A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

A Story as Sharp as a Knife The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World The Haida world is a misty archipelago a hundred stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska For than a thousand years before the Europeans came a great culture flourished on these isl

  • Title: A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World
  • Author: Robert Bringhurst
  • ISBN: 9780803261792
  • Page: 198
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

    The Haida world is a misty archipelago a hundred stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska For than a thousand years before the Europeans came, a great culture flourished on these islands In 1900 and 1901 the linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last traditional Haida speaking storytellers, poets, and historians Robert BriThe Haida world is a misty archipelago a hundred stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska For than a thousand years before the Europeans came, a great culture flourished on these islands In 1900 and 1901 the linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last traditional Haida speaking storytellers, poets, and historians Robert Bringhurst worked for many years with these manuscripts, and here he brings them to life in the English language A Story as Sharp as a Knife brings a lifetime of passion and a broad array of skills humanistic, scientific, and poetic to focus on a rich and powerful tradition that the world has long ignored.

    • Unlimited [Horror Book] Ò A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World - by Robert Bringhurst ↠
      198 Robert Bringhurst
    • thumbnail Title: Unlimited [Horror Book] Ò A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World - by Robert Bringhurst ↠
      Posted by:Robert Bringhurst
      Published :2018-01-06T22:44:09+00:00

    One thought on “A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

    1. Alex Kennard

      Robert Bringhurst's extensive discussion of Haida storytellers (or poets, depending on how much you agree with Bringhurst) is an impressive achievement. He translates the words and lives of Haida artists Skaay and Ghandl with compassion and his tell-tale ear for the beauty of the English language. I'd give the first edition four stars. I've given the second edition three because Bringhurst decides to respond to critics' valid concerns regarding appropriation by saying "that's not how I was taugh [...]

    2. Al

      Brilliant dissertation on Haida oral myth/story telling tradition. Bringhurst's deep research into the available material assembled by John Swanton in the late 19th and early 20th century brings to life the artistry of the last of the great Haida myth tellers, Ghandl and Skaay, and the almost forgotten stories of their culture. Bringhurst rightfully and convincingly demonstrates that they rightfully belong up there with the literary and artistic greats of history. I particularly liked how Bringh [...]

    3. Peter Crofts

      I've tried to write a review of this several times now but always gave up in frustration. The myths themselves, the story of the ethnologist who first transcribed them from oral recitations and the information provided on the sad history of the Haida in the 19th century is all first rate. The myths themselves are magnificent. Like nothing I've read before. This doesn't only have to do with where they come from but, perhaps, when they come from. Bringhurst provides no thoughts on just how old the [...]

    4. Barnaby Thieme

      Bringhurst has expended enormous care in creating this marvelous collection of translations of myths and legends from the Haida people, many of which were carefully transcribed a century ago by folklorists and ethnographers working in the Pacific Northwest. Other accounts of comparable material that I've read pale in comparison to his precise and sparkling renditions. Of considerably less value to me was the meandering miscellany of observations that constituted the voluminous running commentary [...]

    5. Thomas Vree

      Bringhurst wrote one of my bibles, Elements of Typographic Style (anyone who works with type needs to own and study this book diligently), but the man is an awe inspiring multi disciplinary wizard. Besides being a published poet with numerous works to his name, he is a noted and gifted book designer, studied architecture, linguistics, and physics at MIT, and comparative literature and philosophy at the University of Utah, has a BA from Indiana University and an MFA in creative writing from UBC. [...]

    6. Stefan

      A Story As Sharp As A Knife was a sweeping, epic work of history that explored how a small group of anthropologists, historians and academics wrote down a large number of Haida myths and translated many of them into English at the beginning of the twentieth century. Robert Bringhurst did a marvelous at describing the personalities, ideas and times of these men and their Haida counterparts. Bringhurst also succeeded at using a entertaining writing style to make large amounts of complicated inform [...]

    7. Just A. Bean

      Absolutely fascinating and probably better read more slowly or more times than I did. As the traditions are so absolutely different than literature I'm familiar with, I had a hard time getting a lot of them as clearly as Bringhurst wanted me to, I think. What I did get was slightly dizzying in scope, and I feel like I'll need to go back to it.Bringhurst was also selling his point hard that he was talking about proper art, which was more or less preaching to the choir, but I suppose it did someon [...]

