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A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package. The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form. Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurstbrings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe. Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London. Bringhurstbrings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.
Robert Bringhurst is one of Canada's most respected poets, designers and most probing cultural historians. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, lectured on Native American art and oral literature at universities around the world, studies linguistics at MIT under Noam Chomsky in the 1960s, and worked as a professional translator from Arabic and Greek.He is the author of the bestselling treatise on typography Elements of Typographic Style.
Bringhurst began to study the Haida language in 1982. His translations of Haida oral poetry have since appeared in major scholarly journals and in Brian Swann's groundbreaking anthology Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America.