Signs of the Americas : a poetics of pictography, hieroglyphs, and khipu (Book, 2020) [WorldCat.org]
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Signs of the Americas : a poetics of pictography, hieroglyphs, and khipu

Author: Edgar Garcia
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2020. ©2020
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Indigenous sign-systems, such as pictographs, petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, and khipu, are usually understood as relics from an inaccessible past. That is far from the truth, however, as Edgar Garcia makes clear in Signs of the Americas. Rather than being dead languages, these sign-systems have always been living, evolving signifiers, responsive to their circumstances and able to continuously redefine themselves and the  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Garcia, Edgar, 1983-
Signs of the Americas.
Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2020
(OCoLC)1140105790
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Edgar Garcia
ISBN: 9780226658971 022665897X 9780226659022 022665902X
OCLC Number: 1089889807
Description: xviii, 279 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Unnatural signs --
World poetry and its disavowals: subsumption from the Aztec priest to Ed Dorn --
Pictographic kinships: Simon Ortiz's Spiral Lands and Jaime de Angulo's Old Time Stories --
Pictography, law, and earth: Gerald Vizenor, John Borrows, and Louise Erdrich --
Hieroglyphic parallelism: Mayan metalepsis in Charles Olson's Mayan Letters, Cy Twombley's Poems to the Sea, and Alurista's Spik in Glyph? --
Death spaces: Shamanic signifiers in Gloria Anzaldúa' and William Burroughs --
Khipu, analepsis, and other natural signs: Cecilia Vicuña's poetics of weaving and Joaquín Torres-García's La Ciudad sin Nombre.
Responsibility: Edgar Garcia.

Abstract:

Indigenous sign-systems, such as pictographs, petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, and khipu, are usually understood as relics from an inaccessible past. That is far from the truth, however, as Edgar Garcia makes clear in Signs of the Americas. Rather than being dead languages, these sign-systems have always been living, evolving signifiers, responsive to their circumstances and able to continuously redefine themselves and the nature of the world. Garcia tells the story of the present life of these sign-systems, examining the contemporary impact they have had on poetry, prose, visual art, legal philosophy, political activism, and environmental thinking. In doing so, he brings together a wide range of indigenous and non-indigenous authors and artists of the Americas, from Aztec priests and Amazonian shamans to Simon Ortiz, Gerald Vizenor, Jaime de Angulo, Charles Olson, Cy Twombly, Gloria Anzald a, William Burroughs, Louise Erdrich, Cecilia Vicu a, and many others. From these sources, Garcia depicts the culture of a modern, interconnected hemisphere, revealing that while these "signs of the Americas" have suffered expropriation, misuse, and mistranslation, they have also created their own systems of knowing and being. These indigenous systems help us to rethink categories of race, gender, nationalism, and history. Producing a new way of thinking about our interconnected hemisphere, this ambitious, energizing book redefines what constitutes a "world" in world literature.

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