Composition and Literature: Bridging the Gap gRavensong Lee Maracle s 1993 novel is as powerful and meaningful today as it was when it was first published some twenty years ago It is a beautifully written at times challenging story that weaves the past with the present into a moving portrait of a family a community and a land that has faced and still faces many challenges from within and from outside Situated in the Northwest of Vancouver Island Maracle evokes a land where the Raven sings and communicates with Cedar where the cedar responds withently swinging its branches
And Sometimes Weeps It sometimes weeps It a fertile land between the ocean and the river providing for the people with all they needed Yet memories of disturbing past events cast long shadows over the
PEOPLE AND THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT MYTHS and the natural environment Myths stories from ancient times come alive again and again such as that of the double headed sea serpent that caused havoc with the minds of the people or the foreigners who arrived with ships A young irl deeply lost in thought sitting under the cedar carries vivid images of those tragic events that contributed to catastrophes later traumas that the community has not yet recovered from Set in the mid nineteen fifties the novel is built around an extended multi enerational Coast Salish family and their community Their village may seem self contained and even remote from the bustling urban life yet white town is just across the river and a bridge connects the two communities Stacey the young irl s older "sister is the only one among her siblings and cousins who attends school in the town At seventeen she "is the only one among her siblings and cousins who attends school in the town At seventeen she dreams of continuing her studies at university to become a teacher in her village She is exposed to a world that doesn t make much sense to her For example during an outbreak of the Hong Kong flu her village cannot et access to vital medicines and no doctor comes to visit them The barriers both physical and mental are huge Suspicion reigns on both sides of the river The bridge is mostly a one way street What will it take to change Lee Maracle s way of telling her story absorbed me totally Her writing changes from the wonderfully poetic evocation of the natural world to a language that is precise direct and at times provocative when depicting the daily life of the people and their community Ravensong is filled with well developed characters they come alive in their interactions whether in sorrow or in laughter in love or in pain In fact the author herself kept her fondness for her protagonists over the decades and continued their stories in her most recent novel Celia s Song In fact I read the two novels back to back and while the combined reading enhanced and deepened my understanding the two novels st. Lee Maracle author of the best selling I Am Woman A Native Perspective on Sociology and
Lee Maracle ´ 1 READ & DOWNLOADEsbian couple who feature as secondary characters in Ravensong and I think their inclusion is really significant for a few reasons Mostly I find the way that the novel deals with ueer sexuality in relation to its politics of decolonization fascinating In fact I think honing in on how the novel deals with ueerness is a reat way deals with ueerness is a reat way understand what it s trying to do in terms of decolonizing The absence in Ravensong of an explicit assertion of ueerness the fact that it doesn t come out as it were as a ueer text is no failure at all but rather indicates an entirely different method of interrogating issues #Of Ueer SexualitySee The Rest Of My Review On My #ueer sexualitySee the rest of my review on my An incredibly poetic work describing the life of a roup of Indians who depend on the land each other and their laws to keep cohesion in their community It fills me with shame for the white culture that has destroyed so much of the native way of life that
We May Ironically Need In A Future Of Environmental Uncertaintymay ironically need in a future of environmental uncertainty is the most beautiful book I have read in a while It carefully feathers together how complicated the divide is between the world of white people and the Native American way of life It is well worth the time it takes to read it a day or two and offers such deep insight that I feel like I understand things better than I did before I read it yet it is also utterly overwhelming to contemplate my own lack of understanding and the reat loss that the People have endured I loved this story so much Thank you Lee Marcle Good but there are books out there that are nuanced in the treatment of issues separating indigenous culture from Western culture The protagonist was mostly smug about the white people around her Granted there is definitely a place for indigenous characters being smug about the white people around them considering how violently smug white people have been and continue to be but this felt like it added nothing to the conversation It was too flaccid to be truly radical and too smug to be noteworthy But then I was reading Rushdie at the same time and the contrast might ve made me critical of this than I would have been had I not been enjoying the warped and iconoclastic work of the latter Loved this book for the way it positions coming of age uestioning and shifting family dynamics as a focal point from which to view the everyday violence of colonialism The rich and varied symbolism woven through this relatively short book would make it perfect to read with a pal or reading Creating Chicago's North Shore: A Suburban History group I m thinking of of the dialogue between Cedar and Raven the ephemeral presence of Celia the way the epilogue reframes the prior narrative I mlad Maracle wrote a follow up and I m eager to read it. Ast in the early 1950s Ravensong is by turns damning humorous inspirational and prophetic. .
And on their own very well Just to ive you a sense of the poetic WRITING IN RAVENSONG HERE IS THE OPENING PARAGRAPH FROM in Ravensong here is
The Opening Paragraph From Depths Of Theopening paragraph From depths of the Raven sang a deep wind song melancholy reen Above the water layered itself in stacks of still reen dark to light The sound of Raven spiralled out from its small beginning in larger and larger concentric circles aining volume as it passes each successive layer of reen
The song echoed the rolling motion of earth s centre filteringsong echoed the rolling motion of earth s centre filtering through the last layer to reach outward to earth s shoreline above the deep Wind changed direction blowing the song toward cedar Cedar picked up the tune repeated the refrain each lacey branch bending to echo ravensong Cloud seduced by the rustling of cedar moved sensually to shore A fascinating Canadian novel that engrosses the reader so much into the events within the story that Stacey begins to feel like a real person a fellow acuaintance The contrasts between the village and white town are set in fiction but the eery tone invokes a deep sense of compassion and shame for these descriptions are based upon fact and very accurate fact Never have I been so enthralled in a novel that challenges me in such a way To consider the moral implications that were enforced upon the ender race education citizenships health and most of allthe rights of the native other in relation to their dominant white neighbours Catharsis is achieved fully and the literary journey is worth the heartache Fabulous book not onna rate this bc it s for a class but oh wow this was really deep when you really think about it Just finished this book and I was completely engrossed with it Lee has a really absorbing style of writing This book is the preuel to Celia s Song a book I read earlier this year It was interesting in that many events that happened in this book were referenced in that one It is told from the perspective of Celia s older sister Stacey who is attending her last year of white high school across the bridge from their village She plans to o to UBC and become a teacher after raduation Like in Celia s Song Maracle makes us aware of the differences between her people s way of seeing the world and our own Both are important books Salish M tis author Lee Maracle s 1993 novel Ravensong doesn t centre around ueerness or lesbian sexuality in the way that you might expect in a book reviewed here It s a beautiful and powerful novel about settler and Indigenous relations regardless but its main character Stacey a young Salish woman living on a reserve in the 1950s isn t explicitly or implicity ueer although she is potentially ueer I would say iven Maracle s take on sexuality There is however a Eminism sets this novel in an urban Native American community on the Pacific Northwest co.