    8. Lea Taranto

      One of the most engrossing academic texts I have had the pleasure of reading, and that manages to do justice in its description, appreciation and study of the great oral Haida literary tradition. I hope just like Bringhurst that some day soon (yesterday is not soon enough) more schools will study the great epics of Raven Travelling and The One They Hand Along alongside well known counterparts like the Oddessy or the Mahabharata. My only regret was that this first book out of three did not have m [...]

    9. Becky Loader

      What an excellent book! I got caught up immediately in the stories and poems (yes, poems), and the Swan Maiden makes her appearance again. The Haida were sophisticated oral traditionalists and their stories were only written down by one linguist.

    10. Robert Costic

      What I really love about this book is that the author brings history, sociology, linguistics, and literary analysis to bear on the Haida mythic literature so that there is enough context for us to understand it. In doing so, the author also shows us how we should think about myths, literature, and different cultures more generally.The stories Robert Bringhurst covers were originally collected in their original language and translated by John Swanton a hundred years ago. Swanton's technique was r [...]

    11. Chris McCracken

      This book is mostly a series of epic oral poetry from a few of the remaining members of the Haida tribe - a native North American tribe living in the modern-day Queen Victoria islands off the coast of Alaska. Robert Bringhurst partly narrates as an ethnographic historian - noting the difficulties and triumphs of the wide eyed 19th and 20th century transcriber John Swanton in his obsession with getting down the massive series of poems the breadth and depth of which he likened to the Odyssey, Ilia [...]

    12. Derek Pyle

      Read it aloud with friends like story tellers. These words are meant for hearing, not for reading!Read it through and it meant nothing. Lots of linguist stuff that meant nothing. Skipped some of it to be honest, this is a big book.Re-read about 100+ pages. Damn this stuff is cool! It took some time to get, but wow. Awesome.The world is as sharp as a knife's going to cut us up and fuck us up no matter what, so we don't need to do any extra cutting. Be cheerful and generous instead.

    13. Ronald Wise

      A study of the efforts of ethnologist John Swanton to record the stories of the Haida people of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. While the body of the book focuses primarily on the content of stories themselves (with untranslated and translated samples), there is a substantial description of Swanton's methods, concerns, and interactions with the Haida. The introductory materials and appendices provide a wealth of interesting information regarding the linguistic characteristics of the Haida [...]

    14. Graham Oliver

      I interviewed the author of this book here: bloghares/indexp/culReally fascinating book that's part translation, part anthropology, part critical inquiry, part historical context I don't have enough knowledge on the stuff surrounding this book to have a complete sense of it, but the voice was really great for an academic-style tome, even if it did swerve into the "here's why this is so important" deal a bit.

    15. CAW

      A book containing fragments of epics and the epic task of teaching white people to hear. Heavy going at times, but worth it for those brilliantly illuminating scraps of commentary and context which cause the Haida myths to stir and shake off the photographed dullness of their imprisonment in the static text of the Roman alphabet.

    16. Christopher

      A masterful synthesis of both researched scholarship and a reflection of past scholars themselves. But all with the focus on the original folklorists themselves. Due to my lack of knowledge in various Haida nuances (some of which could have been more elaborated upon) my enjoyment of the stories was uneven, but still it is a great collection.

    17. Clivemichael

      Wow. Incredible, enlightening, poignant, evocative, intense scholarship and dedication. A testament to one man's humility and discipline and another's (the author's) erudite understanding, perception and respect for the subject(s) both academic and personal. Beautiful.

    18. Max

      I'm not sure I fully understood all of what Bringhurst was trying to communicate, and I *definitely* didn't understand all of what the original poets were trying to communicate, but I still feel like reading this was really enriching. Look forward to returning to it.

    19. Kathleen O'Nan

      This brilliant compilation of tales of Native Americans of the Northwest, including the Makah, is more academic than I expected. However, the tales, stripped of the academic appraisal, are lovely and worth reading on their own.

    20. John

      Huge, rich, deep, broad, and baffling. I'm will have to read this another 3 times before I get what it's really about. But happy to have read it the first time. Bringhurst is one of a kind, an enormous treasure.

    21. Michael Muller

      Good introduction to the classical Haida literature. Excellent translations, following Bringhurst's insights and sensitivities.

    22. Gwilym

      so far, incredible. I have to wonder about the 'methodology' sometimes, but whatever he does, Bringhurst is magic. Also my favourite Canadian poet.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *