocates of trust status wished to maintain the strongest ties possible with the federal government. Experiences with abridging voting rights merely a decade prior to the IRA may explain the preference for federal and the distrust for state and local agencies. Local and state governments have always been more likely to give priority to economic interests of non-Indian nature. Assigning the power to deal with Indian communities to local and state agencies was viewed as "a guarantee of discrimination and exploitation" (Olson and Wilson 162). To illustrate this point, Title III of the IRA evoked serious criticism from politicians who claimed that tribal governments with their own constitutions would "threaten the process of assimilation" (Olson and Wilson 117) and thus would pose and obstacle to the solving of the Indian problem. These Congressmen also feared that the land base freed by allotment would fall out of the reach of non-reservation interests. Their argument claimed that 135
under the IRA American Indians were "segregated [...] from European society" (Olson and Wilson 120), but the underlying meaning implied the "[prevention of] `efficient' development of reservation resources" (Olson and Wilson 120). With reservations broken up into checkers of land, efficient utilization of resources could only come from non-Indian investors, who would contribute to state tax revenues unlike the federally held trust lands. Added to this is the claim voiced by opponents that tribal land ownership "supported anti-Christian and communistic principles" (Olson and Wilson 120). The setting up of tribal governments was regarded as a great opportunity for self-improvement. Yet, the Bureau of Indian Affairs strode to shape the newly forming tribal governing bodies in the image of the United States government. Tribal constitutions were to be charted to be duplicates of the United States Constitution regardless of any cultural and historical difference. Partly due to the limited success in assimilating the American Indian, the Bureau of Indian Affairs managed to take strong control over tribal matters. Ironically enough, despite its undoubtedly beneficial aspects, the IRA also marked the end of the decade of mild or slow assimilation. It only took a decade and a half for the pendulum to swing back towards the policy of aggressive assimilation. The discouragement of tribal practices is another example of how the cultural content of the American Indian bloc was held under supervision. When the tribes accepted to subscribe to the IRA they were offered assistance by the federal government in drawing up their constitutions. It is significant to mention here that the legal assistance came from members of the Interior Department who "prepared a model constitution to follow" (Olson and Wilson 119). Although some tribes found this helpful, many considered "its abundance of `legalese' [...] difficult to comprehend, and it was too general to take into account the particular needs and expectations of individual tribes" (Olson and Wilson 119). John Collier gave priority to Indian interest as much as he could in the bureaucratic decision making processes, yet, he was often criticized by Indian people themselves for underestimating American Indian cultural diversity and the frequent barriers of factionalism (Olson and Wilson 122). The IRA required majority vote on many levels which "posed problems for a people who had a long tradition of reaching decisions by consensus or persuasion" (Olson and Wilson 122). The IRA also failed to acknowledge cultures where centralized tribal government had not been 136
part of the decision making process. The Wisconsin Winnebago and Menominee are two examples to illustrate the operation of the IRA. In 1926, on the request of the Board of Indian Commissioners, the Institute for Government research assigned the task of investigating American Indian grievances to Dr. Lewis Meriam, a social scientist. Financed by John D. Rockefeller, with a staff of nine education, health, sociology, economics and law experts, Meriam conducted a seven-month research including field trips throughout the United States. In 1928 the data collected was published under the title The Problem of Indian Administration (Olson and Wilson 100). The 1928 Meriam Report was designated to reveal the problems of the American Indian population in the United States. Just as in 1887, Wisconsin was cited as an exemplary case. The Menominee, who did not have to undergo allotment, were shown a model tribe with their successfully operating lumbering and forestry. The report did not claim the tribe to be well-to-do, but stated that it could "carefully manage" its business, "[provide] employment" and "[support] community facilities and services" (Lurie, Wisconsin 40). Interpreted as both a positive example to follow by Indian people and to prove the United States that tribes could manage on their own, the Menominee case should be ideal. For one, they were exempt from allotment the effect of which other tribes had to struggle with. More importantly, they seemed to be able to counteract the cultural deIndianization imbedded in the former federal Indian policy. Within their own Indian country, supporting themselves on terms mainstream America expected them to, the need to assimilate and lose Indianness was not on the agenda. As such, they counteracted the individualistic nature of American ideals, and still sustained tribal membership as primary affiliation. The Menominee proved that economic prosperity did not necessarily entail individualism as promoted by mainstream thinking. They provided an alternative to assimilationist policy by maintaining tribal property and economically functioning as mainstream society rules would direct. Neither the Winnebago nor the Menominee subscribed to the IRA as "they already had an elected tribal government that had evolved as their lumbering enterprise required tribal approval of contracts" (Lurie, Wisconsin 41). The Winnebago, with no reservation of their own, did not vote for or against the IRA, as they believed "it might jeopardize their long-standing hope of collecting money [...] from old treaty negotiations" (Lurie, Wisconsin 41). Yet, other tribes profited from the IRA as two of 137
the Chippewa reservations, and the extension of the Stockbridge and Oneida lands became possible through the act. In conclusion, the Indian Reorganization Act had complex effects on the American Indian minority. Restoring tribal land bases was the first and foremost advantage Indian people could gain from the Act. Even though the amount of land could not compensate for the loss, it was a beneficial step on behalf of the federal government. Tribal constitutions and self-determination are more problematic to see in such a positive light, as the bureaucracy of the BIA and the singular power of the Secretary of the Interior hindered much of development the two titles offered. However, contrasted with the following acts the IRA was a permissive step toward self-determination. Termination (1954) and Relocation (1955) Shirley Witt sees the essence of termination policy as "[t]he unilateral withdrawal of federal services to Indians [...] related policies and legislation, such as resolutions, bills, acts and public laws which lead to this same end" (96). The most assimilationist of all twentieth-century Indian policies, at its core, termination is the removal of tribal lands from tax exemption and placing them on state tax rolls. This entails that tribes are no longer subject to federal powers but to those of state and local governments. As it has been demonstrated, most Indian tribes regarded their special relationship with the federal government inevitable for their survival, thus termination meant a threat to tribal integrity. Similarly to the Indian Reorganization Act, the issue of self-determination is also an essential question here as "terminated tribes and non-federally recognized tribes, which make up almost one third of all indigenous peoples in the United States, have no federally recognized rights of self-determination" (O'Brien 44). Termination implies that tribes cease to exist as political units which would be represented by their own governments towards federal powers. By extension, it also means the loss of tribal integrity, and eventually, the loss of tribal cultures. Besides the economic and strongly related cultural issues, without the tribal land base, tribal governments which were set up under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act are done away with and former tribal membership is replaced by a status similar to all other citizens of the United States. Within a decade, "Congress had terminated its relationship with 109 bands and tribes" (O'Brien 44). Such figures explain why it is hard to 138
agree with Deloria's standpoint that "too much is made [...] of the importance of termination [...] more important in terms of identifying the status of American Indians in American society was the propensity of Congress to continue the wartime subsidy into the cold war years" ("Evolution" 250). During the two decades between the Indian Reorganization Act and the policy of termination, many Indians moved to the cities in search of a better future. This, however, did not equal the rejection of one's Indianness. The federal government disregarded the possibility that Indian space was carried internally and by the individual American Indian to any place they moved. From a mistaken federal perspective, Indians were flocking away from reservations in their attempt to integrate, at least economically, into mainstream American society, and, thus, the time seemed right to end the rather frustrating relationship with Indian tribes. Introduced in 1954, but already an existing plan in the late 1940s, termination was accompanied by the notion of relocation. From the federal perspective, the two policies rely on and generate each other. Mass migration off the reservations into the cities was to bring about the disintegration of existing Indian communities. By promoting relocation in urban areas, termination of tribal entities seemed a logical step. The reverse process is also verified. Withdrawing federal services from reservations would result in American Indians seeking the same services under seemingly better circumstances, more accessible in cities than in rural areas. While more and more Indian people are encouraged to leave the reservations behind and try an "independent" life in one of America's large cities, there is the distinct possibility that the a slowly disintegrating political body of tribal governments will soon cease to function. Just as in the case of the General Allotment Act, the underlying intention was to solve the Indian problem by discarding the Indian features and viewing the problem, such as poverty, lack of education, housing matters by the same standards as all other, similarly disadvantageous people would share. However, in this view, the major principle is not the issue of equality, but the disregarding of tribal features, and special cultural traits. Termination illustrates the cultural conflict which has existed ever since the first contact between Europeans and American Indians as it fails to acknowledge Indian people's rejection of individualism. Although it is considered outdated in the twentieth century, Indian communities believed in cultural and not individual survival. The problems of housing, lack of education and poverty are 139
notions that Indian people attempted at solving communally. Their belief in being "sovereign, dependent" nations protected by the United States Government still persists. Unlike other disadvantageous minorities, the partially restored tribal land bases under the IRA, merely two decades prior to termination, provided a possibility to negotiate with the federal government. This is not to say that reservations were the sole locale of the Indian problem, and as the federal government came to see it, it had to be relocated in order to be solved more easily. Moving to urban areas accelerated after Word War II and was strongly encouraged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Voluntary Relocation Policy of 1955 whereby the BIA subsidized transportation to and adjustment in an urban environment. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was to assist both total integration in mainstream American society and the preservation of a separate Indian character in cities. Neither of these declared goals accomplished in their entirety. Relocation was a means to promote integration, but this attempt failed. The promise that city life would bring about improved social and economic conditions compared to reservations proved to lack any foundation. Unemployment, poverty, housing problems, and the lack of education were as pressing problems in the cities as they were on the reservation. In addition, off-reservation Indians experienced a total neglect of their existence. Louis Bruce, Nixon's Commissioner of Indian Affairs, experienced very harsh criticism from urban Indian groups as soon as he took office. They attacked the Bureau's passivity, in response to which the Commissioner said, "the Bureau of Indian Affairs is concerned primarily with Indians living on tribal lands. It is neither set up nor financed to assume responsibility for off reservation Indians" ("Militant" n.pag). This response justifies the interconnected nature of termination and relocation. No matter what the original intentions were, neither relocation, nor termination could solve the "Indian problem." On the contrary, not only did it remain a significant issue, but it soon acquired new characteristics. Relocation policy was to assist American Indians' blending in not only urban, but by the same token, mainstream American society. Ideally, those who undertook relocation to urban areas were expected soon to adjust to city life and become "lost" in the cities as Indians. At its best, this disappearance was literal and figurative at the same time. On the surface the program did not conflict with Indian aims, as the largest attraction of leaving home communities was economic improvement. However, frequent returns to the reservations, at least once a year according to 1960s count (Mudgett and Wilson 1) did not assist cutting 140
the ties with one's American Indian roots. A seasonal fluctuation can also be detected in city Indian populations. In addition, a "reverse relocation" process affected not only those who were unable to adjust and adapt to urban living but it "varies from those who could not be successful in an urban, mostly white environment to professionals who adjusted easily to non-Indian society" (Mullen). Reservations were still considered the sole homeland American Indians possessed even if living in cities. In Wisconsin, urban Indian populations were significantly altered due to relocation. "The state's largest intertribal urban population is in Milwaukee (variously estimated today at around 10,000), where Indian people began settling in the 1920s and, in 1937, founded the state's first (and among the nation's oldest) urban Indian organizations, the Consolidated Tribes of Milwaukee" (Lurie, Wisconsin 1). While other large cities in the United States, such as Denver, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles hosted designated BIA offices to assist relocation, Milwaukee was never declared an official relocation city under the Voluntary Relocation Program of the 1950s. Nevertheless, the growing number of relocatees in the city led to the Bureau's setting up of "information clearinghouses" (Lurie, Wisconsin 48) to assist its Indian population of considerable size. The city drew most of its Indian migrants from Wisconsin. The relative proximity of home communities, however, was not sufficient enough to assist adaptation to city life. Decades after the first urban self-help organization came to being new forums were necessary to help relocatees cope with the non-reservation environment. In Milwaukee, an urban Indian culture center, numerous self-help oragnizations and a tribally run school helped reconcile the differences between non-Indian urban communities, reservation communities and urban Indian communities. Many of the organizations which sprang up during the relocation period disappeared after a few years of operation, but some are still active today with slightly altered programs on their agenda. In Wisconsin the policy of termination had two significant consequences. The first was the state's acceptance of Public Law 280, a federal statute, which enabled states to assume criminal, as well as civil jurisdiction in matters involving Indians as litigants on reservation land. Prior to Public Law 280, these cases were the responsibility of either tribal or federal courts. "Essentially, Public Law 280 was an attempt by the federal government to reduce its role in Indian affairs" (Public). 141
Enumerated in Public Law 280 were six states which were "obliged to assume jurisdiction from the outset of the law," (Public) including Wisconsin. Many opposed the enactment of Public Law 280 in the state for numerous reasons. As in many other cases affecting Indian matters, it was passed without the consent of Indian people. Although in 1968 it was amended "requiring the consent of the tribe, consent was not required for states that had assumed jurisdiction up to 1968" (Public). Thus, Wisconsin acted without tribal consent. In addition to this argument based on moral grounds, a more pragmatic explanation was explicit to the opponents. With termination and relocation on the agenda, Public Law 280 was just another move of the federal government to shift economic responsibilities of the pressing Indian problem onto the states. The second, and more severe, effect of termination is displayed by the fate of the Menominee tribe. The oldest, exclusively Wisconsin, tribe had been mentioned with regard to the policies affecting the tribes of the state. Their success in avoiding allotment backfired with the policy of termination and their exemplary status in the Meriam report brought tragic consequences. As the report proved the Menominee success in their enterprises, they became primary targets on the termination agenda. Although the tribe had about "$10 million in cash assets" (Lurie, Wisconsin 47), awards from a suit with the federal government for mismanagement of their business, the Menominee were cheated into termination. "The tribe had voted to use more than half of their award in per capita payments [...] the rest they earmarked for improvements to their hospital and other tribal purposes" (Lurie, Wisconsin 47). Still following the practice of the ward-guardian relationship between Indians and the federal government, Congress had the final say in paying the award. The Menominee were called together on two occasions to vote about the issue of termination. The first time they were threatened that if they rejected termination, their awards, even though they were its rightful possessors, would not be allocated for per capita payments. The voting procedure confused tribal members, since the two questions of accepting termination and renouncing the money already awarded, were posed singularly. A single "yes" or ""no" was accepted to answer the two questions. As people were concerned with their legal claims, most of them voted "yes" which in the government's reading meant an acceptance of termination. By the time the tribe called together a second poll and explicitly voted against termination, Congress had accepted the first results and neglected the unanimous tribal rejection of termination (Lurie, 142
Wisconsin 46­50). Just as in the case of the interpretation of treaties, purposefully ambiguous communication was a major weapon in the hands of proponents of Menominee termination to deceive Indian people. "The principle of termination" (Lurie, Wisconsin 47) and the combination of the two issues entrapped the Menominee in a situation which took two decades to change. The Menominee Termination Act was passed in 1954, and went into effect in 1961. The consequences of termination were devastating for the Menominee. Most of their "working capital had been wiped out because the government had forced them to pay part of the cost of developing a termination plan they had not wanted in the first place" (Lurie, Wisconsin 53). As a result of this, the tribe lost its hospital and businesses which they were supporting on the award money. The Menominee Reservation was renamed Menominee County, but this name change was the least harmful of the consequences of termination. For services they had provided for themselves before the act was passed, they had to rely on Shawano County. The tribe was turned into Menominee Enterprises, Inc. (MEI) which functioned as a business management body with former tribal members being stock holders in the company. Seemingly a democratic organization, MEI operated with a "voting trust that actually held all the shares and voted those of minors and `incompetents' as a bloc" (Lurie, Wisconsin 53). This meant that the Menominee people had less say in their own affairs than ever before, and as MEI was headed by white businessmen, the organization could not function as a tribal enterprise. With losing money to termination, and the effects of the loss of federal trust status, the Menominee soon had to apply for emergency investments from the federal government to cope with increasing problems. Tribal self-sufficiency was also terminated with its loss of federal trust status. Since MEI was not bound to represent Menominee interests it soon became apparent that its business transactions did more harm than advance people's lives, thus in 1970 concerned Menominees formed "Determination of Rights and Unity for Menominee Shareholders (DRUMS)" (Lurie, Wisconsin 54). The acronym was an appropriate choice of name, as it symbolically expresses, on the one hand, the Menominee's voicing their concerns over mismanagement of business, and, on the other, recalls an American Indian symbol of unity with sacred implications. With the help of DRUMS, a march to the state capitol, explicitly a Civil Rights method, the assistance of Governor Patrick Lucey, and lobbying Congress, the tribe succeeded in repealing 143
termination in 1973. The Menominee Restoration Committee, headed by Ada Deer, was set up to recover as much of the loss as possible, and its primary goal was to achieve "federal protection without federal domination" (Lurie, Wisconsin 55). Between the enactment of the Menominee termination act and restoration in 1973, the situation of the tribe altered both economically and socially to the extent that a single act could not restore the original state of tribal trust. One concomitant of the termination period was increased Indian Activism. The Menominee offer an example with the Menominee Warrior Society, who, dissatisfied with the slow changes after restoration and claiming that the newly established Restoration Committee "were insensitive to the grass roots people" (Lurie, Wisconsin 56) occupied the vacant Alexian novitiate, property of the Roman Catholic Church. This former place of peace turned into a "war zone" and a "training ground for militants and the military" (Wells n.pag.). The Warriors believed that instead of the slow bureaucratic procedures of the Restoration Committee, direct action was needed for the tribe to be restored. The takeover also had greater implications, as the reasons cited by the warriors varied from "racism by whites against Indians" to "secure[ing] a hospital for the tribe" and "to protest the terms of the 1934 Indian Restoration Act and the way it was executed in Menominee County" (Wells n.pag.). Remembering the violence of Alcatraz, and the Wounded Knee trading post occupations, the Wisconsin National Guard was called in to ward off more serious events. The handful of warriors faced 1000 National Guardsmen in their 34-day occupation of the novitiate. The Restoration Committee renounced any connection with the Warrior Society, and the occupation resulted in tribal factionalism. Commenting on the takeover the acting tribal government described the Warrior Society as a "dissident minority who were disenchanted after losing an election" (Wells 7). "Further internal disturbances [...] including seven violent deaths" resulted in the fact that "it took the Menominee five years to reach an agreement on a constitution and the election of permanent officers" (Lurie, Wisconsin 56). These incidents are proofs to how termination did not only affect the tribe economically, but also had social and political consequences. Tribal factionalism and conflicts between MEI, DRUMS and The Menominee Warriors Society eventually could have led to total dispersion. Yet, cultural bonds are stronger and being a Menominee took priority over these struggles. This is not to say that all the problems were soothed with 144
the help of the tribal culture, but the Menominee tribal spirit proved stronger than the harmful effects of government policy. Their case also demonstrated to the government that termination is not only a dead-end solution to the Indian problem, but, in fact, increases it and requires more federal assistance than before. With their failure, both termination and relocation proved that the decades after World War II already bore the ideals of a multicultural society. The unsuccessful attempt to make the Indian disappear either in urban areas or with the destruction of reservations may also be identified as the time when one of the ethno-racial blocs voluntarily strengthened and maintained its borders separating the culture it holds, thus increasing the values American Indian cultures possess. The underlying assimilationist intentions of allotment, relocation and termination are contrasted with the Indian Reorganization Act allowing self-determination. Within the span of seven decades the policy of total assimilation as promoted by the General Allotment Act was revoked as a failure and mildly compensated by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, but termination and relocation followed the guidelines and intentions of the former. Today in Wisconsin, the forces shaping federal Indian policy accumulate in various treaty rights controversies. However, as the events in Wisconsin demonstrate, water, hunting and fishing rights issues do not only entail antagonism and anti-Indian sentiments. Treaty Rights Controversies Quoting Martin Luther King's "I had a dream," Joe Handrick says: "If King were alive today to make such a statement in northern Wisconsin in 1987, he would be branded a racist by those who support American Indian spearfishing" (n.pag.). The author of "WE ARE NOT RACIST" is referring to the conflicts arising from treaty interpretations, and the consequences it had in Wisconsin. Treaty Rights Controversies affected the Chippewa people the most. Following the Civil Rights tactics already mentioned with regard to the Menominee, the Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa took immediate action and occupied a dam to protect their rights promised in 1921. The Lac Courte Oreilles protested the destruction of Indian graves and homes, and the flooding of more reservation territory than the contract assigned to the Northern States Power Company. The flooding affected wild rice beds which the Lac Courte Oreilles were dependent on (Lurie, Wisconsin 65). The Chippewa 145
