Finding the Center
The Art of the Zuni Storyteller
Praise for the first edition:“A brilliant gathering of Zuni narrative poetry . . . Tedlock’s Zuni narrators seem like singers of some pueblo Beowulf, orchestrating oral traditions with voices they use like instruments.”—Newsweek. “Splendid translations . . . Tedlock has represented pauses in the Zuni with line and strophe breaks, and degrees of pitch and intensity with a handful of standard typographic devices. The text that results is one that we recognize, of course, as poetry scored for voicing; but we also recognize—and this is the kingpin—that an oral tradition has emerged in its own proper character.”—The Nation. “[An] extraordinarily impressive collection.”—New York Times Book Review. “A genuine artistic breakthrough . . . Recapture[s] for us not only the communal spirit of the stories but also . . . at least some feeling of what it’s like to be a Zuni, something anthropological monographs can’t seem to tell us. . . . I know of no other retellings of traditional tales that move me to delight as these do.”—Harper’s Magazine
“Tedlock’s book introduces into folklore an attempt to create a verbal notation of the speech dynamics of the original narrators. . . . The realization comes over one with a shock that our infatuation with story has, for all these years, obliterated all but the most rudimentary considerations of style.”—American Anthropologist.
This second edition features three new Zuni stories, updated transcriptions of stories from the original edition, a bibliography, and a new preface and introduction.
Dennis Tedlock is James H. McNulty Professor of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His books include Breath on the Mirror: Mythic Voices and Visions of the Living Maya.
374 pp ~ illustrated — ©1999