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In the Bear's House Hardcover – February 15, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

The Pulitzer-winning novelist (House Made of Dawn, 1969) offers this mixed media collageforty paintings, a dialogue, twenty or so poems, and two poetic prose sectionsall on the subject of the bear (or Bear), an animal of cosmic and spiritual significance among Momadays Kiowa Indians. Momadays blend of biblical and Native American spirituality and language seems almost old-fashioned in light of the more separatist studies that have dominated since he first arrived on the scene back in the 60s. In fact, his traditional verse forms and expressive clarity will remind us of his tutelage under Yvor Winters, and Janet Lewis (to whom this volume is dedicated). The longish, eight-part dialogue between Yahweh (or Great Mystery) and Urset (the primal Bear) covers issues of essence and nature, dreaming and storytelling, time and evolution. Momaday reshapes Christian and Kiowa myth into a witty and plain-spoken cosmic exchange, and provides a perfect gloss to the seemingly simple poems that follow. Momadays clean and sharp measures enhance a number of well-made poems that date mostly from recent times, but include a stunning portrait of a bear first written in 1963. The Blind Astrologers captures the dual essence of Bear as mythic and mundane; To An Aged Bear encourages a bear to prepare for his spirit journey after death; The Print of the Paw understands the bears mark as a wondrous thing, the imprint suggesting a grand whole; and a few rhymed couplets and quatrains perfectly describe the bears grandeur in life and art. The bold brushstrokes of Momadays paintings echo the power and precision of his poetry and prose. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review

"The bold brushstrokes of Momaday's paintings echo the power and precision of his poetry and prose."—Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312199694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312199692
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,289,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book presents Momaday's work--new and old--concerned with Bear and the idea of wilderness. It offers poetry, drama, and painting all centered on Bear as a representation of the wilderness. Momaday's idea of the wilderness reflects neither the central strand in American life that comes down from the Puritans, nor the preservationist ideology of urban-bound environmentalists, but his writing critically reflects upon both these traditions. Momaday finds Bear, and hence the wilderness, in a conversation between God and the original bear while eating huckleberries, on a train in Moscow, in the drawing for a bronze statue, and many other such places. Throughout this book, the author's life-long concern for the life of the imagination as our best existence (as he has often said) shows forth. This book is an excellent introduction to the work of a great American writer, as well as a beautiful addition to any collection already well-stocked with Momaday's work.
I taught this book as the first in a sequence of five books in a course on Native American poetry. The students loved it. Some of our discussions of the paintings were among the best my classes have had.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Using a Native American story about God, bears, and man, the story is not that insightful and it was actually a poor excuse for a book. The art is good and I get the point but in reality more like a child's book, and I do mean a child's book.
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Format: Paperback
Momaday's IN THE BEAR'S HOUSE contains a dramatic dialogue, varied poems and some prose passages. The book also includes many of Momaday's unique paintings and illustrations--all variations of Bear, the elusive wilderness that Momaday describes and explores through his thoughtful introduction, poetry and prose.
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Format: Hardcover
The bear is a truly unique being in literature, and has a special place in famed author N. Scott Momaday's heart. "In the Bear's House" Is a collection of prose, poetry, art, and more surrounding the ursine creature. With much spirit and thought, Momaday creates a unique vision and provides a textual and artistic treat with black and white illustrations throughout. "In the Bear's House" is superbly crafted, a top shelf pick. "The Khanty Bear Feast": Consign me to ritual/on pretexts of sacred kinds./Unbutton my coat, and have/children pay me their --------prespects-------./Fasten my eyes with bright coins./Let me hear the singer say,/"Whose house is this?" And reply,/Behold, this is the bear's house."/And I shall preside with wild,/disinterested kindness.
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