right to hunt and fish on ceded land was upheld pursuant to the treaty of 1837. Although the Lac Courte Oreilles originally based their argument on business contracts, the case soon entailed the issue of treaty rights. "A precedent-setting case in 1974 in the state of Washington had special importance for the Wisconsin Chippewas" (Lurie, Wisconsin 66). The case stated that Indian people were entitled to gather, hunt and fish in the territories they ceded, since they signed away the land itself and not the rights connected to it. Fishing and tourism was a growing attraction in Wisconsin providing increasing revenues, and the state soon became concerned with "illegal" Indian fishing and hunting. The matter became more complicated with the enactment of Public Law 280, mentioned above. On Indian protest in 1966, "the state attorney general ruled that the state could enforce its game laws on Indians only outside the boundaries of reservations" (Lurie, Wisconsin 66). 1974 saw the evolving conflicts of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band when they argued that the arrest of two band members for spearfishing off the reservation abrogated their treaty rights. The case began in 1974 but it reached final decision only in 1990. The trial went from court to court and the Lac Courte Oreilles were joined by the other five Chippewa bands "as parties to the same treaties" (Lurie, Wisconsin 68). During the fifteen years the case passed through three phases, the first, "declaratory" one designated to "determine the nature and scope of Chippewa treaty rights" (Lurie, Wisconsin 68). Anti-treaty concerns targeted the time of signing the treaties and claimed that the Chippewa were only entitled to use the "aboriginal" methods and the amount of spearfishing should not succeed subsistence level. The second, "regulatory" phase determined "the permissible scope of regulation by the state of Wisconsin in view of the fact that the landscape, ownership, and distribution of species had changed in the ceded area" (Lurie, Wisconsin 69). The last, "damages" step was to determine "the amount of damages, if any, the Chippewas were entitled to for interference in their treaty rights" (Lurie, Wisconsin 69). Although the tribe had the opportunity to turn to the Supreme Court to overrule a previous decision denying their right for compensation, they declined "as a gesture of peace and friendship towards the people of Wisconsin, in a spirit they hope may some day be reciprocated on the part of the general citizenry and officials of this state" (Lurie, Wisconsin 69). The hope Indian people set forth in this declaration was, however, an unfounded one. The quotation recalling Martin Luther King's dream appeared in an issue published by one of the Wisconsin anti-treaty and 146
anti-Indian groups. Associations, such as PARR (Protect Americans' Rights and Resources), STA (Stop Treaty Abuse, Inc.) and WARR (Wisconsin Alliance for Rights and Resources) (Lurie, Wisconsin 70) posed serious threats to any Indian action. The last acronym suggests what these groups believed to be "peace and friendship." The Milwaukee Public Museum's Native American Resource File includes publications of the above mentioned groups which reveal the severity of the conflict. In "WE ARE NOT RACIST" Handrick claims that "BECAUSE of Indian spearing, more and more people are acquiring racist attitudes" (n. pag.). He also states that those who insist on spearfishing should turn their attention to other matters as "American Indian children do not need fish, they need jobs" (n. pag.). The PARR issue containing this article also features a publication which brings together Wisconsin's two stereotypical "products": Indian spearfishing and beer. The irony of the case is unquestionable as the introduction of the Anti-Treaty Beer was timed for a peaceful rally in support of the Indian cause. A Chippewa tribal leader also remarked that those who "caused the most trouble were the drunks" (Waukau n.pag.) The Anti-Treaty Beer also demonstrates how non-Indian residents of the state cooperated with the tribes. The drink was boycotted ("Treaty"), but more significant than this gesture is the assistance of civil rights groups and the foundation of HONOR (Honor Our Neighbors Origins and Rights) which, by the 1980s grew from a Wisconsin organization to be a national-scale association and still assists in Indian affairs (Lurie, Wisconsin 71). One of the earliest unified attempts of American Indian organizations to act as one entity was a state-level venture, the Native American Project of 1975. Launched from Milwaukee, the need for the unification of Indian interests materialized on the state level. Local organizations and their most urgent concerns tend to accord with state organizations and their objectives. The network of familial ties in American Indian communities also contributes to interaction of organizations, whether smaller or larger scale. Upon a 1973 request on behalf of the Indian Community in the State of Wisconsin, Governor Patrick J. Lucey set up the Native American Project. It was to evaluate services in the most problematic fields of health, education, housing, employment and law enforcement offered by the state to various Indian communities. The project board included representatives of American Indian communities in Wisconsin and the Governor's Equal Rights Council. One direct aim was to establish 147
clear lines along which local, state and federal responsibilities were distributed in the above mentioned areas (Indian Community Meeting). Another objective, if less overt, is marked by the timing of the project. By the early 1970s, dissatisfaction with services to American Indians caused militant turmoil in various states. The proximity of Wounded Knee in South Dakota and the relatively large Indian population scattered over the State of Wisconsin may explain the Governor's assistance and willingness to contribute to launching a unified American Indian project. Not only did Wisconsin set examples for Indian issues all over the country, the state also actively contributed to federal Indian affairs. As Lurie claims the state "has reflected, exemplified and helped to shape national Indian policy [...] [and] sent three people to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Philleo Nash, Robert Bennet and [...] Ada Deer" (Lurie, Wisconsin 89). In such a diverse Indian environment, with such historical experience of federal Indian policy, Wisconsin Indian people are the perfect example of how federal and local forces affect tribes, and how they react to these forces. WORKS CITED Arndt, Grant. " `Contrary to Our Way of Thinking': The Struggle for an American Indian Center in Chicago, 1946­1953." American Indian Culture and Research Journal (22:4) 1998. 117­34. Auer, James. "Race is the wild card in cultural poker game." Milwaukee Journal 29 Nov. 1991. "Bennett Sees Conflict Between American Indian Goals, Traditions." Milwaukee Journal 14 Nov. 1966. 2­4. Bieder, Robert E. Native American Communities in Wisconsin, 1600­ 1960: A Study of Tradition and Change. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1995. Bigart, Homer. "Indians making progress toward self-determination." Milwaukee Journal. [1972]. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. Brophy, William, and S. D. Aberle. The Indian: America's Unfinished Business. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1966. Deloria, Vine Jr., ed. American Indian Policy in the Twentieth Century. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1985. --­. "The Evolution of Federal Indian Policy Making." Deloria 239­57. 148
Demographic Services Center. Census 2000 Data--Total Population By Race. "Did Census Miss Many Indians?" Milwaukee Journal 7 Jan. 1973. Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. A look at racism in Wisconsin. October, 1987. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. Handrick, Joe. "WE ARE NOT RACIST." PARR ISSUE. June, 1987. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. Holm, Tony. "The Crisis in the Tribal Government." Deloria 135­55. Humphrey, Hubert H. "A New Day for the American Indian." The Optimist Magazine Nov. 1966. 1­5. Indian Community Meeting. "What is the Native American Project?" 13 March, 1975. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. Intercultural Studies Group. "Proposal of Project `American Indian Place'", ts. 20 Febr. 1973. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. Lacy, Michael G. "The United States and American Indians: Political Relations." Deloria 83­105. Levine, Stuart, and Nancy Oestreich Lurie, eds. The American Indian Today. Baltimore: Penguin, 1965. Lurie, Nancy O. "Historical Background." Levine and Lurie 49­82. --­. "Commentary: Sol Tax and Tribal Sovereignty." Human Organization. 58:1. 1999. 108­17. --­. "How many Americans are part of the American Scene?" Natural History Febr. 1967. --­. "Milwaukee's Native American Presence in the Period of White Contact." Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. --­. "Money, Semantics, and Indian Leadership." American Indian Quarterly (Winter 1986): 47­63. --­. A Self-Survey by Indian People, of the Milwaukee Indian Population: Anthropological Cooperation, Analysis, and Evaluation. 27 Oct. 1969. UIM. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. --­. Testimony Presented before the Senate Indian Affairs SubCommittee Regarding the Menominee Restoration Bill. 26 Sept. 1973. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. 149
--­. The Indian Presence in Milwaukee Oct 28, 1986. Native American Resource File. Milwaukee Public Museum. --­. Wisconsin Indians. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1980, 2002. --­. "8,000 Indians can call Milwaukee home." Milwaukee Sentinel 4 Apr. 1989. Mudgett, Carol and Wilson, C. Tribal Affiliation as related to Occupational Mobility among Milwaukee Indians. Research proposal. 04/15/1970. Mullen, Chris. "Many Indians flee alien world, return "home" ". Chicago Tribune. 13 Sept. 1976. Nixon, Richard. "A Brighter Future for the American Indian." Repr. in ILOTAN Dec. 1968. 4. O'Brien, Sharon. "Federal Indian Policies and the International Protection of Human Rights." Deloria 35­63. Officer, James E. National Congress of the American Indians Convention Address. Repr. NCAI Sentinel. Convention edition Fall 1968. --­. "The American Indian and Federal Policy." Waddell 9­65 Olson, James S., and Raymond Wilson. Native Americans in the Twentieth Century. Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1986. Public Law 280. "Relative size of Milwaukee County populations based on 1970 census." Milwaukee Journal 17 Dec. 1970. Steiner, Stan. The New Indian. New York: Delta, 1968. "Treaty Beer boycotted." Masinaigan. August, 1987. Wadell, Jack O., and O. M. Watson, eds. The American Indian in Urban Society. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. Waukau, Anne. "Anti-Treaty Beer called Ironic." Masinaigan. August, 1987. Wells, John T. and Pat Hensel. "The Menominee Warriors' last stand." Milwaukee Journal 30 Dec. 1989. N.pag. Witt, Shirley H. "Nationalistic Trends Among American Indians." Levine and Lurie 93­128. 150
ANDRБS TARNУC "TROUBLES OF A DEEPER DYE THAN ARE COMMONLY EXPERIENCED BY MORTALS": THE DEFINITION OF THE SELF AND OTHER IN THREE INDIAN CAPTIVITY NARRATIVES I The Indian captivity narratives spanning four centuries from the 1540's until the first decades of the twentieth century have provided a fascinating research topic both for historians and literary scholars alike. Apart from functioning as the forerunners of the American novel, Indian captivity narratives served such purposes as the promotion of a national ideology, the construction of a privileged WASP identity, and the reinforcement of the Puritan value system. Out of the numerous accounts special interest was assigned to the captivity narratives commemorating the experiences of white women forcibly removed from their homes as a result of Indian attacks. While the returned heroine committed her experiences to paper, in addition to depicting the wilderness and commemorating the survival of the basic tenets of Puritanism in hostile circumstances she unwittingly preserved the image of the Indian captors as well. The captive white female occupied a unique place in the trans-cultural dynamics of the American frontier and was compelled to launch a multifaceted identity definition effort. The Indians viewed her as the representative of the hostile WASP society as 3333 she was forced into a position of a minority within the respective Native American communities, and prior to her involuntary departure from the Anglo-American world she was restricted into its private sphere. Utilizing such techniques as stereotyping, mythic exclusionism, establishment of versus patterns, and therapeutic self-justification the captivity narratives placed a heavy 151
emphasis on "identity work." This resulted not only in the clear delineation of the cultural spaces between the WASP world and Indian America, but following Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, it also entailed a cultural displacement process leading to the redefinition of Anglo (American) identity at the expense of Native American subjectivity (Faery 60). Cultural projection, defined by Merelman as "the conscious or unconscious effort by a social group and its allies to place new images of itself before other social groups and the general public" (3) was a crucial component of this identity redefinition effort during which not a given minority presented new images of itself, but a representative of a purported majority described the muted. According to Merelman hegemonic cultural projection means the description of a minority culture by a representative of a majority, while counter-hegemonic cultural projection refers to the effort of a minority group to describe or interpret its experiences in the direction of the dominant section of society. Syncretization and polarization allude to the combination of the motives and elements of both cultures, and to the rejection of the presented images on both sides respectively. Aiming to examine the respective inverted cultural projection capability this essay will take a closer look at three captivity narratives representing three different periods of American history. Mary Rowlandson's The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD, together with the Faithfulness of his Promises displayed: being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (henceforth: Narrative) was published in 1682, Mary Jemison's work, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison was compiled by James E. Seaver in 1823 to be released in 1824, and A Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer, Written by Herself was published in 1839. II Mary Rowlandson's "Narrative" is considered the first best-selling work by a female author, and in fact is the best-known example of the genre. The work set against the historical background of King Philip's War, a conflict, which according to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is considered in proportionality one of the bloodiest wars in American history (Faery 27) commemorates the eleven week ordeal of the protagonist. Mrs. Rowlandson, a middle-aged wife of a Puritan minister is one of the twenty-four captured individuals kidnapped by Narragansett Indians 152
following an attack on the town of Lancaster in February 1675. Having been forcibly removed from her family she is carried away into the New England wilderness with her wounded six-year old daughter Sarah. During her captivity Mrs. Rowlandson would serve as a servant to the Narragansett chief Quinnapin and his squaw, while in addition to a grueling one hundred fifty mile northward march she would endure the loss of Sarah, would participate in a meeting with King Philip, along with achieving the status of productive membership in the tribe by demonstrating her sewing skills. After being redeemed for 25 dollars subsequent to ransom negotiations in which she actively participated she would gain her freedom. As it can be expected, Mrs. Rowlandson's cultural projection originates from the hegemonic point of view as her self-description at the beginning of the ordeal: "The Indians were as thick as the trees: it seemed as if there had been a thousand Hatchets going at once [...] I my self in the midst, and no Christian soul near me, and yet how hath the Lord preserved me in safety?" (445) suggests the image of a pious Puritan entrapped by savage heathens. It is noteworthy that the author uses religious and cultural categories to emphasize her separation or "value distance" (Bauer 678) from the Other, moreover, by simply referring to her captors as Indians, she forgoes the assignment of tribal designation. The distancing effort strengthening the protagonist's religious commitment and reinforcing the ecological dividing line between the two cultures also means that the Other is repeatedly defined in spiritual terms in addition to being compared to such predatory animals as "hell-hounds, and ravenous Beasts" (437). Mrs. Rowlandson's self-depiction includes such images as a Christian woman entrapped in the wilderness, a grieving mother deprived of her family, and a WASP urbanite reluctant to taste Indian fare while failing to negotiate the obstacles put in her way by nature. In return the description of the captors emphasizes them as pagans, and highlights their advanced survival skills. Resorting to stereotypy via the Noble Savage image, Mrs. Rowlandson's description of the Indians ranges from "inhumane creatures" (439) through "a great Indian" (443) to considering Quinnapin her best Indian friend (450). The protagonist's invocation of the Noble Savage stereotype suggests a psychological progress as removed from the "structure of experience" (Howe 96) the captive attempts to re-establish her control over her fate, along with that of space and time as well. The detailed description of the route taken helps her to assume control over 153
the seemingly incontrollable flow of the events and viewing the Indians in stereotypical fashion assists her in constructing her experience in terms of the Manichean perspective promoted by the Puritan mindset. Furthermore, the invocation of the Noble Savage stereotype serves a therapeutic purpose as Mrs. Rowlandson, a lone captive surrounded by hostile Indians, deprived of both a physical and spiritual home attempts to find a figurative shelter in the wilderness. The invocation of versus patterns also implies this objective. By casting the captive-Indian relationship in the dynamics of the cruel, savage heathen--pious, refined, WASP female dyad, the "value distance" dividing the two cultures is increased. The Narrative also contains examples of therapeutic self-justification. The writing process providing a sense of control over the events alleviates the protagonist's psychological suffering and the author locating the cause for her present ordeal in the omission and negligence of WASP religious obligations and in the attendant decline of spiritual commitment suggests the omnipotence of the Christian worldview: I then remembered how careless I had been of Gods holy time, how many Sabbaths I had lost and mispent, and how evily I had walked in Gods sight; which lay so close unto my spirit, that it was easie for me to see how righteous it was with God to cut off the thread of my life, and cast me out of his presence for ever (440) In addition to the individual level, the "Narrative" as an example of a rising colonial literary culture produced "at the margins of an imperial, Eurocentric, geocultural imagination" (Bauer 667) helps to refute the image of Otherness attributed to English settlers of North America. While in A Glass for the People of New England in Which They May See Themselves (London 1676) Samuel Groome lamented that "colonial Americans had degenerated into greed, barbarity, and cruelty from their original English virtues" (qtd. in Bauer 670) and Nathaniel Carpenter asserted that Europeans leaving the Old Continent "by little and little decline...and suffer alteration `from the original virtues of superior European culture" (qtd. in Bauer 671), Rowlandson emphasizing the importance of rectitude and piousness in the harsh wilderness testifies to the strength of the colonial character and provides a counter history to imperial historiographic narratives (Bauer 673). Adhering to J. Clifford's view of culture as an "open-ended, creative dialogue of subcultures, of insiders and outsiders" (qtd. in Campbell and 154
Keane 16) the cultural projection process is far from static as the shifts in the protagonist's self-perceived position influence the classification process. Whereas hegemonic cultural projection is suggested by the insistence on the Noble Savage stereotype, Mrs. Rowlandson's references to the tyrannical practices of her captors, "They made use of their tyrannical power whilst they had it" (460), implies her subordinate position and a potential counter-hegemonic cultural projection effort. In the dynamics of the captivity experience the Indian was considered to have occupied a superior position both from a physical and cultural standpoint. Mrs. Rowlandson's initial inability to negotiate such natural obstacles as crossing a river without difficulty, or properly sitting on a horse appears to justify the Native American derision of Anglo education and by extension WASP culture. Being ridiculed for her failure to sit on a horse properly, in addition to being denied a place to sleep in the wigwam and threatened with cannibalism, the protagonist is forced in the position of the Other. The condescending attitude of the Indians foreshadows the Onondaga chief, Canassetego's dismissal of colonial education expressed during the signing of the Treaty of Lancaster forging an alliance between the Northeastern colonies and the Iroquois Confederacy in 1744: "Several of our Young People were formerly brought up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces [...] but when they came back to us, they were bad Runners, ignorant of every means of living in the Woods [...] were therefore neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, or Counsellors; they were totally good for nothing" (qtd. in Franklin 504). Not only Mrs. Rowlandson can be considered an authentic authorial voice, but her captivity induced culture projection also assigns her the role of culture mediator, or culture broker. In addition to hegemonic and counter-hegemonic cultural projection the author's inclusion of Indian words into her text (Nux, papoos, sannup, samp, wampum) suggests syncretization, and the protagonist's demonstration of an increased appreciation of Native American food eventually indicates a partial identification with her captors. This qualified appreciation of the Other is also shown by the protagonist's emotional farewell to the Narragansett tribe, and by the painstakingly detailed description of different episodes of Indian life including a powwow preceding a major battle. Nevertheless, the text is replete with references to impregnable boundaries between the two cultures. The controversial statement: "I have been in the midst of those roaring Lyons, and Salvage Bears, that feared neither God, nor Man, nor the Devil [...] yet not one of them ever offered me the least 155
abuse of unchastity to me, in word or action," (463) attempts to prove that miscegenation did not take place, and the recurring allusions to paganism draw a spiritual dividing line as well. Having returned to the Anglo community inspired by the partial modification of her mono-cultural perspective Mary Rowlandson emerges as an unwitting cultural mediator displaying a reluctant understanding of the intercultural dynamics of the American frontier. The oral account of Mary Jemison's life compiled into a text by James E. Seaver in 1823 bearing the title A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (henceforth: NarrativeMJ) appears to surpass the guidelines of the genre. While most captivity narratives are written after the return to the captive's home, Mrs. Jemison shares her life story with the readers not as a former captive, but as an integral part of Seneca society. Having been carried away at the age of 14 in 1758 after a Shawnee raid on her father's farm at Marsh Creek, on the Pennsylvania frontier she was sold by her captors to the Seneca. According to the Native American custom of substituting dead family members with captives, two sisters mourning the loss of their brother adopted the young girl into the tribe. They renamed her Dickewamis, or Dehgewanus, meaning either "Two Falling Voices," or "Pretty Girl." Consequently, she would spend the rest of her life with the Indians and her two marriages would result in 8 children and 39 grandchildren. Whereas NarrativeMJ begins with the harrowing details of the capture and the subsequent death of Mary's parents, the work cannot be considered a full-fledged captivity narrative. The changes of the protagonist's names indicate this as well. She is captured as Mary, and soon turns into Dickewamis. During this period she experiences the traumas of forced separation from her family along with the loss of her parents. Mary at the beginning of the captivity experience defines herself in the traditional manner as a beleaguered orphan apprehensive of the future. She points out the cruelty and paganism of the Indians: with such terms as "those savages," (70) and "cruel monsters" (71). The adoption with its ceremonial aspects, including a cleansing bath, and change of apparel indicates the start of a new life and the assumption of a new identity as her self-definition and self-image changes from an orphaned WASP girl, to Indian novice. Whereas Mary is an orphan, Dickewamis considering her adoption " a happy lot" (78) and immersed so far into Indian culture as telling the change of time by the harvest and hunting seasons found a new family. Despite the indications of a successful 156
