In the Bear's House

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Since receiving the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his first novel, House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday has had one of the most remarkable careers in twentieth-century American letters. Here, in In the Bear's House, Momaday passionately explores themes of loneliness, sacredness and aggression through his depiction of Bear, the one animal that has both inspired and haunted him throughout his lifetime.

Winner of the Oaklahoma Book Award for Poetry, In the Bear's House celebrates Momaday's extraordinary creative vision and evolution as one of our most gifted artists with transcendent dignity and gentleness.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The Pulitzer-winning novelist (House Made of Dawn, 1969) offers this mixed media collage—forty paintings, a dialogue, twenty or so poems, and two poetic prose sections—all on the subject of the bear (or "Bear"), an animal of cosmic and spiritual significance among Momaday's Kiowa Indians. Momaday's 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. Momaday's 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 bear's 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 Momaday's paintings echo the power and precision of his poetry and prose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312263409
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

N. Scott Momaday is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Premio Letterario Internazionale "Mondello," Italy's highest literary award. Momaday is a writer, poet, and playwright whose books include The Man Made of Words, House Made of Dawn, and In the Presence of the Sun. He lives in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 5
Introduction 9
You Are, Urset. I Am, Yahweh 15
Berries 21
Prayer 25
Dreams 29
Story 33
Evolution 39
Thought 42
Time 47
The Bear 53
Scaffold Bear 54
The Corporeal Bear 55
A Bear in Bronze 56
The Blind Astrologers 58
Prayer for Words 60
The Print of the Paw 61
The Remembering 62
Ursa Major 63
To an Aged Bear 64
Tres Campos 66
Moscow Circus 69
Notes on a Hunting Scene 71
Summons 72
The Khanty Bear Feast 73
Revenant 74
Winter Solstice at Amoxiumqua 76
Meditation on Wilderness 78
Cave Painting 79
The Bear Hunt 83
The Transformation 91
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