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Weak PlanetLiterature and Assisted Survival$
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Wai Chee Dimock

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226477077

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226477077.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Still Hungry

Still Hungry

(p.15) 1 Still Hungry
Weak Planet

Louise Erdrich

Sherman Alexie

Mary Rowlandson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter features the user-amended captivity narratives of Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie. These two, not known and most likely not welcome to Mary Rowlandson, proceed to edit her Sovereignty and Goodness of God, turning it into a narrative about indigenous suffering and inventiveness.The three in fact have more than a little in common. Rowlandson, a “wolfish” reader by her own account, made so by her raging and unappeasable hunger, perpetuates that eating disorder as a reading disorder, devouring the gastronomic language of the Bible as additive substance. Hunger here is energizing rather than disabling. Extending from Rowlandson to Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie, it turns the captivity narrative into a long-running and input-rich genre, linking the hungry Puritan to two Native readers, with hungers of their own and writing counterfactual histories out of that deficit. Such virtual realities turn the most inhospitable of genres into the most intimate, aligning it with indigenous agency, and reclaiming the past as a yet-to-be-realized future.

Keywords:   captivity narrative, user-amended, counterfactual history, virtual reality, Mary Rowlandson, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, eating disorder, reading disorder, additive substance

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