passage over cultural boundaries, Mary-Dickewamis becomes despondent and considers a failed attempt of white traders to free her a year into her stay with the Indians the beginning of her second captivity. "My sudden departure and escape from them, seemed like a second captivity, and for a long time I brooded the thoughts of my miserable situation with almost as much sorrow and dejection as I had done those of my first sufferings" (81). Upon a closer look at Mary Jemison's cultural projection numerous conclusions can be made. First of all the very process is far from homogeneous and static as the self-perceived position of the protagonist continuously changes. While the description of the early ordeal might warrant the hegemonic point of view, the story unfolds upon an elderly woman's narration to a WASP male. Consequently, paralleling the cultural practices of Native Americans, Mrs. Jemison provides an oral account which similarly to the slave narratives, as in the case of William Lloyd Garrison prefacing Frederick Douglass' work, gains mainstream approval only after passing through the screening and interpretation process authorized by the contemporary male-dominated literary establishment. Accordingly, Seaver's rendition of Mrs. Jemison's words meets Siemerling's criteria of written orality making the vernacular emerge through the written codes of the dominant (14­15). Thus, an Anglo woman supposedly immersed in Indian ways and utilizing Native American means of cultural production finds an outlet for her words through the writing of a WASP male. Certainly, while the protagonist's distancing effort and use of racial epithets at the beginning of her captivity experience might refer to a hegemonic point of view, one should not forget that Mary, still a child at this point, is forced in the position of a minority both in Anglo and Indian culture. In fact her vulnerable position and exposure to the whims of her adopting sisters suggest a counter-hegemonic angle, as she is forcibly assigned the status of a minority. Moreover, she does not have a say in her marriage as she is compelled to become Sheninjee's wife. "my sisters told me that I must go and live with one of them, whose name was Shenin-jee" (81). Moreover, not being allowed to speak English, she shares the fate of the muted as well. Whereas Dickewamis' marriage indicates that she became an integral member of the Native American community and at the same time marks the end of the captivity stage in her life, marital assimilation into the Indian tribe notwithstanding she continues to describe Indians in the familiar stereotypical fashion. Her depiction of 157
Sheninjee as: a "noble man; large in stature; elegant in his appearance; generous in his conduct; courageous in war; a friend to peace, and a great lover of justice [...] Yet [...] an Indian." (82) brings Cadwallader Colden's view of the Noble Savage to mind: "The Five Nations are a poor Barbarous People, under the darkest Ignorance, and yet a bright and noble Genius shines thro' these black Clouds. None of the greatest Contempt to Death than these Barbarians have done, when Life and Liberty came in Competition: Indeed, I think our Indians have out-done the Romans in this particular" (405). Since the narrative can be divided into two parts according to the naming process including the Mary-Dickewamis phase and the protagonist's status as a spouse, the respective results of the cultural projection effort vary as well. Whereas in the Mary-Dickewamis phase she departs from the position of the Other and begins to appreciate the intercultural dynamics of the frontier from the vantage point of the Indians, the impact of Anglo-created stereotypes cannot be erased. While she interprets her experiences accrued during her transformation from white captive to Indian maiden in a positive light, the influence of WASP stereotypes is further demonstrated by the protagonist's successful effort in saving the life of a young white captive. This episode can partially be interpreted as a subconscious invocation of the Pocahontas image, and also as an attempt to improve on the reputation of the Amerindians' cruelty. Whereas her description of the two adopting sisters as "peaceable and mild in their disposition; temperate and decent in their habits, and very tender and gentle towards [her]" (79) suggests the development of an emotional bond, she never fails to mention her fear of their wrath. Another striking feature is her understanding attitude towards the cruelty of the Indians as she points out that this feared practice is never selfserving and it is carried out within the smaller social context: "It is family, and not national, sacrifices amongst the Indians, that has given them an indelible stamp as barbarians, and identified their character with the idea which is generally formed of unfeeling ferocity, and the most abandoned cruelty" (78). While Mary Rowlandson resorts to the use of stereotypy in order to separate herself from the racial and cultural Other, Mary Jemison immersed into Indian society attempts to preserve a piece of her original WASP self, thereby slowing the assimilation process. Although the description of these Indians appears to be empathic and positive, she laments about the negative and disastrous impact of the 158
introduction of "ardent spirits" (84), into the Native American community. While she appreciates the morality of Indians: "No people can live more happy than the Indians did in times of peace, before the introduction of spirituous liquors amongst them [...] The moral character of the Indians was (if I may be allowed the expression) uncontaminated. Their fidelity was perfect [...] they were strictly honest; they despised deception and falsehood; [...] They were temperate in their desires, moderate in their passions, and candid and honorable in the expression of their sentiments on every subject of importance" (97), her life is also tragically impacted by the dangers of alcohol abuse as all her three sons die because of alcohol-induced conflicts. Also, while the impact of alcohol abuse appears to take center stage in Mary Jemison's work, in Mary Rowlandson's "Narrative" the only reference to the drunkenness of Indians is found at the end of her text when she recalls her master becoming influenced by spirits: "My Master after he had had his drink, quickly came ranting into the Wigwam again [...] He was the first Indian I saw drunk all the while that I was amongst them" (461). Mary Jemison's statement: "Indians must and will be Indians" (85) can be interpreted both as a reinforcement of the pride and strong identity of the Native Americans, but also it can function as a condescending assertion, referring to the lack of maturity of the respective race. One of the obvious signs of Mary Jemison's immersion into the Seneca community is her own self-image and her intention to share the alliance of the Seneca with the British against the Americans in the War of Independence. The use of the term: "Our Indians" (91) or her indignation at the American attack on the Seneca settlements clearly indicates that she views the Americans as the Other. Also, she justifies an Indian ambush on a frontier community as a proportionate retaliation for the suffering of the Native American race: "The next summer after Sullivan's campaign, our Indians, highly incensed at the whites for the treatment they had received, and the sufferings which they had consequently endured, determined to obtain some redress by destroying their frontier settlements" (106). The process of Othering the Anglo intensifies in the Indian spousal stage. In providing a biography within a biography, whites such as Ebenezer Allen are described in the honest Indian--devilish, deceptive Anglo dyad. She is especially indignant at Allen's deceitful arrangement of a peace treaty while arbitrary using wampum, thus misappropriating a Native American cultural symbol. Also Allen is accused of murdering a 159
business associate along with perpetrating cruelties similar to that of the Indians. Moreover, by emphasizing the moral weakness of a relative, George Jemison, who initiated a fraudulent deal eventually leading to the loss of her land, the protagonist further reinforces the Otherness of the Anglo. The description of her second husband, Hiokatoo as a brave, proud warrior, yet intimidating and cruel to his enemies: "Although war was his trade from his youth till old age and decrepitude stopt his career, he uniformly treated me with tenderness, and never offered an insult" (129) is another manifestation of the Noble Savage image. The death of her husbands and her three sons appears to loosen her commitment to the Indian community as she ends the narrative with her chief lament over the loss of children and reiterates her adherence to WASP values "Nor have I ever been in debt to any other hands than my own for the plenty that I have shared. My vices, that have been suspected, have been but few" (160). Nevertheless, she makes a reference to being suspected with witchcraft, thus being Othered by Indians for the appearance and light complexion of her children: "It was believed for a long time, by some of our people, that I was a great witch; but they were unable to prove my guilt, and consequently I escaped the certain doom of those who are convicted of that crime, which, by Indians, is considered as heinous as murder" (160). Mary Jemison's cultural projection informed with a counterhegemonic charge both to the British and the Americans primarily originates from the Seneca point of view. In retracing her life she projects herself as scared youth, Indian maiden, Indian mother, landowner, and alleged witch. She starts her captivity experience from a hegemonic point of view, which soon shifts into a counter-hegemonic one. She is subordinated to the Indians due to her age and lack of physical power. She refers to herself as a "poor little defenseless girl; without the power or means of escaping" (70). One must not forget however, that the adoption and immersion into the tribe was not her decision, that is, she was treated like an object, or a commodity in the zero sum game of the replenishment of the losses of the tribe with captives. It is also noteworthy, that she takes the place of a man, or a fallen warrior and her subordinate position continues within the Seneca tribe, which, in an interesting sidelight, practiced matrimony. Her marriages result in intra-tribal integration and sharing the Seneca's fate after taking sides in the Revolutionary War. Having achieved actual 160
membership in the tribe she assumes the minority position of the Seneca, thereby presenting a counter-hegemonic point of view towards the British and the Americans as well. Moreover, as an oral narrator or a simple story-teller she is subordinated to written culture, her words are sanitized by the compiler of the Narrative, and it is Dr. Seaver, having the power of interpretation, who emphasizes the text's heuristic and patriotic value. Consequently, the power to define is in the hands of the editor, as he condescendingly protects himself from the potential inaccuracies of the account by references to the "advanced age of eighty years" and "destitution of education" (51). Ironically, however, the Narrative offers another interpretation as Mary Jemison, virtually a member of the Seneca tribe evolves into the Intellectual Savage "capable of surviving equally in two worlds by tenaciously retaining the ritual apparatus of primal people [...] (while) attaining the intellectual and communications paraphernalia of the dominant societies" (Highwater 12). The witchcraft episode notwithstanding she is fully acculturated into Indian society, yet she preserves her WASP values. As one possible interpretation of her Indian name Two Falling Voices suggests, she continuously had to contend with the dilemma of liminality. It is more than a mere coincidence that toward the end of her life she assumes a name emphasizing her racial and cultural origins, thereby making the "White Woman of the Genesee" (Namias 4) a full-fledged culture mediator between two worlds. As far as grisly details of harrowing ordeals are concerned Rachel Plummer's account surpasses the previous two texts. Captured with her eighteen-month old son James Pratt after a Comanche raid on Parker's Fort, Texas on May 19, 1836 she was forced to accompany the tribe on its march across the Southwest. Unlike Mary Rowlandson and Mary Jemison, she was brutalized and raped by her captors. Caught while attempting to run away with her toddler, she was dragged by her hair, severely whipped, beaten, and tied up. Moreover, she was not only separated from her son or her loved ones, but the Indians murdered her newborn baby as well. While rejecting integration into the tribe she purposely maintained her distance from her captors, her physical prowess and fighting skills in defeating both her young and old mistress earned the respect of the tribe's leaders. Whereas having been purchased by Comancheros, or Mexican traders she gained freedom and was reunited with the remnants of her family, the physical and psychological toll of the 161
eighteen-month captivity contributed to an early death less than a year after her release. Following the well-established mold she presents herself at the beginning of her ordeal as a captive entrapped by a barbarically cruel enemy: "As I was leaving, I looked back at the place where I was one hour before, happy and free, and now in the hands of a ruthless, savage enemy" (337). The use of the term "enemy" further reinforces the distance she wants to maintain from her captors. Although writing for her is a rather painful process, she targets her text to the Anglo audience or to "her christian reader," (338) further reinforcing the notion of hegemonic cultural projection. It is also noteworthy that despite her harrowing ordeal Mrs. Plummer is able to provide an exhausting catalogue-like description of the flora and fauna of the countryside as she states: "Notwithstanding my sufferings, I could not but admire the country" (338­339). Moreover, besides the recurring expressions of "savage, enemy," she compares her captors to "enraged lions and hungry vultures." (341). The target audience is the prospective American traveler lured to the natural treasures of the area by the spirit of Manifest Destiny. One cannot help but notice the exaggerated, overly grotesque description of her second child's murder. The description of the infant's killing is so brutal and graphically bizarre, that not only it stretches the reader's imagination, but brings the question of the author's credibility to mind. Another incongruity is indicated by the author's placement of the Indians in a positive light after the clearly sensationalistic description of the baby's death: "But in praise to the Indians, I must say, that they gave me time to dig a hole in the earth and bury it. After having performed this last service to the lifeless remains of my dear babe, I sat me down and gazed with joy on the resting place of my now happy infant" (342). Here of course a parallel can be discovered with Mary Rowlandson's account as she also highlights the Indian burial of Sarah and the subsequent emphatic treatment received from her captors. While Plummer's description reminds the reader of the Noble Savage concept, its cruel irony suggests that the heroine became emotionally desensitized to her suffering. Consequently, the author responds to her utterly hopeless situation by demonizing her captors. While Mary Rowlandson and Mary Jemison's description of Indian life and customs suggest the broadening of their mono-cultural perspective, Mrs. Plummer steadfastly remains on 162
Eurocentrist ground, as even the ethnographic section of her Narrative begins with this caveat: "I shall next speak of the manners and customs of the Indians, and in this I shall be brief--as their habits are so ridiculous that this would be of but little interest to any" (355). Her description of the Indians originates from the WASP perspective and she constructs such versus patterns as nomadic Natives-settled Anglo community, primitive Native language-refined English communication, idolatry, heresy v. Christian commitment, inhumane cannibals v. noble Americans. She even considers their bravery as a result of a beastlike attitude: "These inhuman cannibals will eat the flesh of a human being, and talk of their bravery or abuse their cowardice with as much unconcern as if they were mere beasts" (360). Mythic exclusionism can be discerned in the description of her adventures encountered in a cave in the Rocky Mountains. Having discovered a cave at the foot of the mountain she gains the permission of her mistress to explore it and being exhausted by the trip she sits down close to an underground waterfall. While asleep she not only meets her child, but she encounters a divine figure, who provides her with physical and mental solace. The two days and one night spent in the cave give her psychological strength to bear up to the upcoming ordeals. Resorting to the Christian God reinforces her separation from her tormentors. At the same time, despite her steadfast refusal of crossing cultural boundaries, she adopts Indian image construction techniques as well. Tortured by fatigue and desperation she allows her dreams "to substantially enter into and shape her experience" (Highwater 79) and during this unwitting vision quest she "includes in her grasp of reality everything that is felt, experienced, dreamed about, envisioned, and hoped for" (Highwater 107). Reinforced and reinvigorated by this mystical experience she also earns the respect of the tribe. Her bravery and physical prowess demonstrated during fighting both of her mistresses elicits this response from the elders: "You are brave to fight--good to a fallen enemy--you are directed by the Great Spirit" (353) Mrs. Plummer's cultural projection appears to be steadfastly hegemonic, as she does not even make an attempt to understand her captors' ways of life. Yet in a form of counter-hegemonic cultural projection she points out the secondary position of women within the tribe, thereby referring to the fact that despite her hegemonic vantage point she was compelled to perform counter-hegemonic cultural projection as well. "No woman is admitted into any of their Councils; nor is she allowed to 163
enquire what their councils have been. When they move, the women do not know where they are going. They are no more than servants, and are looked upon and treated as such" (355). Moreover, the Narrative recalls the jeremiad function of its seventeenth century counterparts as the author perceiving a divine plan behind her capture and redemption considers her ordeals as a warning to those left behind: "When I indulge in a retrospect of the past, and all my trials and sufferings are brought in view to memories eye; whilst my heart bleeds anew over those scenes of sorrow and tribulation, through which it was the will of God I should pass, I feel a joyous hope [...] I feel rejoiced to think that all is well with it. Yes, with the eyes of faith, directed by a firm reliance on the promises of God, I can see its pure spirit mingling with those of the blessed around the eternal throne of the Most High God" (364). Rachel Plummer's account upholds the notion of the savage, racial, and cultural Other. Her text serves the purposes of the larger community as it is deemed an integral part of Texas history, and written during the time of the independence struggle against Mexico it further promotes the American identity against that of the Native American. In her polarizing description of the Indians she does not even attempt to be a culture mediator as despite the hard-earned respect of her captors the hatred of the enemy was never erased from her heart. The abovementioned small digressions notwithstanding Rachel Plummer's cultural projection remains hegemonic as she intends to perpetuate her sufferings for the WASP reader:"and now I ask you, my christian reader, to pause" (338). Despite the fact that she penetrates Indian culture by learning to communicate with her captors in their own language all through her experience she remains an outsider and does not even attempt to achieve a partial understanding of her captors' life. The purpose of her "identity work" is on the one hand to recreate an own self, but also to erase the Native American one. In this tragic zero sum game the Indian community is ironically entrapped in the position of the Other. 164
III Whereas the conditions of capture and the subsequent ordeal along with the likely outcome of either release or integration into Indian society varied to a great extent, the captive woman, whose body served as a site of an ideological struggle (Faery 41) performed not only a culture production, but a culture projection function as well. Cultural projection, however is a fluid concept and the captive woman while starting from a hegemonic point of view was soon forced into the position of a minority, or the muted. Torn from Anglo society, on the one hand she longed to reestablish her ties to her former home, on the other as the racial, cultural, and sexual Other from the point of view of her captors she was forced into a secondary position. Ironically, she also perceived her captors as the racial, cultural, and sexual Other. In this mutual Othering process, as she wrote, while the Indians Othered her in action, cultural projection took many forms. While the captive woman's attempts to increase the value distance along with frequent references to the brutality of her captors appears to suggest a hegemonic vantage point, being part of a group forced into the secondary or private sphere of the tribe, the perpetuation of the details of her ordeal could qualify as counter-hegemonic cultural projection. It is also noteworthy that the three narratives display the signs of syncretization as well. All captives were unwittingly immersed into the culture of their captors, as in Mary Rowlandson's case this is demonstrated by her attraction to Indian food, Mary Jemison shares the plight of the Seneca, and even Rachel Plummer learns the language of her masters. Another important element is the recognition of the heuristic value of the captivity experience. That is the tribulation becomes a learning process. The woman captives forced to reestablish their identity learned the most important lesson as they put their own physical and psychological limits to the test, and all agreed that the experience prepared them to face the pitfalls of life more effectively. An additional significant aspect is the captive's attitude to writing. Mrs. Rowlandson continuously took notes in the Bible she received from a Praying Indian, Mary Jemison produced an oral history of her life, and Mrs. Plummer became traumatized by the recalling of her ordeal. As Mary Mason argues, "the self-discovery of female identity seems to acknowledge the real presence and recognition of another consciousness, 165
and the disclosure of female self is linked to the identification of some other. (Consequently), identity is grounded through relation to the chosen other" (qtd. in Heilbrun 24). While the heroines of the above three captivity narratives did not choose the Other they had to face, all three went a long way in the self-discovery and identity establishment process. These three women separated by centuries, and the cultural geography of the United States share a common self-development struggle as while all of them begin with a similar experience, their "errand in the wilderness" concludes with different results. Mary Rowlandson sees her ordeal as a milestone in her selfdevelopment and builds a partial understanding of her captors' culture while Mary Jemison physically becomes the Other herself. Finally, Rachel Plummer attempting to deny the impossible becomes an unwitting subscriber to Antonio Machado-Ruiz's thesis, that is despite all cultural, racial, and political barriers, we all must admit "the essential Heterogeneity of being, leading to an inscrutable otherness from which oneness must always suffer" (qtd. in Highwater 11). WORKS CITED Bauer, Ralph. "Creole Identities in Colonial Space: The Narratives of Mary White Rowlandson and Francisco Nunez de Pineda y Bascunan." American Literature. Vol. 69. No. 4. (December 1997). 665­695. Campbell, Neil and Alasdair Kean. American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture. Second. Ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2006. Colden, Cadwallader. "The History of the Five Indian Nations." An Early American Reader. J.A. Leo Lemay. Ed. Washington D.C.: USIS, 1988. 405­415. Faery, Rebecca. Blevins. Cartographies of Desire: Captivity, Race, and Sex in the Shaping of an American Nation. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1999. Fitzpatrick, Tara. "The Figure of Captivity: The Cultural Work of the Puritan Captivity Narrative." American Literary History. Vol. 3. No. 1. (Spring 1991). 1­26. Frankenberg, Ruth. White Women: Race Matters. The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. 166
Franklin, Benjamin. "Remarks on the Politeness of the Savages of North America." An Early American Reader. J. A. Leo Lemay. Ed. Washington D.C.: USIS, 1988. 504­507. Heilbrun, Carolyn G. Writing a Woman's Life. New York: W. W. Norton, 1988. Highwater, Jamake. The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America. New York: Penguin, 1981. Howe, Susan. "The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." The Birthmark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1993. 89­130. Merelman, Richard M. Representing Black Culture: Racial Conflict and Cultural Politics in the United States. New York: Routledge, 1995. Pearce, Roy. Harvey. "The Significances of the Captivity Narrative." American Literature. Vol. 19.No. 1 (March 1947). 1­20. Plummer, Rachel. "A Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer, Written by Herself." VanDerBeets, Richard. Ed. Held Captive by Indians: Selected Narratives: 16421836. Knoxville: The U of Tennessee P, 1994. 333­366. Rowlandson, Mary. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson." An Early American Reader. J. A. Leo Lemay. Ed. Washington D.C.: USIS, 1988. 434­467. Seaver, James, E. A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison. Ed. By June Namias. Norman and London: U of Oklahoma P, 1992. Siemerling, Winfried. The New North American Studies: Culture, Writing, and the Politics of Re/cognition. London and New York: Routledge, 2005. Turner, Terence "Anthropology and Multiculturalism: What is Anthropology that Multiculturalists Should be Mindful of It?" Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader. Ed. David Theo Goldberg. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. 406­424. 167
GABRIELLA VARRУ THE FIGURE OF THE SALESMAN IN AMERICAN DRAMA Introduction The figure of the salesman has continuously been present in American drama ever since the 1940s, and this typically American character keeps haunting the imagination of the most prominent American playwrights even today. Sam Shepard's new, 2005 drama, The God of Hell is a recent proof that the character is far from being outdated and that he lingers on in literature, although is a bit reshaped from time to time fitted to contemporary reality. Shepard's play provided me with a good enough apropos to reexamine the diverse cultural roles and functions this figure has assumed over the years, and it also prompted me to briefly reconsider American theatrical history through this special focus. Why did salesmen figures flood American literature in the first half of the 20th century, did this character have any prototypes; what social, political and cultural paradigm shifts might explain his rise to prominence; are there any general clichйs through which we can approach these characters; and finally what ideological considerations and ethic motivations drive them (or to put it differently what kinds of social criticism is exerted on the American reality through their characters). These are some of the questions I seek to address in this essay. History and Backgrounds Salesmen figures have long been around in American literature roughly from the turn of the 20th century onward. One of the first incarnations of the type was Theodore Dreiser's Charles Drouet, the charming but irresponsible drummer from 1900, but the first really 169
prototypical, as well as memorable representation of the type came with the character, whom Richard Wright calls in his Black Boy "a mythical man" (273), George F. Babbitt. Babbitt, "the happy hypocrite," "the Big Operator in Small Operations" (Virбgos 122) took American culture by storm. He entered American cultural consciousness and dictionaries with a resounding bang, and from thereon his influence was indelible. The trick was not only that Babbitt was a character too close to reality and thus easily recognizable and identifiable (as the true middle-American, the conniving businessman), but that he registered/signaled a crucial paradigm shift that occurred in America after WWI. Babbitt marked a cultural, social as well as economic transformation from the cult of the tycoons and robber barons (like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts) [represented in such memorable works as Dreiser's Cowperwood trilogy1 or Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby], and pointed to a new cultural icon and paragon, that of the little businessman. Clearly the antitrust and anti-corporation maneuvers of the progressive era fostered the rise of this novel type of culture hero, and the diagnostic novels of Sinclair Lewis did not take long reacting to the change. The Salesmen of American Drama Though the figure of the salesman conquered American fiction almost parallel to the large-scale appearance of the profession in real life, the character's dramatic and theatrical counterparts lagged behind for more than two decades. The first really memorable occurrence of the drummer in American drama came with Eugene O'Neill's Theodore Hickman, better known as Hickey in The Iceman Cometh (subsequently Iceman) in 1946, and shortly afterwards Arthur Miller's classic The Death of a Salesman (henceforth Death) presented the unforgettable Willy Loman as the epitome of tragic humanism, deemed essential to the figure from thereon. That the fascination with salesmanship was far from being an isolated preoccupation in Miller was proved by his 1968 drama, The Price, where the Jewish furniture salesman, the 89 year-old Solomon took central stage. After a short pause the 1980s again provided new versions of the proverbial salesman with David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, and following scattered representations of minor businessman figures, 1 Novels belonging to Dreiser's trilogy are The Financier (1912), The Titan (1914), and The Stoic (1947). 170
finally in The God of Hell, Sam Shepard too came to address the archetypical/prototypical American dilemma of consumerism through the figure of his mysterious protagonist, Welch. In what follows I will look into three central thematic concerns along which the protagonists of the above dramas will be compared and contrasted to one another. These are: 1. the salesman's relationships, 2. the connections between salesmanship and acting, the theatrical dimension of the profession; and finally, 3. the ideologies of success and moral choices involved. 1. The Salesman's Relationships In most of these dramas salesmanship is depicted not simply as a male prerogative, but also as a profession passed down from father to son. Hickey says of his father: "My old man used to whale salvation into my heinie with a birch rod. He was a preacher in the sticks of Indiana, (...) I got my knack of sales gab from him, too. He was the boy who could sell those Hoosier hayseeds building lots along the Golden Street" (610). Similarly in Death Ben remembers his and Willy's father as both an artist and a salesman, who traded with flutes which he made on their journey through the country in a wagon. Salesmanship is often depicted then as something that runs in the family and is passed down from fathers to sons, and which creates intimate bondage and understanding between generations. It is not accidental that Willy both respects and is concerned about Biff more than he is about Happy, because it is Biff who is supposed to continue the family line in the trade. In return Willy's sons too make a bitter attempt at fulfilling and realizing their father's dream, but to no avail. The grandfather's inventiveness and initiative is no longer available to the coming generations. The story of the great Father, who "[w]ith one gadget made more in a week than a man [...] would in a lifetime" (38), remains just another legend, altogether unbelievable and certainly unrealizable in the present. This idea of salesmanship being heredity and linked to the familial also recurs in Mamet's play, where Roma, having come to understand the need for human bondage by the end of the play, appoints Levene as his father, when he says: "There's things I could learn from you" (105). The concept of salesmanship thus is intricately tied to concepts and definitions of masculinity, articulating a peculiar kind of male descent and bonding through the common, inherited trade. 171
Contrary to the above notions (bondage, heredity, ties), however, salesmanship when practiced professionally is almost invariably depicted as a vocation that denies the possibility of establishing meaningful human relations. Babbitt, the prototype is described in the criticism as one who "with the supremacy of public relations, (...) abolishes human relations" (Virбgos 122). Clearly both Hickey and Willy oppose the core stereotype here, since they attempt to show genuine care for others, and are not represented as completely selfish beings. On the other hand, Mamet's real estate agents and Shepard's Welch seem to recreate the original prototypes' utter disregard for human concerns. Their monomaniacal pursuit of their obsessions, such as making it to the top of the board (i.e. beating each other in sales records), or creating machine-like automatons worshipping the "system," is already encoded in the prototype they are molded after. Despite their capacity for love the early representatives of the salesman fail in their private missions, and by the end of the day they too stand isolated from their families, their customers, indeed from the rest of the world. Salesmen are a lonely branch of people, whose trade depends on establishing human connections, but who in their private lives are ironically denied these. They approve and worship the sanctity of their marriage, but they keep getting involved in chance relationships in onenight stands. Willy states: "`Cause I get so lonely­­especially when business is bad and there's nobody to talk to" (29). Hickey, in his final confession to the barflies also talks to this effect: "But you know how it is, traveling around. The damned hotel rooms. I'd get seeing things in the wall paper. I'd get bored as hell. Lonely and homesick" (696). 2. Salesmanship and Acting One possible explanation for the massive presence and popularity of the salesman in American drama might be located in the theatrical nature of the salesman profession itself. The livelihood of the drummer depends largely upon his skill as actor and performer, his persuasiveness in delivering his act. The salesman plays a prescribed role, and along with the commodity he is selling his own personality as well. The salesman thus is continuously wearing a mask in order to match a certain clichй, in order to satisfy a particular public image. His speech, appearance, and gestures are carefully planned from first to last, from bottom to top. The role is circumscribed along well-recognizable guidelines that the 172
salesman learns and reenacts from time to time. In fact his whole life is an unending performance. The mask and the self are never one, and since much time is spent in the performative realm, the salesman can never be sure of his real self. Hickey himself often compares his own actions and speeches to that of a preacher, identifying himself with a public role rather than revealing his private self. Indeed his inner self is so plastic that he is unable to confront it throughout the play, a fact that completely undermines his mission of self-revelation. Willy Loman too comes to face the issue of mask and self, although his individual dilemma echoes larger questions linked to the illusion vs. reality controversy vital to the drama as a whole. The mask in Willy's case is that of a successful businessman, and at times he truly believes that someday he will have his own business. In his more honest moments, though, Willy confesses: "I still feel kind of temporary about myself" (40). This temporariness speaks to the essence of the profession: always being on the road, having a home but not being able to use it as a safe shelter, having a wife but keeping several lovers, playing, conniving, entertaining the customers, but in fact burning up and falling apart inside, are only some of the clichйs both Hickey and Willy go by. Shepard's Welch, the mysterious government agent masking as drummer says early in the play: "I must have crossed the border by now" (9), meaning the Wisconsin­Minnesota border (but also implying the west-east, civilized-rural, corrupt-primitive/innocent, etc. dualities). The allusion suggested, however is wider. Drummers are indeed managing borders: they are both within and without the consumer community. They move in and out of their public and private roles, the professional and the intimate, the manipulative and the honest with astonishing frequency, as the situation may require. No wonder that when this limbo is pushed to the extreme even the best representatives of the trade falter. For Willy the private fantasy life is gradually consuming the space of the real, rendering it virtually impossible for him to extend his existence in the present. Hickey, on the other hand, commits homicide, and reports upon himself to be taken away by the police. Especially the early instances of the drummer are infiltrated with this concept of psychosis. For Hickey the inside-outside, reality-illusion paradigms get so mixed up that he comes to imagine the murder of his wife as a deed of charity. Willy, on the other hand gets gradually enveloped in his fantasy life, talks to himself and finally drives himself to suicide. By the time we reach the later representations of the type we are 173
left with the mania and psychosis minus the human appeal: the mask sticks, the act remains without the ethical weight or the concern about the human casualties of consumerism. 3. Ideologies of Success All the salesmen figures in American drama market, along with their respective commodities, a particular reading of the current social, political reality, ideologies of success symptomatic of the age they were born in. The early representations typically idolize salesmen, and although we see the dream of success shatter in both Iceman and Death, the missionaries/emissaries of the ideology are pictured either as God-like figures, or painful human victims of a wrong cause. Hickey as salesman sells both the by-now overused and abused American myth of success and he also literarily markets himself as God for the people at the bar, often-time posing as a savior, who can sell the drunks their own salvation. On one level then he is religion commercialized, a securalized representation of hope and redemption long awaited. Success in Hickey's interpretation equals honesty and facing reality, the undoing of pipe dreams, which, by the way, he can excellently teach but fails to practice. For the people at the bar, on the other hand, Hickey is the personification of success. He is the man with "the blessed bourgeois long green" (586, emphasis added), the means to buy more liquor with and postpone the confrontation with the real world out there. At the end of the day, strangely enough, Hickey's and the barflies' understanding of success is one: it will come to mean making it in the real world, which finally neither Hickey nor his disciples will be able to realize. For Willy success translates into big money, recognition and respect, but it is also something entirely out of his reach, amounting to no more than merely a privately cherished fantasy. His pursuit of success remains uninterrupted because he fails to see the limits of success encoded in the economy. He quite firmly believes that he only has to try hard enough and he too would get a slice of that great American cake for the happy and successful. It is in this spirit he keeps searching for clues: "What's the mystery?" (23) "Oh, Ben, how did you do it? What is the answer?" (66). The epitome of success, his brother, Ben, who went into the jungle at 21, and when he walked out he was rich, fails to point out the right direction. The other idolized models of success (Charley, Bernard or the 84 year-old 174
salesman), are also silent about the route to fame, and even if they do share their secrets, Willy is not ready to decode their wisdom. When Charley says "The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell" (77), turns around the familiar clichй, everything's for sale, claiming that your whole existence depends upon the things that you can put up for sale. Such equation of the definition of identity and consumption also suggests that identity as such can no longer be conceived of in romantic, individualistic terms, but strictly along the impersonal and inhumane codes and rules of the market. By the time we reach the 1980s all human concerns for morals, respect, recognition, are taken out of the picture of the salesman business. Selling and success become a heartless soulless race not so much for the favors of the customers, but rather for some big price (which in the case of Glengarry happens to be a Cadillac). Mamet is pushing his portrayal of the real estate business, and his own social critique a little too far when he sketches the Cadillac vs. your job (or your life) scenario. His mockery of the dream becomes especially biting when the actual success stories related (those of Levene and Roma) turn out to be deals going down the gutter, the former made with a couple registered in a psychiatric ward, the latter foiled by the top guy at the agency. In Sam Shepard's The God of Hell small town America gets invaded by agents of the faceless government, and this aggressive inner conquest of the Heartland gets sold as the most benevolent dissemination of national ideologies. If the enslavement marketed as democracy and selfprotection scheme sounds all too familiar it is clearly not accidental. Shepard's portrayal of the drummer-turned political activist, however, becomes interesting exactly where it moves beyond the flat political commentary. The play takes the figure of the salesman to the ultimate level, as we move from the humanitarian to the government agent, from the innocent American Everyman to Everyman as an under-cover criminal allegedly "serving the nation." Shepard's Welch sells pure violence and totalitarianism in the sweet disguise of an initially friendly (though prying) cookie agent. Welch represents the ultimate and also the most extreme stage the salesman might reach in our time. The seeds of this development (or rather decline) have already been planted all over American literature, and Shepard merely detects the symptoms and points out the consequences. That Welch as the superb salesman is an unfeeling instrument of torture whose task it is to create similar automatons 175
dedicated to the `cause' is not all that surprising. Hickey's religious tinge and Willy's humanitarian bend are clearly sentenced to death as their monotonous job involving a selfish war for financial, social and personal control is updated for the present. The real news is, and this bears Shepard's innovative stampage, that The God of Hell does not simply reinvent the salesman as "government henchman" (Wren, C07), but portrays the country itself "as commodity, to be advertised, sold and consumed" (Brantley, Internet). Welch is equipped with all the necessary paraphernalia of the one-time peddler [including "the Proud Patriot package for twelve fifty (...) whistles, parade equipment, fireworks (...) complete with a brand new remixed CD of Pat Boone singing `The Battle Hymn of the Republic'" (14)], but this time around he advertises governmental interference as benevolent `infiltration.' The free sampling of the national "dream," symbolically sold to the drama's innocent Midwestern couple in the form of a rectangular "cookie frosted in stars and stripes of red, white and blue" (Brantley, Internet), turns out to be a tough course in American colonizing methods, brutality, xenophobia and brainwashing. The salesman as epitome of American democracy is reversed in Shepard as an epitome of fascism, who makes fun of and belittles the once so precious national values such as patriotism, idealism, and the American common man. Shepard's achievement is all the more remarkable because he manages to take the allusion to political propaganda involved in the core clichй to the level of literal fusion between type and the underlying message by the creation of the politician as drummer. The manipulative shape-shifter who markets his own twisted "ideology (...) as patriotism and concern for national security" (Rooney-Internet) to the innocent people in the Heartland, becomes the ultimate translation of what the once great American Dream and its paragon, the salesman as culture hero has finally come to by the beginning of the 21st century. WORKS CITED Brantley, Ben. "That's No Girl Scout Selling Those Cookies." The New York Times. Theater Review. Nov. 17. 2004. Internet: http://theater2.nytimes.com/2004/11/17/theater/review/17/hell.html Mamet, David. Glengarry Glen Ross. New York: Grove, 1983. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. London: Penguin, 1961. 176
O'Neill, Eugene. The Iceman Cometh. Complete Plays 1932­1943. New York: The Library of America, 1988. 561­711. Rooney, David. "Did Critics Find a Slice of Heaven in Shepard's God of Hell? Internet: http://www.broadway.com/gen/Buzz_Story.aspx?ci=502571 Shepard, Sam. The God of Hell. London: Methuen, 2005. Virбgos, Zsolt. The Modernists and Others: The American Literary Culture in the Age of the Modernist Revolution. Revised, 2nd ed. Debrecen, Hungary: U of Debrecen, 2007. Wren, Celia. "Didactic and Shepard: A Match Made in `Hell'." The Washington Post. March 8, 2006. C07. Wright, Richard. Black Boy. New York: Harper, 1937. 177
ISTVБN KORNЙL VIDA NOT ONLY THE "GENIE" OF THE LAMP CAN HELP: GENEALOGY AND RESEARCHING THE "LOST" TWO DECADES OF HUNGARIAN EMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES, 1850­1870 Writing about research methodology is never easy. Historians who do it risk boring their readers to tears. That is why, the presentation of this aspect is usually pushed into the background, more often than not, banished to a separate chapter at the end of books, bypassed and ignored by the overwhelming majority of readers. Sometimes, however, we cannot escape devoting entire articles to historical methodology. The reason why I have decided to write about a related subject on these pages is that as an undergraduate student I myself was influenced by an article Miklуsnй Kretzoi wrote on a neglected aspect of Hungarian­American relations: the depiction of the events of the American Civil War in American history in the contemporary Hungarian press. Her ,,Az amerikai polgбrhбborъ a magyar sajtуban 1861­65 kцzцtt" [The American Civil War as Reflected in the Hungarian Press, 1861­65] remained a solitary effort, being one of the very few Hungarian academic works studying the War Between the States. How Miklуsnй Kretzoi approached the subject had a very clear methodological suggestion every historian should take: the search for `whys' sometimes necessitates the presentation of `hows' as well.1 Accordingly, what follows below is by no means an attempt to give a thorough analysis of the history of the Hungarian emigration to the United States between 1850 and 1870. This would go way beyond the scope of this paper, as a matter of fact any written work shorter than book-length. What I propose here instead is a summary of modern historiographical 1 Kretzoi, Miklуsnй. ,,Az amerikai polgбrhбborъ a magyar sajtуban 1861­65 kцzцtt" Szбzadok (1974/3), pp. 680­698. 179
research carried out in the field with special emphasis on new types and forms of research aids enabling the upcoming generations of historians to shed light on these rather ignored two decades of Hungarian emigration.2 The `Kossuth Emigration' in Hungarian Historiography Those eager to get reliable information on the first sizeable wave of Hungarian immigrants to the United States, are not at all kindly treated by historians. There is only a single comprehensive work on this subject matter: Lajos Lukбcs's A magyar politikai emigrбciу, 1849­1867 [The Hungarian Political Emigration, 1849­1867], which did not exclusively have Transatlantic migration in it focus.3 Of course, much information can be acquired from the general studies of the Hungarian­American past, although more often than not they only scratch the surface.4 It is conspicous right away that the most works tend to disregard the fact that the inflow of Hungarians in the United States did not start in 1870, with the coming of the waves of the so-called New Immigration. Even Julianna Puskбs's Kivбndorlу magyarok az Egyesьlt Бllamokban, 1880­1940, the somewhat shortened version of which was published in English as well: From Hungary to the United States, 1880­1914, concentrated on the socalled New Immigration and treated the Ante-bellum waves of Hungarian emigrйs to the United States as if they had never existed, which is definitely the gravest shortcoming of her work. In 2000 Professor Puskбs published an excellent synthesis in which she made use of the results of her more recent research: Ties that Bind, Ties that Divide: 100 Years of Hungarian Experience in the United States which nevertheless follows the same patterns.5 It is worth examining, therefore, why someone with the intention to determine the exact number of immigrants of Hungarian origin in the 2 For a more thorough discussion of the subject see, Istvбn Kornйl Vida, "The True Cause of Freedom": The Kossuth Emigration and the Hungarians' Participation in the American Civil War. (Doctoral Dissertation: Debrecen.) 3 Lukбcs, Lajos. A magyar politikai emigrбciу, 1849­1867. Budapest: Kossuth kцnyvkiadу, 1984. 4 Just to mention the most recent one: Bйla Vбrdy, Magyarok az Ъjvilбgban. Budapest: A Magyar Nyelv йs Kultъra Nemzetkцzi Tбrsasбga, 2000. 5 Puskбs, Julianna. Kivбndorlу magyarok az Egyesьlt Бllamokban, 1880­1914. Budapest: Akadйmiai Kiadу, 1982; From Hungary to the United States, 1880­1914. Budapest: Akadйmiai Kiadу, 1982; Ties that Bind, Ties that Divide: 100 Years of Hungarian Experience in the United States. New York: Holmes and Meier, 2000. 180
United States during the 1850s has to face unexpected difficulties. Earlier historical works offer varied numbers ranging from 269 to over 5,000. The question may arise what makes it so problematic to give precise estimation of the number of immigrants during this period. One of the reasons is that Hungarian statistics concerning emigration are available only since 1899 which rules out using the Hungarian official documents for the investigated era. Although in certain European ports files were kept of the emigrants heading for the United States, these statistics have been registered only since 1871. Moreover, in most of them emigrants were not distinguished by their home countries and places of destination.6 The only available data are offered by lists of emigrants which were published in certain British or Hungarian­American (eg. Magyar Szбmzцttek Lapja [Hungarian Exiles' News]) newspapers, although they are not extensive, therefore, cannot constitute a creditable starting point for further research. These are the main reasons why historians had no other alternative but to estimate the number of immigrants in the United States prior to 1870. As already pointed out, these estimations vary greatly. Kertheny suggests that the number of Hungarians living in the United States could be 269 at the very most.7 According to Jen Pivбny, this figure is approximately 4,000, which was considered a golden mean in the literature.8 Other authors, like Цdцn Vasvбry, thought that only about 3,000 people of Hungarian origin lived in the United States at the end of the 1850s. As opposed to these estimations, Tivadar Бcs claimed in his book that 5,000(!) Hungarian soldiers fought in the Civil War, suggesting that the total number of Hungarian people in America was even larger. The fact that these researchers failed to reveal their methods makes them hardly unreliable and forces us to make an attempt to analyze the statistical data ourselves. No historian so far has endeavored to analyse the census data in the United States searching for people of Hungarian origin from the period 6 Rбcz, Istvбn. "Emigration from Hungary to the U.S.A.," Magyar Tцrtйneti Tanulmбnyok 10, (1973), pp. 135­137. 7 Kertheny, Karl-Maria. Die Ungarn in Auslande. Namensliste Ungarischer Emigration Seit 1840. Bruxelles und Leipzig, 1864. 8 Pivбny, Eugene. Hungarians in the American Civil War. Cleveland: Dongу, 1913. pp. 5­6., Vasvбry, Edmund. Lincoln and the Hungarians. Pittsburgh, PA. William Penn Fraternal Association. 1961­1964. pp. 1­2., Бcs, Tivadar. Magyarok az йszakamerikai polgбrhбborъban. Budapest: Pannonia, 1964. pp. 22­23. 181
prior to 1870. In order to realize the difficulties one has to face doing so, a few lines have to be devoted to the nature of this type of federal records. A census has been taken in the United States every ten years beginning in 1790, for the purpose of enumerating the population for apportioning representatives.9 Information about households and individuals was collected house-to-house canvass. The filled-in forms constitute the population schedules for each decennial census. The originals of these census records from the period between 1840 and 1870 are in the custody of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The census of 1850 is often called "the first modern census", as beginning with that year more comprehensive census information was gathered. Prior to 1850 only the name of the household head was recorded. In the 1850 schedules, however, for the first time, the name of each free person in a household is given (free inhabitants were separated from the slave schedules). In addition, an entry for each free person shows the following items of information: name, age, sex, color (white, black, or mulatto), occupation for males over 15, value of real estate owned, the state, territory, or country of birth, whether the person attended school or was married within a year, whether the person could read or write if over 20, and whether the person was deaf-mute, blind, insane, an idiot, a pauper, or a convict. As far as the censuses of 1860 and 1870 are concerned, they followed the very same pattern, thus they provide similar type of information.10 These data are accessible in the National Archives, in the American federal capital. The schedules are part of the Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. The 1850 schedules are microfilmed on M432, 1,009 rolls, the 1860 schedules on M653, 1,438 rolls, whereas the 1870 ones on M593, 1,748 rolls.11 9 In the United States Congress there is a twofold system of representation: each state sends to senators to the upper chamber (equal representation), whereas the number of representatives in the lower house depends on the population of the particular state (proportionate representation.) 10 For more detailed information about the censuses consult, Donne Delle and R. Carmen, Federal Census Schedules, 1850­80: Primary Sources for historical research. Reference Information Paper 67, 1973; Carroll D. Wright and William C. Hunt, The History and Growth of the United States Census. (56th Congress, 1st session, S. Doc. 194, serial 3856.) 11 For the utilization of the holdings of the National Archives for genealogical purposes see, Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, 1985. 182
Everyone who has ever worked with the microfilm reader would agree that searching for information using it is extremely time-consuming and tiresome. Moreover, we definitely face numerous difficulties when looking for people of Hungarian origin in these records. Unfortunately, there are no indexes which group the household heads based on their country of origin, therefore, it is impossible to trace them using solely the microfilmed schedules. It could offer a way out to use additional sources, for example, contemporary newspapers, but these sources are sporadic by their nature and the spelling of the foreign names is hopelessly and gloriously confused in them. Using them as the only starting point for further research surely leads nowhere. There is, however, another crucial, migration-related group of federal records which could definitely be made use of. In 1819 the Congress enacted the first legislation concerning the processing of immigrants. It provided that a record should be kept of the number of passengers in each customs district and mandated the registration of each person's name, age, gender, occupation and country of birth. Up to 1867, the records included all "alien passengers arrived", although it did not distinguish "immigrants" from "passengers."12 The passenger arrival records are also available in the National Archives and they consist of customs passenger lists, immigration passenger lists, and indexes to some of the lists. The records were created by the captains or masters of the vessels, collectors of customs, and immigration officers at the ports of entry to comply with the abovementioned federal laws. Most of them are in the Records of the United States Customs Service, Record Group 36, where nearly all the lists and indexes are available as microfilm publications. The problem again, however, is that only name-based search is possible in them, therefore, some additional information is needed, since the records of passengers are voluminous. For some parts, there are hundreds of lists for each year, many of which contain hundreds of names. A general search, consequently, would be prohibitively time-consuming. These are the main reasons why no historian so far has embarked on collecting data about this first sizeable wave of Hungarian emigrants to the United States. Moving downward (starting out from the general population statistics) in the records does not work with these early immigration records, but the exact opposite could offer a possible way of 12 See, John P. Colletta, They Came in Ships. (Ancestry.com, 2002.) 183
approaching them. However, as we have seen, the confusing nature of the various record groups and the fact that we know only the full names of a disproportionately small number of immigrants makes this enterprise almost hopeless. A different approach and the recent development in research methodology may solve this deadlock and finally enable us to place this early period of Hungarian expatriation within the general framework of Hungarian emigration to the United States. This aid comes from the realm of genealogy, an often neglected and more often looked-down-on field of history which, therefore, deserves a brief introduction. Genealogy and Immigration Studies Genealogy is the study of the history of families and the documentation of lines of ancestry and descent. Although in the United States pedigree per se has not been crucial in determining status or in trasferring property, in more limited situations it has had a degree of importance. Since the 18th century genealogy has developed into a subsidiary academic discipline, serving sociology, history, medicine, and law. Libraries often have departments of genealogy, where volumes used in genealogical research are kept (e.g., passenger ship lists, immigration records, family genealogies, etc.); many historical societies also have such libraries.13 As the United States is undoubtedly a nation of immigrants, where individual self-definition is often made difficult by geographical, cultural and language barriers, people understandably wish to know about their ancestors and roots. Getting hold of these pieces of information is often immensely difficult, especially for those with no research experience. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that one of the most profitable history-related enterprises overseas is being a genealogist: a special kind of family "private eye" who takes the lives of long-deceased relatives under his magnifying glass. What makes their services particularly indispensable is the fact that the primary sources of information are the federal records available for 13 Concerning genealogy consult, Bill R. Linder, How To Trace Your Family History: A Basic Guide to Genealogy. New York: Everest House, 1980.; Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (eds.) The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. (Ancestry.com, 1996.) 184
research at the National Archives. As it could be seen previously, doing research there can be quite confusing. One cannot enter knowing only a single name. The National Archives keeps federal records, therefore, one should always have information of when, how, and where their ancestor came into contact with the federal government (birth, marriage, naturalization, death, etc.) For those who find this job too complicated, professional genealogists can offer assistance. Although they are looked at reproachfully by the rest of the historian profession, these "genies", as they are generally nicknamed, can be of great help in certain cases and not just in the reconstruction of family histories. One of the fields where genealogy can provide precious pieces of information is migration studies and this is the point where this branch of history can come in handy when studying the history of the Kossuth emigration. However, our original problems are not solved by this recognition. We hardly face any chance going to the National Archives, if we know only the names, misspelled as they often were as the expatriates disembarked, either by the master of the ship or the immigration officer at their port of entry. However, two factors offer a solution to this problem. Searching for ancestors ranks just below baseball among pastimes in the United States, although it is clear that not everybody has the opportunity to do research personally in the archives, and not everybody can afford to hire a "genie" to do this job for them. It is no wonder that the spread of the Internet spawned very successful enterprises which offered access to the digitized images of the original documents, and, what is more important, the creation of these databases offer advanced search options, other than the rather restricted ones in the archives. In the following, I am going to focus on two of these online genealogical research aids, and analyze how they can be utilized, and finally, elaborate on the records of two individuals as case studies. One of the electronic genealogical research aids is called HeritageQuest Online (www.heritagequestonline.com). Founded in 1983 by Bradley and Raeone Steuart, HeritageQuest is the largest genealogical data provider in the United States and a leading purveyor of data, products, supplies to consumers and institutions. Its source document holdings have soared to over 250,000 titles which can be combined with the resources of Proquest, another Internet-based data provider which 185
purchased HeritageQuest in 2001.14 Among its databases one can find the complete set of U.S. Federal Census records for the years 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1860, 1870, 1890­1930. But what makes this research software particularly interesting for those trying to locate people of Hungarian origin in the census records? It is its advanced search options which enable us to search for surname, age, state, county, age sex, race and birthplace. And this last feature is exactly what we have been looking for. By searching for people born in Hungary in the census of 1860 we get a total number of 1,141 household heads. What is more, they are arranged according to the states and territories where they were living when the census was taken. By clicking on one of the states, Alabama, for instance, we get the list of names with the basic personal particulars. Choosing any of the names, we get the digital image of the original page from the census records. It can be printed or downloaded for further studying. This is a crucial option of the software, as--although they have been working carefully with the transciption of the original documents--some mistakes, mostly misspellings, do occur. This way, however, these can be corrected with relative ease and not only the household heads can be detected, but further members of the households (spouses, underage children, elderly people, etc.) as well. This is, however, only a tiny fragment of the services offered by the program. It is possible to search for names in the Publications database which includes 20,000 family and local histories (books) and more than 1.6 million genealogy and local history articles. It is easy to see that HeritageQuest Online is indeed an immense help not only for those searching for information about their ancestors, or the genealogists trying to reconstruct family trees, but also for the historian looking for data about immigrants. However, there are other immigration-related sources which could be made good use of when tracking people of Hungarian origin living in the United States in our scrutinized period. Therefore, it is adviseable to use the previously-mentioned research aid along with another, similarly excellent software, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com). Part of a network of genealogical websites, Ancestry.com offers 5 billion names and 4,000 14 For information about the enterprise visit, http://www.heritagequest.com/genealogy/information/html/about_us.html 186
searchable databases, which make it one of the definite sources of information on the Internet for family history information.15 Ancestry.com offers the very same services as HeritageQuest Online, as the censuses from 1790 to 1930 can be researched, furthermore, the ones which were missing from the previous one (1830­50, 1880) are also included in this software. This enables us to cover the whole period between 1850 and 1870. The databases of Ancestry.com provide much more than that. Its collections include Birth, Marriage and Death Records which are the prime sources of genealogical research. What is particularly interesting from the point of view of our research is the United States Immigration Records. It consists of various crucial sources: passenger lists for all major ports, immigration lists, naturalization applications, the data of the Emigrant Savings Bank, just to mention some. Yet another database offers a more restricted option which can be used with Hungarians who participated in the American Civil War, 1861­65. The Military Records offer information about those who served in all major wars of the United States. It is possible to acquire the basic service information, but sometimes biographical notes are provided as well, particularly if the person served as an officer. The software offers several additional features which provide an opportunity for the ardent researcher to get hold of precious pieces of information. All these enable us to trace down the careers Hungarian immigrants with a relatively high degree of accuracy and, consequently, we might hope to place these two neglected, almost "lost" decades into the framework of Hungarian emigration to the United States. In the second part of this paper I wish to present two case studies for the application of both of the above-mentioned research tools so that the readers can get an idea of the versatility of their utilization. Both of these concern members of the Kossuth emigration. One of them is an almost unknown Alabama farmer of Hungarian origin, Sigmond Brock, while the other is one of the most famous Kossuth emigrйs, Charles Zбgonyi, about whom we know so much, yet about whose career there are still so many questions to be answered. 15 For further information about ancestry.com visit, http://www.myfamilyinc.com/default.aspx. 187
Sigmond Brock and Charles Zбgonyi: The Application of Internetbased Genealogical Research Aids: Two Case Studies One can come across with the name of Sigmond Brock in the database of the United States Census of 1860. At the time the census was taken, Brock, 38, lived in Lawrence County in the state of Alabama. The country of his birth was Hungary. He was married, his wife Malvina, 22, was native-born American from Alabama. They had three children: Samuel, 4, James,2, and Mary, 8 months old. Sigmond worked as a farmer and he was a relatively well-to-do man: the value of his real estate was $1,000 and he had a personal property worth $15,000. This latter piece of information is quite surprising, as for farmers the value of the real estates usually well exceeded that of their personal property. However, if we continue studying the various databases, in the Slave Schedules of 1860 we come across a more surprising fact which immediately answers the previous question as well: Sigmond Brock was a slave holder! Slaves were enumerated separately during the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The actual images are in the custody of the National Archives. Unfortunately, the individuals were not named, but simply numbered, therefore, they can be distinguished only by age, sex, and color; the names of the slave owners are listed, of course. From the data we can learn that in 1860 Brock had 12 slaves. He had 6 under-age slaves, and 6 adults, males and females equally represented. An excellent study on slavery, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery by Williams Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman (1974), estimates the average price of slaves to be around $1,658 for the period 1856­1860, so it is safe to conclude that Brock had the overwhelming majority of his capital invested into slaves. According to analyses of the census data for e.g. Lauderdale County in Alabama, close to where Brock resided, an average of about ten slaves per holder was typical.16 This means that the person under our scrutiny was a slaveholder of slightly-above-than-average wealth, but definitely not a great plantation owner. 16 Blake, Tom. Lauderdale County, Alabama. Largest Slaveholders from 1860 Slave Census Schedules. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/%7Eajac/allauderdale.htm (May 15, 2006) 188
There is yet another document which reveals a further piece of information about Brock's financial situation. In the database entitled Alabama land records one reference can be found to Sigmond Brock. On September 1, 1860 he had his land recorded in the land office in Huntsville, and the document contains that this portion of land was of the size of 240 acres.17 Quite strangely, no information of any kind can be found about Brock, or any member of his family in the census of 1870 or later. One wonders whether they were killed in the Civil War, or having been deprived of his slaves following the war Brock decided to return to Hungary, perhaps after the Compromise of 1867? On the basis of the existing documents we cannot tell. It can be seen that plenty of information can be acquired from the combined use of the two research aids, even if the person we intend to do research on is an "unknown" member of the community, at least for mainstream historians. Internet-based genealogical softwares can also come in handy, however, when we try to get hold of further bits and pieces of information in connection with the life and career of prominent immigrants. Therefore, in the following it is my intention to prove this by presenting the career of Kбroly (Charles) Zбgonyi (1826­?) as a case study. Zбgonyi was another member of the so-called Kossuth emigration who arrived in the United States in 1851. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined with General Fremont in Missouri and organized and commanded a body guard cavalry unit to be known as Fremont's Guard. He led his men personally in a cavalry charge, the famous Springfield Charge also known as Zбgonyi's Death-Ride, which took place on October 25, 1861. The guard succeeded in recapturing Springfield and claiming the state of Missouri for the Union. They lost sixteen men in the charge and the Confederates reported 116 men dead.18 This victory, however, could not save Frйmont's command in Missouri, he was removed by Abraham Lincoln due to continuous military defeats and his premature emancipation proclamation in the state. 17 United States. Bureau of Land Management. Alamaba Pre-1908 Homestead & Cash Entry Patent and Cadastral Survey Plat Index. General Land Office Automated Records Project, 1996. No. 21163. 18 About Zбgonyi see, Beszedits, Stephen "Hungarians with General John C. Fremont in the American Civil War." Vasvбry Collection Newsletter (2003/2). Accessible at: http://www.sk-szeged.hu/szolgaltatas/vasvary/newsletter/03dec/beszedits.html 189
This also meant dissolving his body guard, and many officers in his staff decided to remain loyal to Frйmont and quit service, among them Zбgonyi. Basically that is all we know about Zбgonyi's military career in the Civil War. His name appears here and there in the sources, but nothing can be known about his later life. In 1864 The New York Times listed him along with Frйmont as a general officer without commands and even made his monthly payment of $164 public.19 It is not quite sure, however, whether he remained in the United States or returned to Hungary after the Civil War. According to one of the sources, he owned a cigar shop in Pest around 1870, although this cannot be validated.20 Others suppose that he died some time after 1867. Let us see whether Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest Online can offer any further information about his life? His name appears in the records of the Emigrant Savings Bank. This institution was established in 1850 by members of the Irish Emigrant Society. It ended up serving thousands of--predominantly Irish--immigrants. The bank kept many volumes of records including an Index Book, a Test Book, a Transfer, Signature and a Deposit-Account Ledger.21 Similarly to many fellow-expatriates, Zagonyi also held an account in the bank. His name appears both in the Test Books and the Index Book. One record was created on December 10, 1861, and it provides the following information about Zagonyi. He was born in 1823 in Hungary, Europe, he arrived in the United States in 1851. He served as a major in the Fremont Bodyguard. The name of his spouse appears as Amanda Speer, but it can be known that this is a misspelling, as he married Amanda Schweiger, the daughter of a German emigrant in 1854. The records say that the couple had no children. Three days later, on December 13, 1861, another record was made in the Test Book from which the very same pieces of information can be acquired.22 As mentioned above, not much can be known about Zбgonyi's fate after the Civil War. Nevertheless there is a source which reveals that 19 The New York Times (January 15, 1864), 1. 20 "First Fire, Then Smoke". [From the Tuscumbia Osage Valley Sentinel. February 24, 1871] Missouri Historical Review (Vol. 36, 1992) 21 Ancestry.com. New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850­1883. Provo: Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. 22 Emigrant Savings Bank Records. R-USLHG, ZI-815. Microfilm Roll 6. New York, N.Y.: New York Public Library 190
Amanda Zбgonyi married an unidentified person in Manhattan in 1870.23 This can mean two things: Zбgonyi was either dead by then and his widow remarried, or he returned to Hungary possibly after the Compromise of 1867, as some sources suggest, and they had divorced prior to that. Plenty of other references can be found in the databases of both research aids with primary focus on Zбgonyi's military career. Unfortunately, even the Internet-based genealogical databases have their limits, as many of the collections are based on documents held in the National Archives indicating only events of the individuals' lives when they came into contact with the federal government. Genealogy also relies on family documents, however, both the distance in time and space make it very difficult, yet not hopeless to get hold of this kind of information. There are some successful attempts by descendants of Hungarian emigrйs living in the United States to reconstruct their family trees and what is more, plenty of primary sources (personal letters, diaries, family memorabilia, etc.) have been revealed this way. Just to mention a quite recent example, Janet and Douglas Kozlay, descendants of Colonel Eugene Kozlay, Hungarian participant in the American Civil War, donated his papers from the period between 1849­1853 to the Petfi Irodalmi Museum (Petfi Museum of Literature) in Budapest.24 Janet has been working extremely hard to get the papers translated into English and they are planning to collect and publish them in a single volume. When writing this paper I had the intention to show the strong interrelations between migration history and geneology. However, studying historical links and contacts in general is made particularly complicated by the fact that some sources are accessible in one country, while the rest of them in another, and sometimes the reading knowledge of at least two languages is required if one wishes to work with them. The practical applicability of Internet-based genealogical research aids cannot be denied, as using them there is no need to travel long distances to work in various archives. Unfortunately, this kind of research is still approached with suspicion by many historians who hang on to traditional archival research methodology. This will hopefully change in the not-too-distant future, and more and more researchers will recognize the excellent 23 Marriage Registers, Extract from Manhattan (1869­1880). Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, New York. Certificate number: 7289. 24 Nйpszabadsбg (March 11, 2006) 191
features offered by these softwares which will facilitate the study of Hungarian migration to the United States, and enable us to treat it as an integral whole without a two-decade gap between Kossuth's visit to the United States and the beginning of the so-called New Immigration around 1870. Let this be our wish to the Genie of the Lamp! 192
BOOK REVIEWS
TIBOR GLANT ANDRБS TARNУC: THE DYNAMICS OF AMERICAN MULTICULTURALISM: A MODEL-BASED STUDY. Eger: EKF Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 186 pp. Andrбs Tarnуc, Professor of the Department of American Studies at Eger, Hungary, has published a treatise on The Dynamics of Multiculturalism: A Model-Based Study (Eger, 2005). The work relies heavily on Tarnуc's doctoral thesis defended in Debrecen in 2000, and, according to its foreword, focuses primarily on the evolution of American multiculturalism between 1945 and 1975. The book breaks down into four chapters: the first three evaluate centrifugal and centripetal forces in American culture, while the fourth, and longest one, looks at the dynamics among five secondary cores of American culture: Black Male and Female, Chicano and Chicana, and White Female. Chapter one offers a brief summation of the evolution of the primary core: the white (until the 1960s, WASP) male culture in the United States. Tarnуc uses methodology developed by Zsolt Virбgos (Debrecen University), and focuses on the role of centrifugal and centripetal forces. He cleverly points to the fact that the dominant white male culture had functioned simultaneously as a secondary core to British culture until well into the 19th century. Chapter two reviews the centrifugal forces in the relationship between the primary and each of the five secondary cores selected for investigation. Chapter three, logically, looks at the centripetal forces in the same context. The truly exciting analyses come in chapter four, which, by itself, makes up one third of the book. In a detailed and entertaining discussion of what Tarnуc calls the "five oppositional matrixes," he looks at centrifugality in all possible permutations: the Black Aesthetic vs. the White Female Aesthetic, the Chicano Aesthetic vs. the Black Female Aesthetic etc. A possible chapter five could have 195
