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Copyright 1999 The Purdue Research Foundation. All rights reserved.

Modern Fiction Studies 45.1 (1999) 93-113

Intertextual Twins and Their Relations: Linda Hogan's Mean Spirit and Solar Storms
Catherine Rainwater
I. Beyond Borders: Contemporary Native Texts

Almost universally across cultures and time, human beings have viewed the birth of twins with awe. In ancient myths as well as in contemporary science, twins remain something of a mystery and pose an array of fascinating metaphysical, psychological, and ontological questions. Accounts of the mirrored lives of identical twins, especially those raised separately, never cease to intrigue the reading and television-viewing public. Individuals who have lost a twin through such separation or death afford persuasive, if so far mostly anecdotal, evidence of powerful psychic bonds conjoining living beings and challenging traditional western conceptions of an isolated human consciousness. 1 Like some other nonwestern cultures, Native Americans emphasize collective existence and psychic connection, including the spiritual dimensions of twinship. The Navajo creation story, for example, develops around numerous sets of twins (Locke, Morris), and among the Lakota, twins are "wakan" (sacred), sharing a special relationship even in the womb (Hassrick 312). 2 Major figures in the foundational iconography of many tribes, sacred twins and comparable "balanced pairs" [End Page 93] express a larger unity behind perceived dual forces in nature and experience. 3 Their struggles chronicle the evolution of human presence, power, and responsibility on the earth. Whether twin pairs are male or female, within most tribal societies one twin usually complements the other's character traits, talents, or powers. One may be aggressive, for instance, while the other is mild and yielding. Twins sometimes switch roles, or, if one is absent, the other assumes all or part of his sibling's identity (Scarberry-Garca 33). The Stricken Twins of southwestern tribal cosmogony are perhaps the ones most often referenced within contemporary Native American literature. Their Navajo manifestations, Monster Slayer and Born for Water, appear in N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, and their Pueblo counterparts in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and Paula Gunn Allen's The Woman Who Owned the Shadows. About the pantribal lore of sacred twins, Allen says, "it is probable that the system [of the twins], wherever it 'originated' among human groups, actually emerged in the realm of the Great Mystery, and it is only in that land that the source of the system and its variant forms might be ascertained. [. . .] One thing is reasonably certain: where the sacred twins occur, there lies magic" (Grandmothers 29). 4

A Balanced Pair of Narratives

Linda Hogan's novels are replete with direct references to twins and to other paired phenomena representing the same cosmological principles. These references not only cue the reader to an important structural pattern common to both of her narratives, but also implicitly point to a productive way of understanding the

intertextual relationship between Mean Spirit and Solar Storms on the one hand, and between these two novels and several of their literary "kin" on the other. In Mean Spirit , Sara and Molene Blanket are "stricken" female twins--one paralyzed and the other killed by polio. A male-female pair, Moses Graycloud and Ruth Graycloud Tate, "have that link between them that is common to twins. [. . .] If Ruth fell down, Moses would feel the same pain, the same scraped knee. If Moses lost one of his beloved horses, Ruth would stop by his place and say, 'What's wrong? I feel sad'" (73). Paired characters in Solar Storms include the twin cubs [End Page 94] born to Agnes's bear (45); "war" and "starvation," some cannibals' twin offspring killed by Angela's animal ally, Wolverine (186); and two feral children raised by wolves (65). Furthermore, a twin-like relationship between younger Angela and her older, regenerated self in the second half of the novel is implied through many references to her appearance in mirrors, where she ponders the relationship of the face she sees there to the woman she dreams of becoming. The ten-chapter segments on either side of chapter eleven (the story of Angela's canoe-trip to the land of the Fat-Eaters) also bear a twin-like, complementary relationship to one another. The first ten relate Angela's flight from the world and her angry preoccupation with her scarred face and blighted inner self (both reasons behind her breaking Agnes's bathroom mirror [52]), while the last ten portray the girl's healthy return to community after soul-healing experiences on the land, among family. In the wilderness with Dora-Rouge, Agnes, and Bush, Angela remarks that "the four of us [a double pair] became like one animal" (177). Further emphasizing Hogan's preoccupation with twins is the appearance of nonhuman and nonanimal balanced pairs in both novels: "sister islands" exist in Solar Storms, while, in Mean Spirit , the Red Store and the Blue Store carry goods suggesting complementary male and female energies in the universe. Indeed, Hogan's choice of this pair of colors might remind some, especially Native readers, of a popular Plains blanket that is half red and half blue, a gestalt representing the male and female components of "everything that is seen" (Beck, Walters, and Francisco 14). 5 Hogan's Red and Blue stores also betoken an intertextual network of references to these two colors that extends beyond Mean Spirit , set in Oklahoma where the color red prevails, to its companion, Solar Storms, set in the frozen, blue, north country of the Aurora Borealis. On the one hand, Mean Spirit features red landscapes, red stone buildings, red horses, a character named Red Hawk, and the red fires that erupt in the conflict between the mostly white people who would steal Osage oil, and the mostly Indian people who follow the Hill Indians on the "good red road" into a time beyond time. Solar Storms, on the other hand, features blue and blue-green landscapes, and a displaced blue polar bear befriended by Angela's grandmother, Agnes. Shortly following Angela's birth, her deranged mother tries to kill her by leaving her outside in the snow, where she turns blue. Saved by her [End Page 95] grandmothers, Angela later refers to a blue "Indian" birthmark that she carries (74) and a blue tattoo on her hand (26). Like the Blue Store in its emphasis on female community (44), Solar Storms might be seen as Hogan's "blue" book, a feminine portion of an equation balanced by her more masculine "red" book, Mean Spirit , which harnesses the warrior energies of red horses and invokes prophecies of fiery stars to convey its apocalyptic message about the return of an "older world" (138). By contrast, Solar Storms features a young female protagonist with red hair and burn scars whose personal and cultural bitterness is mollified in the watery world of the Beautiful People; there she learns from her great-great-grandmother, Dora- Rouge, that there is hope for the future, for "we are cocoons who consume our own bodies and at death we fly away transformed and beautiful" (89; emphasis added). In short, just as red complements but prevails over blue in Mean Spirit , blue complements but prevails over red in Solar Storms. Hogan's intertextual color trope enhances the reader's sense of the twin-like relationship between two novels that together imply a balance of the sort conveyed by the traditional stories of twins to which both novels allude. Indeed, such allusions cue readers to an important structural pattern that potentially

