Leslie Marmon Silko and Simon J. Ortiz: Pathways to the Tradition
- Volume 26, Number 2
- Dave Henderson
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Both Leslie Marmon Silko and Simon J. Ortiz have retold the story of a 1952 murder by two Pueblo brothers, a story that both writers first heard during their childhood years as it quickly became part of the local Native American traditional corpus. Both Silko and Ortiz are self-consciously indebted to the Native American storytelling tradition, particularly with respect to its malleability in the face of change, a fluidity that operates in tension with the preservation of certain fundamental religious and philosophical constants. Accordingly, Silko and Ortiz see their stories as providing pathways to the tradition, molding, reforming, and contributing to it without departing from it. Content, tone, style, and purpose are analyzed to reveal the variants in their redactions.