reviewed centripetal forces in the same context. Its absence indicates that the author does not see such forces at play. Tarnуc knows his material quite well and uses references convincingly to support his claims and conclusions. He registers the development and state of American culture as he saw it at the time of writing his dissertation, the late 1990s. I particularly like three of his conclusions, because they provoke further thoughts. In chapter one he describes the concentric circles interpretation of culture (26), then concludes, by the end of chapter two, that it is "not relevant any more" (78). The various expectations regarding assimilation from the melting pot through the salad bowl to the mosaic represent a negotiated process in American culture; a negotiated process between the dominant white (often times WASP) male culture and the various secondary cores. In this process, the dominant white male culture gradually lost ground, and this can clearly be seen in the period Tarnуc chose for investigation: the first three decades following World War II, and especially the 1960s. In any such negotiation, overstating one's claims is fairly common on both sides. And, under such circumstances, conflict is more apparent than compromise, centrifugal forces attract more attention than centripetal ones. Quite logically, Tarnуc concludes that American multiculturalism (a term he uses in the broadest possible sense to cover the evolution of American culture, not just the 1990s) has gone through a paradigm shift from an integrationist state to a dispersive one (169). Fair enough, this is the bone of contention in the 1990s debate over the "disuniting of America" or the "closing of the American mind," but, again, we must emphasize that the bygone integrationist state (if there ever was one) simply represented a better bargaining position for the dominant white (WASP) male culture. In other words, as a result of the many achievements of the various movements of the 1960s, the dominant white male culture now has to negotiate, state and overstate its claims, more than it was forced to do four decades ago. Also in chapter two (79), Tarnуc observes that the five secondary cores mistakenly view the primary core culture as monolithic. It is not only not monolithic, its various representatives have played a key part in winning recognition for the secondary cores in question, thereby acting against what should have been perceived as the interest of their own groups. Arguably the most notable example is white (male and female) participation in various civil rights organizations; and one added twist is 196
that white members of CORE were then "purged" by the end of the 1960s. Furthermore, just like the primary core, the various secondary cores are also quite diverse. Herein lies my main concern regarding a "model-based" approach to culture. Models are used to describe a given state of affairs, they represent a time capsule, a snapshot. Models tend to simplify, and thus work against the very nature of culture: diversity. Culture, in my opinion, defies modeling because it is incomprehensibly complex and because it is in constant evolution. Tarnуc reduces this contradiction to a minimum by restricting his focus to five, clearly identified (and well described) segments of American culture. He does an excellent job in chapter four describing the various interactions among the five secondary cores. Yet, he is not describing "the dynamics of American multiculturalism," only various segments of it. Let me explain through a few examples what I mean. Neither black culture in general nor the Black Aesthetic in particular has ever been monolithic, although it might have seemed that way to the dominant white male culture when Afro-Americans had no or limited access to mainstream media and lacked the means of presenting their own case. Diversity came to the fore in the 1950s and 1960s, and debates over different levels of "blackness" continue to plague the black communities even at the time of Barack Obama's historic run for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2008. In Bamboozled (2000), director Spike Lee pits "nigger" against "negro" so much so that the former destroys the latter. Similar diversity may be observed in all the four other secondary cores described by Tarnуc. The infinite possibilities (and manifestations) of interaction among such diverse cultural actors seem to render the drafting of a model that can describe American culture well-nigh impossible. Further complicating the problem of the "five oppositional matrixes" described by Tarnуc in chapter four is the problem of religion. Chicano culture is deeply rooted in Roman Catholicism, WASP culture in various forms of Protestantism, while the Black Aesthetic favors the Nation of Islam. In an irrational twist, Louis Farrakhan's Anti-Semitic statements place him on equal footing with the Ku Klux Klan (an integral, albeit not very appealing element of the WASP male cultural heritage); all that despite continuing Jewish support for Black civil rights. My enemy's enemy is not my friend any more. With growing expectations for tolerance on all sides (freedom of opinion vs. abusive language) the 197
whole thing is developing into a cultural free-for-all. Factoring this into a model describing American culture would be no easy task. Tarnуc chose not to discuss the Native American dimensions of American culture, which is a legitimate decision on his part: a dissertation (now turned to book) has to have clearly defined limits. This, however, makes his attempt to offer a model-based interpretation of American multiculturalism open to criticism, as there is no understanding of American culture without the Native American dimension. Like slavery (or patriarchy), the genocide of the native Indians of the land is an ugly skeleton in the closet of the dominant white male culture. And, together with the various Afro-American and Hispanic civil rights movements and the rise of feminism in the 1960s, the Native American movements (Red Power, AIM) played a key role in reshaping the American cultural landscape and in setting the stage for much of the culture wars of the 1990s. The vast majority of Tarnуc's references (172­80) come from before September 11, 2001. So, by way of conclusion, let us review some of the dynamics of post-9/11 American culture, with a focus on Tarnуc's selected secondary cores. The terrorist attacks on key US targets seemed to vindicate Samuel P. Huntington's claim that the post-cold war fault lines in global politics will bring about a "clash of civilizations." Islam, and even the Nation of Islam, rings a different bell after 9/11 than it did before. Legitimate national selfdefense is inextricably mixed with abuse of power and racial profiling both inside and outside the United States. The US is officially at war, with troops stationed overseas. Yet the major fault line within American culture (as it transpires through the media accessible in Hungary) seems to be not along color or gender lines, but within the (once) dominant white culture. The militant cold war rhetoric of the Reagan era suppressed dissenting voices in American culture for much of the 1980s, but the abrupt end of the Soviet­American rivalry (1989) and of the Soviet Union itself (1991) lifted the lid. The volatile negotiating process so apparent in the 1960s and early 1970s was reopened and claims were again stated and overstated. The debate over the interpretations of rape, political correctness, and the Rodney King riots all point in this direction. A never before seen level of tolerance for the different has led Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. to conclude in 1991 that we were witnessing "the disuniting of America." Instead, this new level of tolerance, combined 198
with the very real outside threat represented by international terrorism, brought about an America which is very different from the one described in Tarnуc's book. In terms of race, ethnic and gender relations, what started with heated debates in the 1990s is now a new level of consensus. In the past ten years we have seen a First Lady become a senator and a major candidate for the presidency, Nancy Pelosi now serves as the Speaker of the House, Colin Powell became the first Afro-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Barack Obama has just been named the Democratic candidate for US president. Black, Chicano, Native American, gender, and gay studies are now uncontested building blocks of American higher education and academic study. The abusive language of the culture wars of the 1990s is gone, and Obama successfully weathered the storm raised by the rather intolerant remarks of his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Meanwhile, Senator McCain chose Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska to be his running mate on the Republican ticket. Palin is a former beauty queen, and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh described her as a babe: "The babe is the icing on the cake aspect, something the Democrats can't claim on their side" (August 28, 2008). Only in America, as Yogi Berra would say. Centrifugal and centripetal forces continue to be at play, and conflicts abound. Yet, the nature of these conflicts and the way these conflicts run their course is somehow different. The Rodney King case in the early 1990s led to nationwide riots not unlike the ghetto riots of the late 1960s, while the similarly explosive "Jena Six" case (2007) has led to much public debate without violence. Hispanic culture is present in America in a way it has never been before, with Spanish language broadcasts of all the major channels available at the touch of the button. The once fully acceptable Bracero program has given way to illegal immigration, which has also produced unexpected twists on both sides: the Bush administration is building barbed wire fences along the Rio Grande (thus realizing Pat Buchanan's age-old dream), while Hispanic activists have launched an illegal immigrants' civil rights movement. Meanwhile, the first Taco Bell restaurant was opened in Mexico City in 2007. In describing the dynamics between the dominant white culture and the various secondary cores, Tarnуc uses the image of overlapping circles to denote common areas as well as "the cultural, historical, and political space inaccessible" to these groups (53). These secondary core cultures have taken these spaces in the primary core by storm. Besides the examples listed above: the US Secretary of State is a black woman 199
(Condoleezza Rice), Alberto Gonzales served as the first Attorney General of Hispanic origin, and the 2008 presidential election continues to amaze us with its ever-expanding woman participation on both sides. It must be noted, however, that these trends work the other way round, too: a number of recent American movies deal with white people peacefully invading "blacks only" spaces (where, according to Tarnуc, the Black Aesthetic comes from). These include the aforementioned Bamboozled and White Man Can't Jump (1992), to name but two. This is quite interesting because in the color-coded world of America where the singledrop rule prevailed even in Supreme Court decisions (cf. Plessy vs. Ferguson) passing for white was an "illegal" means of invading "whites only" spaces by stealth. In the case of established pop icon Michael Jackson, his desire to become white through plastic surgery is at best scorned by various representatives of the dominant white culture (cf. evening talk show hosts). Still, the major fault lines in American culture exist within the once dominant white culture. White culture has long been dominated by the liberal media, and any attempt to challenge the status quo has been described as anti-intellectualism. In the past decade, however, the Fox network has successfully built a conservative media empire which is able to offer a viable alternative for "red" America. The news wars have now shifted to the internet, and blogs and YouTube have taken over from TVpundits in interpreting political news and events. The chief targets of conservative evangelicals are not the various minorities but white liberals, and vice versa. Much of the debate revolves around issues related to religion, or the perceived lack thereof. Is America a Christian nation? Creationism or evolution? Pro-life or pro-choice? Is the war on terror a new crusade? Faith-based initiatives or separation of church and state? In the demonizing processes of 20th-century western civilization, Hitler gradually took over from Satan as the ultimate evil. In contemporary American political discourse it is fairly common to describe the other side (within the same dominant white culture) as Fascist. Aaron Russo's feature-length documentary, America: Freedom to Fascism (2006), explains the gradual erosion of civil liberties and the emergence of the police state in America (the key being the national ID card to be introduced in 2008), while conservative author Jonah Goldberg traces Liberal Fascism (2007) back to the progressive era by exposing "[t]he secret history of the American left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning." This is not unlike the movements of the 1960s or the culture 200
wars of the 1990s, and something will have to give. One wonders, however, whether this will happen before or after the once dominant white core culture splinters irreparably. Models or snapshots, observing the evolution of American culture is an entertaining task. I believe Andrбs Tarnуc enjoys, and will continue to enjoy, it as much as I do. 201
JUDIT БGNES KБDБR THE 1950S. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2003 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE HUNGARIAN ASSOCIATION FOR AMERICAN STUDIES. Edited by Enik Bollobбs and Szilvia Nagy. Budapest: Eцtvцs Lorбnd University, Department of American Studies, 2005. 233 pp. The essay collection entitled The 1950s. Proceedings of the 2003 Biennial Conference of the Hungarian Association for American Studies has been published by one of the most relevant centers of American Studies in Hungary and was edited by prominent experts on the field. Consequently, both the conference and the publication itself provides the public with a profoundly comprehensive, yet unique understanding of the 1950s' USA. What makes this collection of twenty-five papers special for the Hungarian public as well as for international readers is the particular Hungarian context from which most researchers had viewed the given time period. People of our fathers' generation as well as ours have cherished long untold questions related to the hard-to-comprehend complexities of reality in the 1950s not only in post-war USA but also in the troubled waters of post-war Hungary. Some authors have provided us with interesting insights into the socio-cultural and political background of daily life and arts, while others addressed more abstract issues that have proved to be truly important factors shaping daily reality. Since the publication has been devoted to the memory of Robert Creeley (1926­2005), poet critic and late keynote lecturer of the conference, the publishers committed their work to an aesthetic heritage of the 1950s, too, in the course of which, as Creeley himself claims, too, the period of a significant collective change is investigated thoroughly from various historical, political, sociological, film and literary 203
perspectives. Both Creeley and Clive Bush highlighted the change of viewpoint reflected in poetry of the 1950s, especially in Allen Ginsberg's arts and underlined the exciting correlations between the social changes and those visible in poetry. Discussing another major shaper of consciousness of the given period, i.e. Tocqueville, Matthew Mancini sums up the essential feature of the decade as follows: "The 1950s are often seen as a paradigmatic era of the Great Forces, a time when a devastated Japan and prostrate Europe left the world stage to two great antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union; and when in the United States itself a kind of complacent mediocrity was said to characterize historical and many other kinds of scholarship about America (28)." On the contrary, the present book contains a number of invaluable scholarly essays that explore the daily reality as well as the relevant currents of thought in the 1950s, such as Andrбs Csillag's paper who raises the question of courage or collective responsibility with some regards to the news coverage of McCarthyism, the power and manipulation of/by the media. Csillag argues that "the media lived off the witch-hunters. The press flocked to McCarthy because he was bizarre, unpredictable, entertaining and always newsworthy (54)." He was manipulative but always accessible, a "political monster (55)" whose downfall was due to televised Senate investigations into the army. Similarly, Бgnes Kakasi's rather short but interesting treatise on propaganda films in Hungary and USA 1948­1953 underlines the non-artistic purposes of film makers who created movies as means of agitation against the "western enemy" with a rich hierarchy of good and bad characters and a "sub-textual message (112)" that in fact the reader might have been provided some more details of... Another thought-provoking essay in line with the above mentioned ones is Sarolta Marinovits's writing that contains interesting recognitions related to the correlations among 1950s family life, gender roles, social structure and prestige, class and literary interests. The author refers to the Pink Think movement, the ideological tuning of femininity and explains how it has changed the general ouvre of the decade. As for gender roles and public image making in the 1950s, the mention of one of the most charismatic personalities of the period is indispensable, and that is analyzed in Gyцngyi Fekete's great essay on the definition of gender with some regards to Elvis Presley, the King of pop music. Fekete argues that Elvis is a "renegotiation of gender (150)", an oscillating figure, a crossover between old and new generation concepts of maleness. 204
"Elvis became a potential role model for those seeking to experiment with new, or previously marginalized cultural forms [....] challenging some of the major American cultural myths and calling attention to their interconnectedness (154)." Another essay that examines gender roles, their manipulation and the daily reality of the 1950s is Donald E. Morse's "Sterile Men and Nuclear Vacuum Cleaners: The Atomic Bomb and Atomic Energy in the 1950s." The telling title opens the stage for a very personal, often humorous and smart view on the shared inspirations, feelings, fears for millions related to the Cold War and its daily reality, the combination of satire and Dooms Day mentality that boils down to gallows humor in literature such as Pat Frank's Mr. Adam (1946). Much less on the humorous side, Gйza Jeszenszky's essay poses one of the most disturbing questions for many Hungarians in the last 50 years: "Did the United States let down Hungary in 1956?" As a fellow Hungarian and researcher of American culture, this question has popped up a number of times to me, too, not as an accusation of any sort but rather as a challenge to the international image the U.S. has created in the second half of the 20th Century. Another equally disturbing political issue is the infamous Imre Nagy funeral that Karl Beltinger analyzes on the basis of the general atmosphere of the period and people's doubts and fallen faith in the fundamental legal and political institutions, as well as the mindscape of political manipulators, revolutionists and victims. Edit Zsadбnyi explains the latter and the problem of Americanisms in the 1950s in her essay on Erzsйbet Galgуczi's novel entitled Vidravas as follows: "The taste of America tastes diversely in different cultures. In Hungary, smoking an American cigarette had a unique meaning in the 1950s, which is hardly understandable from the present point-of-view. We still reproduce ways of thinking, patterns of behavior and problemsolving methods that root in the terror of the fifties. Though the traces of the fifties are still with us, we do not have the feeling of this period any more: the constant fear, the uncertainty, the irrationality of every day life (133)." Post-war othering dissent in U.S. literature and films is explored in numerous papers, such as Irйn Annus's treatise on Pollock and McCartysm, the Other in the regime of the 1950s; two essays on Charles Olson's poetry by Enik Bollobбs and Lбszlу Munteбn; Csaba Csapу's writing on Zen Buddhism and Salinger's religious mysticism, practice, experience over faith, illumination, revelation along with the American 205
context of Buddhism of the 1950s, calling for an exciting example of a short story entitled "Teddy"; two essays on the "ambiguous male" addressed in some Tennessee Williams dramas and their movie versions, with their possible sociopolitical implications: Rйka Cristian's essay, which highlights some textual strategies in Williams's dramas, while Zoltбn Dragon identifies the "blind spots", the so-called "optical unconscious", i.e. the strategy of absence enforcing the emphasis on the missing content, taboos, namely rape, homosexuality as perversion and nymphomania. Mбria Kurdi calls attention to Lillian Hellman's "critically under-read" The Lark, discussing McCarthysm, witch hunt and gender othering strategies and she claims that "The Lark reclaims the female heroine as an individual who ekes out a measure of freedom for herself to influence the ways she should be remembered and represented, focusing on the rights McCarthysm was shadowing (131)." This strategy of giving a different voice to previously unvoiced or manipulated voices from the past is quite similar to the story of Katherine Tekakwitha, the Mohawk Saint in Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers and many other pieces of historiographic metafiction. Mentioning history, another important scholarly perspective also appears on the palette of the currents of thought related to the 1950s, and that is Daniel Boorstin and the Consensus School of historiography inCsaba Lйvai's paper, as well as Йva Eszter Szabу's paper on LatinAmerican and U.S. relations of the 1950s, which is a logically constructed explanation of the development and context, pitfalls and cornerstones of U.S. foreign politics. Furthermore, the reader is also provided with an insight into national defense education by Sбndor Czeglйdi, who indicates how close-knit the relationship was between education policy and legislation in the decade, while Judit Szatmбri calls attention to a less analyzed aspect of American culture of the 1950s, and that is the problem of American Indian policy and the so-called "citified Indians", the relocation of Native Americans with all the concomitant burning issues of civil rights, financial (in)security and the achievements of urban Indian self-help groups. As the reader can see, this publication provides us with a rich and colorful collection of scholarly perspectives on the 1950s' USA as well as a few useful hints on U.S. and Hungarian political and cultural relations that all seem to make up for some earlier blind spots and obscure areas of the field. 206
LENKE MБRIA NЙMETH LEHEL VADON: WALT WHITMAN: A HUNGARIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY. Eger: Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 244 pp. An outstanding contribution to the study of American literature and American literary scholarship in Hungary, Lehel Vadon's Walt Whitman: A Hungarian Bibliography constitutes a new volume in the author's scholarly endeavour to launch a bibliographic series on the reception of American literature in Hungary. Dedicated to the compilation and publication of bibliographies that comprise all the facts and data pertaining the appearance of American literary works in Hungarian translations as well as Hungarian scholars' critical responses to them, Vadon has published an awe-inspiring one­volume Az amerikai irodalom йs irodalomtudomбny bibliogrбfiбja a magyar idszaki kiadvбnyokban 1990-ig [A Bibliography of American Literature and Literary Scholarship in Hungarian Periodicals till 1990] (1997) (It was issued by Eszterhбzy Kбroly Tanбrkйpz Fiskola in Eger.) In a constant effort to provide the ever-increasing community of the Hungarian students of American literature with as complete records of publications as possible, the compiler used 1619 periodicals and journals to collect bibliographical details in this edition, relevant parts of which served as a source material for the Whitman bibiliography. A mark of a true scholar and teacher, I believe, is the ability to recognize the unexplored gaps in the studies he pursues and provide the much needed works. Thus, a most remarkable asset of Vadon's enormous research work is that breaking his massive bibliographies into smaller, easily accessible units, he has launched author-and-theme-based series for the benefit of Americanists. The Whitman volume under discussion was 207
preceded by bibliographies on major representatives of American literary expressiveness such as Ernest Hemingway (1999) and Edgar Allan Poe (2004), and is a companion piece of a theme­based book on the American Renaissance (2005). Catering for the specific research interests of scholars and students alike, these user­friendly books make it available, even for the uninitiated, at a quick glance, several aspects of the reception of American literature in Hungary (fluctuations of interests, literary and political alike, the invaluable work of Hungarian poets, critics, translators, and many others). Just as the previous volumes in the series, the Whitman bibliography is divided into two main sections of primary and secondary sources. As Vadon claims in the preface, "the material has been collected from books printed in Hungary as well as Hungarian books printed beyond our border," and also from periodicals and newspapers as listed in his 1997 massive bibliography. The volume contains 2,015 fully described bibliographic details on Whitman and covers a period of nearly a century from 1914 to 2004 (see entries pp. 8 and 237, respectively). Arranged clearly and systematically, the first main part, "Walt Whitman in Hungarian" is subdivided into four units, three of which list entries on Whitman's poems in Hungarian translations and editions, books, and periodicals, while the fourth registers Whitman's essays in Hungarian publications. The secondary-sources section, "Hungarian Publications about Walt Whitman," however, has seven subheadings including a bibliography, books, studies, essays, and articles, followed by shorter writings and other publications, and then concluding with book reviews, and poems written to and in connection with Whitman. Vadon's comprehensive bibliography, however, offers much more inviting activities than merely looking at the statistical data and the significance of the huge amount of information presented there. Given the fact that the "American bard" of the nineteenth century, who paved the way for twentieth-century modern poetry not only in his home country but also in Europe, was both sneered and ignored by his contemporaries (the celebrated "patrician" poet James Russell Lowell described Whitman as a "rowdy, a New York tough, a loafer"), it is intriguing to trace Hungarian poets' and critics' mounting, sometimes wavering, interest in Whitman. As documented, Hungarian poet, prose writer, essayist, Dezs Kosztolбnyi (1885­1936) was the first to translate some of Whitman's poems ("Beautiful Women," "To a Locomative in Winter," "To One Shortly Die") and to publish them in Modern Kцltk (Modern Poets) in 208