guides our response to either text. Structuralist-oriented semioticians, including Jonathan Culler, Michael Riffaterre, and others, have written extensively on the subject of such basic story patterns or "structural invariants" that readers may recognize in individual works owing to past encounters with the patterns in other literature. Reading and interpreting texts, we might say, are largely functions of memory, or what Culler calls acquired "literary competence" (113-30) and Riffaterre describes as our relative acquaintance with the "intertext": "As readers progress through one or more novels, they come to realize that apparently unconnected [. . .] stories have relational and functional features in common that direct interpretation beyond what each instance authorizes. Therefore, these several representations and stories are now recognized as variants of structural invariants" (Riffaterre 86). In other words, when we recognize a basic story pattern in a particular work, we begin to read this work in relation to other texts we have read that embody the same story pattern, or "invariant." The invariant, in fact, is only an inferred generalization [End Page 96] held in memory--an abstract element against which we compare concrete "variants." (Homer's Odyssey and Joyce's Ulysses, for instance, are variants of the "mythic quest" invariant.) Thus the accounts of sacred twins as icons of unity-inopposition may be understood to structure and shape the response of the reader to much of the unique content of Hogan's novels, including the relationship between them. Indeed, as I have argued elsewhere, "twins" provide an apt metaphor for the intertextual bonds between several specific pairs of American Indian novels. 6 A close look at the implications of such linkages between Linda Hogan's Mean Spirit and Solar Storms, as well as at the two novels' relationship to their more distant "kin" among Native and non-Native American literature, leads us to deeper insight into the author's overall vision. In particular, we may better understand Hogan's sense of the relationship between history and writing and her awareness of the mechanisms of semiotic power that are currently expanding the place of American Indian writing within the literary cultural mainstream. While Mean Spirit seems to point towards the transformational efficacy of writing for getting Indians out of history through a radical break with Eurocentric reality, Solar Storms emphasizes a complementary transformational capacity of writing for facilitating their entry into history and for expanding the Eurocentric reality that recorded history embodies. Hogan's twin texts reveal that both kinds of power--for escaping and for entering history--are inherent within the "enemy language" 7 so deftly exploited by contemporary, intertextually conjoined writing by Native Americans. History and politics figure significantly in both novels. Half of Mean Spirit takes place in 1922, and the other half in 1923, years when white people in Oklahoma responded to the discovery of oil beneath Indian lands with a variety of legal and illegal plots to relieve the tribes of their newfound riches. Victims of intimidation, insurance fraud, and even murder, Hogan's Native characters are inspired by actual people in Indian Territory who lived in the aftermath of the Dawes Act of 1887 and through the "black gold" rush of the 1920s. 8 Solar Storms is set a few decades later in the Great Lakes region, where scattered members of Cree, Anishinabe, and various subarctic tribes--already displaced and impoverished by the logging industry-fight to prevent construction of dams and reservoirs threatening to flood their homelands. [End Page 97] In these novels, Hogan emphasizes not only the mistreatment of Indians, but also the paradoxically selfdestructive actions of white society as it damages the earth where white people and Indians alike must live. As Dora-Rouge says in Solar Storms, the Europeans have "trapped themselves inside their own destruction" of the world (180). Thus Mean Spirit and Solar Storms intertextually are aligned in their focus on the grim facts of North American history. However, the diverse endings of these novels potentially lead readers to different (but finally complementary) conclusions about the possibilities for living in, and changing, the world through the sophisticated management of words. The ending of Mean Spirit seems to fulfill Michael Horse's apocalyptic prophecy written in his Book of Horse. Horse, a traditional Osage "firekeeper" (32), predicts that

the people will go out of their land. They, like the land, are wounded and hurt. They will go into the rocks and bluffs, the cities, and into the caves of the torn apart land. There will be fires. Some of them will be restored to the earth. Others will journey to another land and merge with other people. Some will learn a new way to live, the good way of the red earth. But a time will come again when all the people return and revere the earth and sing its praises. (362) The last pages of Mean Spirit remind readers of this fiery scene described in The Book of Horse. With the Oklahoma landscape aflame in the background, several characters, including Michael with his book, follow the "good red road" that leads to the camp of the "Hill People" (mysterious traditional Indians including the guardian "watchers," who appear to be beings more spiritual than material): "They looked back once and saw it all rising up in the reddened sky, the house, the barn, the broken string of lights, the life they had lived, nothing more than a distant burning" (375). Such an ending implies that positive changes for Indian people can come only from escaping oppressive Eurocentric history and entering a "time beyond time." 9 Michael's writing, aligned with the power of fire, facilitates this escape. Indeed, Michael openly declares writing to be a mode of exiting one reality and entering another. Early in the novel, we learn from him that "words" may be "a road [like the "good red road"] out of pain [End Page 98] and fear" (33): "Horse felt [. . .] as if he could write away the appearances of things and take them all the way back down to the bare truth" (341). Seeking a non-Eurocentric "truth" that would include Indians and their worldviews in history, Michael for a while thinks that his Book of Horse might be added to the Bible. A thoughtful reader quickly sees the futility of such a plan, however, for Native American and Judeo-Christian worlds do not easily mesh. Mean Spirit invites us to ponder the manifold difficulties involved in any attempt to interject a nonwestern story into western history. Hogan's repeated references to clocks chiming in the distance remind the reader that a western conception of time as a linear, nonreversible, and causal sequence exists behind Eurocentric constructions of "history." This linear conception of time defining Judeo-Christian millennialism contrasts with tribal conceptions of ceremonial or sacred time. Ceremonial time is cyclic, emphasizing eternally recurring patterns and acknowledging dimensions of being that are inexplicable in western, rational terms. Sam Billy's medicine bundle, for instance, contains the power to "turn time around" (146); the implied malleability of time runs counter to traditional western thought. 10 As a set of western narrative practices, secular history either occludes or precludes other dimensions of existence besides the temporal that define nonwestern reality. Dreams, for example, have no place in western history, yet Michael Horse knows, as he tries to "put together the broken edges of things," that "disturbances of earth" lead to revelatory "disturbances of life and sleep" (39). Michael's relationship with his horse, Redshirt, and in general the Indians' conceptions of animals, also lie outside Eurocentric descriptions of the real. In Sorrow Cave, Michael learns from the Bat People. It "was a wild place, as if no human had ever been inside. The ceiling was full of scratches made by bats who once lived there. It looked like an alphabet, a mysterious writing that wanted to be deciphered" (258). In the cave, Michael "closed his eyes and concentrated on tapping into the bat realm, that nation of night people, those who sent out a cry to the world and through their own voices understood the placement of things" (169). Rewarding his efforts, the "night people" teach him "the language of owls and bats" (260) inscribed on the cave ceiling and, apparently, transcribed within Michael's Book of Horse. "He would be silent in the presence of the bat and listen for it to tell him what course of action he [End Page 99] might take for returning the world to its axis" (169). Such claims and experiences in the western view are classified as superstition or folklore, not as history. The "pattern of things" (83) seen or made by Native people does not fit the Eurocentric mold. We may observe that the differences between western and Native epistemological frames make it more difficult to encode "history" with a Native point of view than Michael assumes when he considers adding his Book of Horse to the Bible. Neither secular nor biblical accounts of Judeo-Christian reality can be expanded by the simple addition of nonwestern views. On the contrary, through the ending of Mean Spirit , Hogan