1914, merely twenty-two years after Whitman's death. An early contributor to the highly influential literary journal of Nyugat (1908­1941), which was the cradle of modern poetry in Hungary, Kosztolбnyi, undoubtedly, had a major role in acquainting Whitman with Hungarian poets and public alike. Though three editions of Whitman's poems were issued in the 1920s, it was not until 1955--exactly a hundred years' delay--that Whitman's unique work Leaves of Grass hailed by Ralph Waldo Emerson "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom" was issued in Hungary. Less than a decade later, in 1964 Fszбlak. Цsszes Kцltemйnyek (Leaves of Grass. The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman), an annotated version was published with the afterword and notes of Lбszlу Orszбgh, lexicographer and founder of American Studies in Hungary. Then followed a nearly twenty­year lapse in issuing collected poems of Whitman, a fact that an in­depth study of the reception of Whitman's works in Hungary will, perhaps, investigate in the future. Nevertheless, the large number of entries--starting from 11 to 1723--in the part listing poems in books testifies to a constant interest in Whitman's poems. As regards the section entitled "Hungarian Publications about Walt Whitman," the fairly low number of entries (146) there is puzzling, especially when compared to the impressive number of items (1869) listed in the primary sources section. It is conspicuous that with the exception of an individual edition in 1986 (entry 2; p 229) and short essays and articles in various publications in 2003 and 2004 (entries 76 and 77; p 237), no record pertaining to Whitman appears. A circumstance that deserves much attention and careful analysis for researchers of reception theory or those engaged in surveying reading habits of the public and determining policies of publishing. An invaluable sourcebook as well as an indispensable reference book, Vadon's bibliography serves many purposes. As argued here, the ample information that the fully described bibliographical items provide is beneficial for a host of people including publishers, teachers of literature, translators, librarians, researchers of comparative studies of literature and culture, among others. Last but not least, a most fascinating aspect of Vadon's pioneering work is that his bibliography opens up deep and sweeping vistas for research both within and beyond the borders of American studies. 209
EDINA SZALAY LEHEL VADON: AMERICAN RENAISSANCE: A HUNGARIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY. Eger: Department of American Studies, Eszterhбzy Kбroly College, Lнceum Kiadу, 2005. 230 pp. Lehel Vadon in American Renaissance: A Hungarian Bibliography provides much needed bibliographical data on the Hungarian editions of some major writers of the American Renaissance: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson. The main title as well as the selection of authors suggest Vadon's embracing F. O. Matthiessen's concept of the development of American literature in the nineteenth century, outlined in his seminal book, American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941). Although the limitations of the original concept have been successfully challenged by later generations of critics, the term American Renaissance (albeit with modified definitons) has long become an indispensible item of critical terminology. The chapters on individual authors contain information on both primary and secondary sources. Vadon first lists the works of the given author published in Hungarian either in full or in parts, categorized by genre. This is followed by a section on Hungarian publications about the author in the form of books, studies, reviews, and so on. Such structuring proves to be user-friendly and satisfies the main goal of the author, i. e., "to make available for the first time a reasonably complete record of publications [...] of the writers of the American Renaissance." Even before the reader looks at the actual data, the varying length of individual chapters in itself deserves attention since it reflects on the visibility and popularity of authors. While Emerson and Hawthorne seem to have attracted significant readerly and critical interest (both chapters are 211
approximately 30 pages long), the sections on Melville and Thoreau are much shorter (18 and 8 pages). The longest chapter by far is the one on Dickinson: 123 pages. There are several factors which explain such disproportions so I will revisit the question in my analysis of individual chapters. The first Hungarian translation of Emerson's works appeared as early as 1859, followed by the systematic, chapter-by-chapter translation of his Representative Men by Kбroly Szбsz in 1894. Indeed, it is this collection of essays that first attracted Hungarian readers to Emerson. His poems and other essays, for the most part, did not come out in Hungarian until the 1920s. "Brahma" and "The Snow-Storm" seem to have been the most popular of his poems but the fact that all poems appeared in the same original translation even in later collections suggests that his poetry did not stir enough interest to call for re-translation. This is clearly not the case with the essays which, translated first in the 1920s, received a new boost of attention in the 1980s when texts like "Self-reliance," "The American Scholar," "Circles," and others were not only republished but also appeared in new translation. Such facts reveal that Emerson (just like Thoreau, as we will see later) was interesting for the Hungarian audience primarily as a thinker and not a poet. Although The Marble Faun was the first of Hawthorne's novels to be translated into Hungarian in 1871, two other novels of his oeuvre appear to be the most popular. The Scarlet Letter was first published in a Hungarian edition in 1921 and, since then, Gyцrgy Bбlint's original translation has been republished in almost every decade of the twentiethcentury. The House of the Seven Gables was not available until 1941 but has seen 8 editions ever since. Hawthorne's short stories also seem to have enjoyed a steady reputation and popularity. Several of his stories-- among them "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "The Snow-Image"--came out as early as 1877 but almost every major story has been available in Hungarian since the 1920s. The results of a new wave of translations of familiar short stories were published in 1979 indicating continuing interest in Hawthorne's oeuvre. Melville's and Thoreau's works seem to have needed a much longer time to make it on the Hungarian scene: most of them were not translated in full until the 1950s and 60s. Thoreau is primarily known for Walden and Civil Disobedience, excerpts from both first appeared after 1947. Moby Dick is the only one of Melville's numerous novels that has been translated in full although it has been reprinted 15 times (though in some 212
cases as a children's book). His major short stories, "Bartleby the Scrivener," "Billy Budd," and "Benito Cereno" were not translated until the late 1960s and mid-70s, just like his poems although a surprisingly large number of those has been included in recent anthologies of American literature. In fact, Melville looks very much like a scholars' writer (perfectly in line with his status outside Hungary as well). Despite the small number of available texts and editions (especially compared with Hawthorne and Dickinson), his oeuvre has attracted a striking and steady critical attention: 4 Hungarian monograph studies include chapters on his works (more than on any other author here), 51 essays have been written on him vs. 15 on Thoreau, 35 on Dickinson, 61 on Emerson, and 77 on Hawthorne. Dickinson received the longest chapter in the volume due to the impressively large number of her poems translated into Hungarian. Although Amy Kбrolyi clearly stands out as the most enthusiastic translator and commentator on Dickinson, the poems have also enjoyed the attention of numerous other translators. The first poems appeared in Hungarian relatively early--1935 and 1943--considering the poet's controversial status in the canon of American poetry. Yet the culmination of Hungarian publications arrived only in the late 1970s and early 1980s when two collections containing the poet's works exclusively came out. The translations in these volumes are based on and inspired by the seminal Thomas Johnson edition of Dickinson's poems (1955) which challenged the previously published, heavily edited (distorted) versions of the poems and first presented them in their original form. Bibliography also reveals that Dickinson was read in Hungary not only as a (North)American poet appearing primarily in relevant university readers or standard anthologies of American literature. Besides, she was conceived as a children's poet and, significantly, as a female poet, for example in An Anthology of Poetesses (1943), edited by Sophie Tцrцk and Katalin Kotziбn. It also becomes apparent that Dickinson's oeuvre and figure have inspired several plays and poems, many of those available in Hungarian as well. In light of the abundance of response from translators, it is somewhat disappointing to see the lean scholarly attention to the poet's work. Kбrolyi's are the only books written on Dickinson and although the 1970s produced a few scholarly articles, no monograph studies have been published since 1981. American Renaissance: A Hungarian Bibliography is based on meticulously researched data and offers enormous help to scholars 213
interested in the Hungarian reception of major nineteenth-century American authors. It is not easy to find the most appropriate form and structure to present such information but Vadon overcomes such challenges for the most part. However, it remaines unclear why the name of the translator is not listed in the case of some collections (for example, university readers) and, more importantly, why only the Hungarian, but not the original English title, appears in numerous cases. This latter problem becomes especially confusing in the case of Dickinson's poetry since she did not assign titles to her poems thus the identification of the original text may prove to be somewhat challenging. The Dickinson chapter provokes another, albeit minor, question, namely the photo of the poet the author chooses to include. Scholars have had serious problems with finding an authentic photographic image of Dickinson and, in fact, all three of the existing illustrations have posed challenges and dissatisfaction. However, critical consensus seems to have settled on the latest one, taken when Dickinson was 17. The author naturally enjoys perfect freedom to choose the illustrations he finds best for his purposes but one cannot help feeling uneasy that while all the other authors in the volume are presented as adults, the photo of Dickinson included here is that of a 10-year-old child, an image unlikely to suggest the figure of a complex, sophisticated and mature poet. Despite reservations like the above, one must emphasize the significance of this volume in the Hungarian scholarship of American literature. The amount of data and the organization of massive information are impressive and will, surely, prove to be indispensible for later reception studies of the American Renaissance. Bibliograhies like Vadon's American Renaissance offer a much needed reflection on the scholarly and readerly response to a body of literature and make the reader aware of important, previously unsuspected literary, cultural or ideological contexts and priorities. 214
ANDRБS TARNУC SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON: KIK VAGYUNK MI? AZ AMERIKAI NEMZETI IDENTITБS DILEMMБI. (Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity) Budapest: Eurуpa Kцnyvkiadу, 2005. 682 pp. "History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, but if faced With courage, need not be lived again" Maya Angelou "On the Pulse of the Morning" In 1679 the General Court of Massachusetts called the church leaders of the colony into a Synod in order to ascertain the causes of the current crisis .The Synod grappled with two questions: "What are the provoking evils of New England," and "What is to be done, that so those evils maybe reformed?" (Miller 33). It was Increase Mather, who compiled the proceedings of the Synod into a book titled, The Result. Mather's list concerning the potential causes behind the colony's decline included "a great and visible decay of the power of Godliness," internal turmoil in the churches manifested in "disrespect of inferiors toward superiors, and the appearance of "several seemingly unconnected forms of self-assertion." Furthermore, heresy, swearing and sleeping during sermons, Sabbath breaking, weakening of family discipline, sex and alcohol abuse, the emergence of the commercial, business-oriented mindset, the people's insistence on evil ways, and finally "the disintegration of the `publick spirit" were also blamed for the general breakdown of New England. (Miller 33­37). The Result while hoping to appeal to the "compassion of God" (Miller 39) also offered an action plan for the improvement of the colony. 215
Samuel Huntington, the noted political scientist, was driven by a similar passion in his exploration of the present crisis of the American identity. In Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity he forwards a vision of America not that far removed from that of Increase Mather. In both authors' cases the inspiration for writing was provided by traumatic assaults against their societies, King Philip's War (1675­1676) and the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, respectively. According to Huntington King Philip's War with a proportional death toll twice that of the Civil War and seven times larger than the loss of American lives incurred in World War Two was the bloodiest conflict in American history. Huntington aptly quotes Richard Slotkin asserting that King Philip's War established the archetype of all American wars by helping Americans to define themselves against the demonized Other. (98). The author posits that instead of Indians America's newest archenemy today is militant Islam, moreover, just as King Philip's War reiterated the importance of the colonists's religious convictions, September 11 clearly defined America's identity as a Christian nation.(555). Proceeding from a global context to the American one Huntington's inquiry employs the didactic approach. The first section, titled "Questions of Identity "places the American identity crisis into a universal framework suggesting that the current troubles of American society amount to a culture-specific version of a global phenomenon. Huntington also offers four possible solutions to the present crisis. One possible outcome is the loss of America's core culture and the onset of the multicultural society, the second option is the United States splintering into a bicultural country composed of an English-speaking, and Spanish speaking section, the third possibility is the revival of the ethnic and racial clashes of the past, and the final alternative is the development of a new nationwide commitment to the American Creed. The work's second section, titled "The American Identity" reinforces the author's view of America as a Christian nation built on WASP foundations. In addition to placing the American Creed onto a religious basis, Huntington re-evaluates the role of immigration in American history. In Section Three titled the "Dilemmas of the American Identity," the author enumerates potential threats to a homogeneous WASP culture. Besides multiculturalism such factors are singled out as the new type of immigration resulting in multiple loyalties or limited cultural assimilation and the undermining of the dominance of the English language. The 216
author's chief concern is the dynamically growing immigration rate from Mexico. In Section Four, titled "The Renewed American Identity" Huntington points out that due to the declining significance of such concepts as ethnicity and race the United States has become a non-ethnic, and nonracial country populated with multiethnic and multiracial individuals. The author professes that America in the 21st century has to reawaken its religious commitment and this Christian nation can choose from three global role patterns. By taking the cosmopolitan path the U.S. can become a multiethnic and multicultural society with a decreased national identity. The imperialist pattern based on the universality of American values and the global primacy of American power would place the United States at the helm of a transnational empire. Finally the nationalist approach emphasizing the religious commitment and WASP values of the country would call for a clear definition of the American Identity. Huntington's main argument can be summed up in the following syllogism: WASP values and Evangelical Protestantism has always provided a solid foundation for the American Identity. The end of the bipolar world order, the resultant global crisis of national identity, and the rise of the multicultural society undermined the traditional American Identity The nation's renewed commitment to religion and the achievements of WASP culture offer a promising remedy for the crisis of the American Identity Huntington's work can be considered a modern day version of a jeremiad, a warning call on the crisis of the American national identity. Huntington identifies numerous symptoms of the decline of the American identity including the weakening of patriotism, the appearance of subnational identities, the arrival of the new type of immigrants, or the rise of diasporas leading to dual or multiple loyalties, the devaluation of the concept of citizenship, the decline of patriotism and national pride, and the questioning of the notion of a core culture. Huntington's book is certainly an ambitious, scholarly achievement reflecting the results of careful and thorough research. Its greatest value, however, is its very ability to provoke discussion reinvigorating the field of American Studies. As far as the author's perspectives of the American Identity are concerned, I would like to make the following observations. Huntington 217
voices his apprehension over the potential weakening and elimination of a core culture and the United States turning into a multicultural country. Whereas Huntington presently does not consider the United States a multicultural country, and for him multiculturalism appears only as a looming threat, he appears to have overlooked the fact that from the very establishment of the first colony, and witnessed by such historically established concepts as the design of the Great Seal, or the motto of the country, the United States has always been multicultural. Huntington's concern with the potential loss of the core culture is unjustified, as it is also a proven fact that America's core culture has not been lost, only modified as each minority group partially adopted its tenets. While Huntington is correct in his recognition of the American core culture, this concept cannot be imagined as an exclusively WASP entity. The development of the core culture follows an action pattern established by the Euro-American component comprised of three interrelated and not distinctly identifiable stages: separation, self-doubt, and reaffirmation. Thus each component of the color multiculture had to establish its own identity by breaking away from the Euro-American core, and to differing extents each subgroup underwent an identity and value crisis eventually emerging with a renewed commitment to carve out its niche within the macrocultural context. The notion of a bicultural and bilingual nation with two clearly defined cultural realms denoted as Hispano and Anglo America is underestimating the cultural power of the other ethnic and racial groups. Whereas Huntington expresses his fear concerning the rise of nativism and racial intolerance along with ethnic confrontations brought on by white Americans defending the discredited and historically invalid ethnicity and race-based concept of American Identity, his view of the American Identity is reflecting those considerations. Numerous historical, cultural, and sociological studies have proven that the United States cannot be viewed as a static cultural entity. Thus all of the abovementioned consequences are valid ones, that is, all of them are applicable to America. It is the very aspect of American culture as a constantly changing one represented by Fuch's kaleidoscope theory, Bigsby's description of America as a "reservoir of shifting values and images," and Henry Louis Gates' notion of a "polyvocal conversation" that substantiates this assertion. Huntington's effort to diminish the role of immigration in American history, and give a religious interpretation to the American Creed also invites a rebuttal. The author in his zeal to reinterpret American history 218
argues that if one insists on the familiar notion of the United States as a nation of immigrants he or she formulates lies from half-truths. (86). While describing a process which resulted in the formation of the country as half-truth is problematic in itself, the author's view of America as a nation of settlers, or colonists should be examined further. Huntington makes a distinction between settlers or colonists and immigrants, presenting the former as creators of political and legal frameworks and cultures, and the latter as mere beneficiaries of the efforts of these Early Founding Fathers. Huntington posits that the settlers had to establish the foundations of America, so that the immigrants could arrive in America. Thus America did not begin in 1775, 1776, or 1787, but with the foundation of Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts. Furthermore, the author reiterates that America's core culture was established by the settlers, and still reflects their values. (77­78). While Huntington alludes to the American identity of the settlers of the first colonies, one of the foremost scholars of colonial America, Perry Miller rejects the origination of the Americanization process from the beginning of the seventeenth century: "New England was not an allegiance, it was a laboratory. The theory of feast and of fast days was already complete in every detail: it had not been invented as an engine of Americanization" (26). Moreover, the captivity narratives, viewed by Richard VanDerBeets as the "first (American) literature of catharsis" (548), according to Ralph Bauer "performed important intellectual labor in the emergence of a British national identity" (665). To contradict Huntington's perception of the American Creed, as a primarily religious concept let the text of the Declaration of Independence suffice in addition to the works of such noted observers of American culture as Tocqueville, Bryce, and Myrdal, The American Creed including primarily such basic elements as equality, freedom, democracy, and individualism is shared by all Americans regardless of class, race, or ethnic background. Consequently, while Protestantism might have functioned as a foundation of the above concepts and privileges, it could not have united all Americans due to its exclusive nature. Huntington also appeals to Robert Bellah's Civil Religion theory to reinforce the religious nature of the American Identity. The Civil Religion concept described by Virбgos as a "complex of symbolic meanings that many Americans share and that unites them in a moral community" (155) includes the following elements: the religious foundation of American government, the belief in the chosenness of the American people, the 219
proliferation of religious references and symbols in the American public discourse, in addition to the prevalence of sacred texts and sacred rituals symbolizing the nation's dependence on God. Virбgos, however, points out that Bellah's Civil Religion concept does not result in a religion, but it represents a "religiously attuned myth of American nationalism [...] possessed of a religious dimension." (158). Huntington also states that the American nation was the result of the Civil War. While, certainly the Civil War can be considered a crucial component of American history, historians tend to agree that the United States has achieved nation-status after the war of 1812. This is justified by the very characterization of the period between 1815­1832, as the National Era. Moreover, as Tindall asserts: "Immediately after the War of 1812, however, there could no longer be any doubt that an American nation existed" (231). Certainly, the Civil War reinforced the unity of the nation, but did not create it. Huntington's view of American culture is rather simplistic. While he is correct in recognizing the existence of a core culture, he fails to see that non-WASP groups actively contributed to and share the values of this cultural segment. The American Identity is much more than evangelical Protestantism, although religion can be considered an important part of it. The author also subscribes to the convenient description of American culture as comprised of a cosmopolitan, non-patriotic, liberal elite and the earnestly patriotic, locally active, and committed crowds. Huntington, as most observers of American culture wants to establish a model, or in his case reintroduce the old, and discredited WASPdominated concept. However, he falls in the trap of oversimplifying. Bradbury and Temperley argue that the best works in American Studies result not "from the application of single theories but from pre-emptive strikes [...] employing the insights of different fields of study" (18). Whereas Huntington presents a thorough and ambitious analysis of the development of the American Identity by providing an overview of the immigration process and its social, political, and cultural consequences, his work amounts to an "ideological rescue operation [...] showing, how a culture as a whole tries to protect itself from the withdrawal symptoms of the loss of comforting myths" (Virбgos 161). Huntington is not as much preoccupied with the "American Identity" per say, but with presenting his view of America, a country with a renewed exclusive commitment to Christianity, insisting on WASP values, cherishing its European roots and heritage along with the English language. 220
Who Are We? This question is placed not only to Americans themselves, but to the readers representing any part of the world. By defining ourselves, we also delineate the other. For Huntington, the identity of the other is beyond dispute, Fortress America built on Christian foundations is facing a hostile world. This book is the product of fear, a xenophobic, nativist, and ethnocentric work insisting on heretofore discredited cultural models. America is more than evangelical Protestantism, and a country based upon a core culture surrounded by minority groups. It is the very dynamic of American culture, Huntington misses. It is noteworthy, that his discussion of the American Creed emphasizes that there is no equivalent to this in other parts of the world. However, he fails to explain the universal applicability of the American Dream. He refutes Lionel Sosa's s appeal to the Americano Dream: "There is no Americano Dream. Only the American Dream created by WASP America exists" Once again, he is wrong, the American Dream is universal and is open to all immigrants regardless of national origin or English language speaking ability. Immigrants choosing America as their new home did not decide to do so because they wanted to accept WASP values, they felt that there was one country in the world which was dedicated to the principles expressed among others in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Also, the much-touted Protestant values resulted in such shameful episodes of American history as the religious intolerance of Massachusetts, or the Salem Witch-hunts. Huntington's thoroughly documented and scientifically valuable work follows an unfortunate tradition of nativism-induced writing to which even such intellectual giants also fell victim as William Bradford and Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps, this can offer some comfort to the author as well. WORKS CITED Bauer, Ralph. "Creole Identities in Colonial Space: The Narratives of Mary White Rowlandson and Francisco Nunez de Pineda y Bascunan." American Literature. Vol. 69. No. 4. (December 1997) 665­695. Bradbury, Malcolm and Howard Temperley, Eds. Introduction to American Studies. Third ed. Edinburgh Gate: Longman, 1988. Miller, Perry. The New England Mind: From Colony to Province. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1953. 221
Tindall, George B. and David E. Shi. America: A Narrative History. New York: Norton, 1990. VanDerBeets, Richard. "The Indian Captivity Narrative as Ritual". American Literature XLIII (Jan, 1972): 548­62. Virбgos, Zsolt. "Myth and Ideology: Some Observations on the American Civil Religion." Studies in English and American Culture. Ed. Lehel Vadon. Eger: Eszterhбzy Kбroly Fiskola, 1989. 155­164. 222
ANDRБS TARNУC VIRБGOS ZSOLT--VARRУ GABRIELLA: JIM CROW ЦRЦKЦSEI: MНTOSZ ЙS SZTEREOTНPIA AZ AMERIKAI TБRSADALMI TUDATBAN ЙS KULTЪRБBAN. [THE LEGACY OF JIM CROW: MYTH AND STEREOTYPY IN THE AMERICAN SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND CULTURE]. Budapest: Eцtvцs Jуzsef Kцnyvkiadу, 2002. 370 pp. One of the ever-present quandaries of any multicultural society is guaranteeing the tension-free and relatively harmonious coexistence of its constituent groups or cultural segments. The United States, a civilization composed of a variegated pattern of cultures has proven to be no exception. While making periodical attempts at restructuring: valid contemporary models of American culture, scholars dedicated to the examination of this topic have consistently sought the answer to Crиvecoeur's inquisitive exclamation: "What then is the American, this new man?" Until the ethnic and racial regeneration movements of the 1960s the American identity was built around one capstone, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male. It was the (WASP(M)) cultural segment against which all other elements of American culture had been considered Other and this protracted cultural diversity implied an ever-present need to cope with the person or social group representing the other side of the color barrier. Zsolt Virбgos and Gabriella Varrу's book-size exploration examines how mainstream American society perceived and has understood the racial Other. Jim Crow цrцkцsei is built on two thematic bases: [1] the analysis of the stereotyping process along with [2] a scholarly look at one of its objectified manifestations, the minstrel show, or blackface theater. The work addresses a broad spectrum of creative endeavor including literary descriptions, theatrical presentations, films, and popular culture. While the primary focus is on WASP-created black images, the authors provide a valuable glimpse at the macro-cultural context as well. 223
Substantiated by the fact that the authors consider (biased) stereotypy an ideological statement with a strong self-justifying--in other words: self-authenticating, i.e., "mythicizing"--potential, the book's theoretical section examines the stereotyping process and unravels the connection between myth and stereotypy Although the work explores various strategies for the construction of the Other, it operates with an expanded focus as the profound analysis surpasses the traditional dichotomy between the dominant Self and its objectified counterpart while underlining the interdependence of these constituent concepts. While on one level the monograph provides a painstaking analysis of intellectual constructs purporting to deal with the Other, on a deeper plane it reaffirms how the creation of the Other defines the Self. Consequently, the book provides further reinforcement to Timothy Garton Ash's view that one's identity is circumscribed not only by individual will and preferences, but by the respective image of the out-group's Other as well. Virбgos and Varrу's analysis makes a distinction between good (useful) and bad (disfiguring) stereotypes. The former, denoted as ST1, functions as a guarantee of cultural continuity, as these culture-specific automatisms help the interpretation and reading of intellectual products characteristic of given civilizations. According to the authors, good/useful stereotypes, by offering convenient shortcuts, accelerate the cognitive process and promote society's expressive, ideological, and creative activity. Those denoted by the code ST2 are stereotypes conveying "bad knowledge" distorting the image of a given group. These stereotypes rupture the organic unity of personal features by the deployment of such techniques as deliberate selection and undue emphasis of biological, physical, and intellectual traits along with the presentation of these presumed qualities as a normative standard. The authors also identify a connection between stereotypes and myths, with myths understood here not as sacred narratives but as self-justifying intellectual constructs functioning as cognitive filters promoting the production and interpretation of meaning. Indeed, the monograph provides a tripartite categorization of myths distinguishing between M1 or classic, archetypal, or pre-modern myths with an expressive power, M2, or self-justifying social myths with an ideological charge fusing objective validity with falsehood, a challenging epistemological distortion, and M3, or myths with a creative force continuously integrated into the general social consciousness. Consequently, ST1, or good stereotypes are correlated with M1 as the cultural 224
automatisms produced by the former are augmented by prefabricated images, narratives, and paradigms generated by the latter. Moreover, ST2, or prejudice-based, biased stereotyping is analogous with M2 whose primary purpose is to maintain a "value distance" from the Other via emphasizing the imaginary or false elements over the realistic components. ST2 reaffirms Ralph Ellison's observation that the purpose of the stereotyping of blacks was not so much to crush the African American as to console the white man (Ellison 129). Ideology, defined as the sum of theories, views, and principles expressing the priorities of social groups maintaining conflicting interests, plays a crucial role both in mythopoeia and stereotypy. A "we-ness versus they-ness" mindset generates M2 myths, eventually giving rise to stereotypical images utilizing such techniques as the masking effect or providing at best a freeze frame rendition of the target group's character development. The final product, the respective stereotypical image is presented to the consumer. It is no coincidence that the figurative masking process is reified in the blackface theatrical tradition. Indeed the concept of the mask is central both to the analysis and cultural development of the African American community. One manifestation of the masking process, or the stabilization of distorted images, is the Sambo concept and the Sambo mentality umbrella terms describing the representatives of the black community as "childlike, irresponsible, lazy, affectionate and happy" (Takaki 111). This image entailing over ten components can also be considered a product of Mary Louise Pratt's contact zone informed by a physical and figurative clash between the white and black cultural segments. Sambo as the most widely applied stereotypical concept in the history of American culture relegated the racial Other into a helpless, ridiculous, clown or an innocent, naпve entertainer. The deployment of the Sambo image had proven to be an apt tool for hiding the brutal reality of slavery in addition to alleviating Southerners' "constant dread of slave insurrection" (Takaki 114). The many faces of Sambo can be divided into four categories, the entertainer, a derivative of the institution of slavery, the substantiation of the paternalist argument for slavery, and the postslavery icon. Moreover, the Sambo concept reflects mainstream American reception of black creative activity. While Houston Baker targets his three-partite system to literary production, Virбgos and Varrу's book invites a broader application as out of "exclusion, qualified acceptance, and amused 225
contempt" (Baker 154) the latter two appear relevant. Sambo epitomizes both qualified acceptance and amused contempt. Due to the everincreasing presence of slaves in the South the invocation of a simplistic Manichean perspective assigning the role of the villain to blacks simply would not suffice. It is the very psychological threat of a potential slave uprising that compelled Southerners to create a much more detailed image. As mere vilifying would lead to increased fears, the images of blacks had to be modified for widespread popular consumption. The primary aspect of Sambo is the lack of a physical or psychological threat paving the way for general social acceptance subject to the exaggeration of certain conditions and personal features. Consequently, the figure of the naпve entertainer or docile plantation slave excluded the acquisition of knowledge, or education, while the "unhappy ex-slave" ("the wretched freedman"), "the natural slave," and the "plantation darkey" implied the widely-perceived inherent secondary status of African Americans. Moreover, while at first glance "Uncle Tom," "Uncle Remus," "Aunt Jemima," the "mammy," and the "pickanninny" are the products of the paternalistic perception of plantation society, they also testify to the resilience and cultural strength of the black community. "Uncle Tom" represents moral conviction and rectitude, "Uncle Remus" is the transmitter of authentic vernacular cultural production, while the "mammy" and "Aunt Jemima" as surrogate mother figures suggest the interdependence of the black and white cultural segment. The "pickaninny," often a product of miscegenation, or a[n illicit] plantation liaison testifies to the emotional and physical strength of the black community. Furthermore, while the foppish "coon" or the urban black dandy escaped the boundaries of slavery, he is still compelled to remain within the limits of white perception. In addition to Sambo the book focuses on the tragic mulatto and the brute Negro images. Perpetuated by Langston Hughes' poem as "caught between the fine big home and the shack" the tragic mulatto, is another standard character carrying the condemnation of blacks and whites alike. Whereas Sambo is being laughed at, the tragic mulatto implies physical and psychological de-territorialization. The brute Negro is an additional subject of the book's scholarly focus. In his case the depiction changes from the loyal plantation slave to a suggestion of imminent physical danger primarily manifested in a phallic threat. While the above-discussed three main stereotypes Sambo, the tragic mulatto, and the brute Negro bear witness to the resilience of a figurative 226
masking process, the minstrel show, or the blackface theater employs literal face cover. The burnt cork applied to the faces of white actors invites further thought. Although Hodge and Kress recognize a power relationship underlining the minstrelsy concept, via the assumption of the facial characteristics or physical appearance of blacks, the WASP male to a certain extent becomes the very Other he wants to ridicule. Consequently, while Jim Crow, Zip Coon, Coal-black Rose, etc. follow behavioral patterns formed by white expectations, at the same time these images demonstrate how blacks view themselves as subjects of the Euro­ American cognitive process. Paul Lawrence Dunbar's 1896 poem, titled "We Wear the Mask" asserted the mask's capability to "grin and lie." Naturally, the question emerges who does the mask lie to? The white person masking himself black hides his own identity and to a certain extent crosses over the color line, thus the mask can signify a reverse or inverted passing process, or a precarious glimpse into "how the Other half lives." At the same time the hidden identity not only allowed the white man to overcome his internal psychological inhibitions but the sexual references and the occasional covert homo-eroticism of minstrel texts stretched the limits of the "genteel tradition." The rise of the minstrel show parallels the worsening of the slavery crisis, as the "peculiar institution" on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line evolved into a political, constitutional, moral, and psychological dilemma. Nat Turner's rebellion struck fear in the heart of Southerners, while the abolition movement left an ambiguous wake in the North. Consequently, the fear of the black man was significantly alleviated by the humor of the minstrel show. At the same time the minstrel performance required a substantial knowledge of black culture, which on the whole promoted a greater, if reluctant, understanding of the racial Other. In a somewhat paradoxical and unwitting way the minstrel show led to a more vigorous cultural presence for the black community and at the same time contributed to the legitimization of African American cultural achievements. Despite its pejorative intent, the creation of Cotton Jim, Dandy Jim and the others represented a partial recognition of the Other. While Cotton Jim emanated negligence, carelessness, and unbridled happiness, his infectious laughter offered panacea both to careworn actor and northern theatergoer alike. Dandy Jim's potential interest in white women on the one hand perpetuates fears of miscegenation, but at the same time it allowed members of the audience to seek escape from the 227
"web of desire, fantasy, or guilt" (Allport 420) woven by a suppressed longing for the forbidden fruit presented by the racial and sexual Other. Virбgos and Varrу refer to the ambiguity of black-white relations, as the repressed desires paralleling a violent rejection of the Other laid the psychological foundation of the minstrel drama. Thus while on the one hand the minstrel images described blacks as unreliable, bragging, licentious, promiscuous, superstitious people, these depictions allowed writers, actors, and viewers to deal with their own insecurities. Moreover, the minstrel stage functioned as the physical manifestation of Sambo as the "Mammy's" and "Aunt Jemima's" features were retraced in Coalblack Rose, the plantation slave came alive in Cotton Jim, and Zip Coon, or the "coon" figure, was recreated in Dandy Jim. A significant added value of the book is that the authors do not restrict their inquiry to the stage and emphasize the influence of the minstrel tradition both in high and low culture. The work demonstrates how the minstrel tradition impacted filmmaking and radio programs, and how such artifacts as the Coon Jigger toy and the Mammy Memo perpetuate the Sambo image. The book provides a thorough overview of minstrel patterns in the literature of the 19th and 20th century. The authors point out that Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) abounds in minstrel characters, and its plot reflects the structure of the minstrels show. In addition to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain and Herman Melville resorted to the minstrel motif in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and in "Benito Cereno" (1855), respectively. Virбgos and Varrу also reveal minstrel elements in the poetry of John Berryman and in the plays of Ntozake Shange. Moreover, a reverse minstrel motif can be discerned in Douglas Turner Ward's drama, "Day of Absence" (1966) according to which blacks become invisible by assuming white make-up in order to prove their indispensability and the corresponding helplessness of the white community. The minstrel trope, or the black mask theater is a powerful tool. It enables authors to convey hidden meanings and present criticism of the status quo. The use of the minstrel motif testifies to the strength of mainstream stereotypes in addition to indicating an intention of conformity. The deployment of the mask, as Hodge and Kress pointed out, is an expression of a power relationship, in the course of which the wearer or maker of the mask implies his domination over the object of his ridicule. While a prima facie look might suggest the exclusive validity of this assertion, the truth is that the object of ridicule has some power over 228
the mask maker and wearer. The imitated movements, accents, and actions originate in the black community, thus in an unwitting way African Americans can be considered co-authors of the minstrel image. Consequently, one has to look beyond the convenient cultural equation informed by the dominant subject and the muted object, as while the black community is certainly objectified, in a bizarre and indirect fashion its voice is heard as well. In addition to taking a comprehensive scholarly look at the stereotyping process and performing a painstaking examination of the institutional, cultural, and historical background of blackface minstrelsy the authors illustrate the difficulty of the translatability of cultures, an issue familiar to anyone involved in intercultural and interlingual communication. The cogent examples lamenting the loss of crucial textual content due to translators' inability to understand the respective cultural context bring Ortutay's translation analysis theory to mind. Accordingly appropriate translations are based on a full understanding of the semantic, metasemiotic, and meta-meta semiotic levels or reflect the denotative, connotative meanings along with the authorial intent respectively (269). Virбgos and Varrу prove that the translations of minstrel texts tend to be stranded on the denotative level, and the readers are not given an option to advance to a higher level of understanding. This book, however, offers a strong ray of hope as the treasure trove unearthed by the authors empower any interested reader to a greater understanding of the culture of the United States along with presenting a potential blue-print for the elimination of bad and disfiguring depictions of the racial or cultural Other. The authors of the monograph thus fulfill both missions of the translating effort. The detailed cultural analysis brings the target culture closer to the reader in addition to making him or her recognize the flaws of the mental maneuvers resulting in the stereotyping process. Virбgos and Varrу's study functions as a milestone in the development of American Studies in Hungary. The book's conceptual apparatus surpasses the limits of the discipline, as the respective methodology can be used for analyzing other cultures. The work perpetuating the never-ending human quandary of dealing with the Other, goes beyond suggesting a mere acknowledgement of the presence of minorities. Virбgos and Varrу's seminal endeavor teaches an important lesson to anyone grappling with the consequences of cultural diversity as in the reflection of the mirror held up by the authors all of us can recognize the successors of Jim Crow. 229
WORKS CITED Allport, Gordon. "Prejudice and the Individual." The Borzoi College Reader. 6th ed. Charles Muscatine and Marlene Griffith Eds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1988. 416­422. Baker, Houston A. Jr. The Journey Back: Issues in Black Literature and Criticism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1980. Campbell, Neil and Alasdair Kean. American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture. New York: Routledge, 2006. Ellison, Ralph. "Twentieth­Century Fiction and the Black Mask of Humanity." Images of the Negro in American Literature. Eds. Seymour L. Gross and John Edward Hardy. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1966. 115­131. Ortutay, Pйter. "Az amerikai szleng megfeleltetйsйnek egyes problйmбi J. D. Salinger Zabhegyez c. regйnye alapjбn." Studies in English and American Culture. Proceedings of the Conference on English and American Studies. Ed. Lehel Vadon. Eger: EKTF, 1989. 269­273. Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1993. 230
GABRIELLA VЦ JUDIT BORBЙLY: THE REALITY OF THE UNREAL: THE CITY AS METAPHOR IN HENRY JAMES AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES Budapest: Akadйmiai Kiadу, 2005. 175 [1] pp. Cities are sites where the idiosyncrasies of the imaginary encroach upon the reality of architectural fact, the inspired title of Judit Borbйly's book suggests. The revised doctoral dissertation examines the iconography of urban architecture in the works of four late Victorian authors, H. G. Wells, George Gissing, Joseph Conrad and Henry James, exploring the multiplicity of meanings that the European city held at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A source and scene of deep-running transformations in human consciousness and subjectivity, the city emerges as the locus and symbol of modern capitalist development. External and internal spaces of London, Paris, Rome and Venice gain significance in the literature of the period as icons of modernity. Drawing on a rich body of literary works as well as autobiographies, letters and essays, Judit Borbйly's interdisciplinary approach tackles the reality of the modern city as a complex historical, economic, sociological and even technological problem. She grasps the moment of change in literary expression when the city becomes a functional factor in plot- and character-building. As the modern metropolis is a technological accomplishment as well as a cultural product, critical focus is directed upon the system of key scenes linked, by new conventions of representation, to a topography of key city sites. The concise, chapter-length analyses of Wells's Tono Bungay, Gissing's New Grub Street, and Conrad's The Secret Agent take the reader on a peripatetic tour of sites and interiors of Victorian London, exploring the cultural relevance of urban development. The physical 231
proximity of the stylish and the shabby in architecture correlates with the coexistence high and low in society. Revealing, through a display of the material culture of the period, the destitution and squalor of the lower classes, the sham values and valuables of the upwardly mobile, as well as the refinement and moral decadence of those on the top, the authors were searching for the artistic means to cope with late nineteenth-century absorption with, and anxieties about, economic and social progress. It is implied in the argument of the book that the late Victorian, or early modernist writer reflects on a crisis fermenting since the beginning of the nineteenth century, that of the collapse of belief in an ordered universe, one which is paradoxically rendered within the highly ordered generic frame of the realist novel. The novels of Wells and Gissing are read as belonging to the Victorian, "condition of England" type, which apply the socio-Darwinist notion of the "survival of the fittest." On the other hand, Conrad's Secret Agent is interpreted within the conceptual framework of modernism, as a novel marking a relevant paradigm shift in both object and critical perception. In the second half of the book Judit Borbйly addresses the issue of art and reality in the fiction of Henry James by discussing the iconography of architecture in the author's favorite London, Paris, Venice and Rome settings. Insightful readings of short stories --"The Siege of London," "A London Life"--and several novels of his middle and late phases--The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl--take under scrutiny James's persisting concern with the problem of representation. The study demonstrates how instances of ekphrasis--verbal representations of works of art--gain significance as means of conveying atmosphere and dramatizing character. By exploring the social and psychological aspects of the modern urban experience in a network of references to art, the chapters dedicated to James adequately explain his lasting fascination with the creative possibilities inherent in descriptions of architecture, interiors and personal belongings. European cities, these icons of imperial power inspired and embodied ideas of progress and civilization. Mapping the contexts and influences affecting the work of the four authors in focus, Judit Borbйly gives an overview of the diverging views of Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Macaulay and Matthew Arnold, and also points to Darwinism as a major factor of influence regarding late nineteenth-century concepts of civilization. Her approach is extended, as well, to the impact of sensualism, aestheticism 232
and the pessimist tradition in philosophy as the possible contexts for the work of Conrad and Gissing are explored. However, the study of Henry James might have paid more attention to the cultural negotiation between England and America. As a pioneering cultural critic, James made repeated attempts to reshape contemporary discourses concerning "culture" and "civilization," turning American anxieties about their own cultural lack into a positive value. He held the cosmopolitan experience to be the key to independent evaluation and insightful criticism and saw the individual's capability of absorption as a standard for what he meant by "civilization." Such a concept of civilization as intellectual activity is implied, although not overtly stated in Judit Borbйly's eye-opening interpretations of what are perhaps the most critically demanding pieces of the Henry James oeuvre. Lucid argumentation taking pivot in careful close reading, as well as thoroughly researched interdisciplinary links provide valuable additions to what we know about the beginnings of the modern metropolitan experience. Judit Borbйly's guiding tours of the major cities that turn-ofthe-century fiction likes to inhabit elucidate the close interdependence of hard architectural fact and the multiplicity of subtle meanings that make up "culture." Her observations are as appealing as they are critically convincing, thoroughness of contextual investigation and terminological accuracy being the salient qualities of the book. 233

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