equates Michael's prophetic writing--writing that translates the language of the bats and predicts apocalyptic destruction--with fire based on their radically transformative powers. Fire does not expand what it touches, but consumes it; it leaves a blank space, like an empty page, to be filled anew. As a "twin" text balancing its partner, however, Hogan's second novel aligns writing with water. She portrays water as a differently transformative but complementary element to fire. Like fire, the floods in the end of Solar Storms consume, but unlike fire, the slow-rising water gradually wears away the old, which, like a riverbed cut into rock, yields to steady, unrelenting force. This resistant force of water in Solar Storms becomes a trope for the persistent efforts of Native peoples to change the world. Unlike Mean Spirit , which emphasizes prophetic writing and apocalyptic transformation, Solar Storms stresses the capacities of practical, or political language as an instrument of limited change in the lived reality of Native people. Through such writing, Hogan implies, American Indians might at last enter history on their own, albeit compromised, terms. Ending with Angela's hopeful message about the beauty inside Indian people, and with her re-emergence into society as a healed person, the novel hints at ameliorative possibilities that the conflagrational ending of Mean Spirit seems to reject. Through the efforts of Angela, who speaks on the radio about crimes against Indians, and through Bush's journalistic writing that spreads the word through newspapers in the United States and Canada, Solar Storms underscores the considerable force wielded by Indians who, in the later years of the twentieth century, have thoroughly "learned paper" (Locke 406). Such Native storytellers understand Michael Horse's remark about Eurocentric [End Page 100] people in Mean Spirit : "They don't believe anything is true unless they see it in writing" (361). Hogan's characters remind us that, over the past three decades, American society has begun to see in writing an impressive number of American Indian voices, including Hogan's. Before Angela makes public statements about her people over the radio, however, she pieces together her own personal story and identity. In the process she discovers the regenerative potential of language for revising the story that history tells. At first, Angela rejects history in favor of whatever is new (Hogan, Solar 257); she understands "history" as a long story of Eurocentric domination that destroys spiritual connections, especially those between tribal people and nature (279). Symbolizing her conception of history is the etymological transformation of the name of the main road through Adam's Rib. Once called the "Poisson Road" because it led to good fishing grounds, the name has degenerated to "Poison Road," reflecting contemporary environmental and social facts of Native life (24). Indeed, Agnes recalls that Angela's fierce mother, Hannah, and Hannah's equally vicious mother, Loretta, both smelled of poison: "Loretta smelled of something sweet, an almond odor that I couldn't place until years later. [. . .] When I finally placed the odor, when I knew it was cyanide, I knew who she was, what people she came from. She was from the Elk Islanders, the people who became so hungry they ate the poisoned carcasses of deer that the settlers left out for the wolves" (38). For young Angela, "history" is a word that brings to mind this demise of her people. Nevertheless, Angela rejuvenates herself by learning tribal history. Filling her great-granddaughter's mind with traditional stories, Agnes teaches Angela that there is a "map inside" of Indians that always leads to truth (17). Such truth is absent from Eurocentric history, which has excluded Native people (280). As Angela matures (that is, becomes more Indian) by following this internal "map" that Agnes's stories illuminate, her understanding of history changes. She learns that besides Eurocentric recorded history, there is Indian "memory" (302-03), a metaphysically expansive view of reality that emphasizes connections rather than divisions between spiritual and material realms. Angela also realizes that history is in some ways improvisational. Though at first she hopes her people will simply fill the empty [End Page 101] spaces of her spirit with ready-made, Indian knowledge, she learns that, like her, they also confront mystery and perplexity. Creative powers arise in those like Bush and Angela, however, who refuse the soul-sickness that destroyed Hannah and before her, Loretta, who watched "the desperate people of her tribe die" (39). Bush, an improviser of ceremonies when she does not know traditional ones, teaches Angela that the present is openended. "We needed a story for what was happening to us now" (302), says Angela, as she and her

companions make local history. Indeed, Angela learns the importance of small, local changes as she begins to see that history is more than the Eurocentric master narrative that she has learned in school. By joining forces with several older generations of women represented by Dora-Rouge, Agnes, and Bush, and by assuming responsibility for younger women, Angela enters history, despite her earlier rejection of it. Unlike Mean Spirit , which chronicles the political impotence of Indian people in the 1920s, Solar Storms focuses on the relative efficacy of political action on the part of Indians like Angela and Bush in the later years of this century. Their organized action has positive, if limited, results and, even more significantly, seems reinforced by nature itself. Ice, the tribe of water, speaks (118) as roads built over permafrost by ignorant outsiders begin to crack and sink with the spring thaw; unleashed floodwaters appear to follow some plan of their own. In her self-empowerment process, Angela envisions herself as water or as rain guided by a higher power back to its source (26, 55). Hogan's water trope describing Angela's discovery of personal power also signals the power of Native people to affect the world through words. Angela's reconceptualization of self in water tropes and her subsequent communal, political actions align the powers of tribal people with the powers of nature to restore a healthy environment, despite the interference of white people living in disharmony with the earth. The petroglyph of Wolverine with wings that are revealed only when the drawing is wet iconizes Angela Wing's self-discovery (178, 345) and restates her mature alignment with the power of water, which "comes from the word of God" (94). Water and words are likewise Bush's sources of power: her "spare words were creation itself" (94). Even more than Angela, Bush "found water easy. She knew its rhythm well, its movements and currents. In a canoe she could slip away, glide through and between shadows, be hidden in dim light" (89). [End Page 102] When we study the implications of intertextual connections between Hogan's two novels, we may see that like the twins of tribal lore, who embody latent aspects of one another, each of her two texts artfully draws our attention to the complementary message of the other. Emphasizing fire, for example, Mean Spirit nevertheless alludes briefly to the power of water. Near the fiery conclusion of the story, Nola Blanket hears "the voice of water." So does her parrot, "pulled by its [red] blood" and longing for the blue-green mists of the "rain forest in its dreams" (356). Likewise, as the floodwaters rise at the end of Solar Storms, Tulik thinks of fire and warns against forgetting its power (272).

An Extended Family
Like the floodwaters equated with language in Solar Storms, words sometimes overflow their bounds. Hogan's words in both novels reach beyond the covers to connect her books not merely to one another but to other works of literature as well. There is a network of intertextual linkages binding Hogan's "twin" texts to several of their "relations," past and present. Such linkages underscore the important place within the North American literary scene that contemporary American Indian literature has recently assumed. Noting these intertextual connections also affords us a better view of the semiotic means by which Native literature is currently entering history, not by simply adding its stories to the canon, but by transforming American literature from within. About intertextuality, we learn a fundamental lesson from Riffaterre. He explains that, once read, a text seems to "return [. . .] from the written to the entirely unwritten" (99). He goes on to describe the intertext, this realm of the "unwritten" that drives, shapes, and enables our reading of any particular text, as the "unconscious" of the text, not the mental unconscious of the author or reader that is "accessible to psychoanalysis," but a textual unconscious accessible to "semanalysis" and commanding sophisticated mnemonic processes (95-96). In other words, our current reading never escapes the shaping influence of our memory of all else we have read before. This process is reversible, as well. That is to say, the book we read today may also alter our understanding of one we have read earlier. Thus the "intertext" may be seen [End

Page 103] as a vast matrix undergoing constant revision from many directions even while it exercises its power over any particular reading. Since the late 1960s, with the publication of N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn (1968), an everincreasing proportion of the intertext--this protean realm of the "unwritten"--consists of works by American Indian authors. These works not only affect our understanding of contemporary literature by introducing previously excluded indigenous perspectives; they also potentially influence our response to mainstream literary works of the past, as my reading of Hogan's apparent allusion to Herman Melville's Moby-Dick will suggest. Though Hogan's intertextual allusions are too numerous to discuss in their entirety within the space of this essay, a close look at a few significant ones should serve to make my point: these include direct and indirect references to Leslie Marmon Silko's "Storyteller," to Melville's Moby-Dick , and to Momaday's House Made of Dawn. Hogan has undoubtedly read these three works. 11 Indeed, elements of each seem to find their way into Hogan's own fictive universe. Silko's polar bear, for example, has wandered into Solar Storms. "Storyteller," a complex tale of intergenerational transfer of storytelling responsibilities and powers, centers on an old man's ongoing account of a contest between a polar bear (representing Native people of the Arctic) and a hunter (representing the European invader of the "New World"). Affirming the Native belief that stories create reality--an idea developed in many Native American works of fiction, including Silko's Ceremony--the old man's utmost duty involves keeping the story going. Continuing the story indefinitely insures that the bear will finally prevail over the destructive colonizer, who exploits the land and reddens the ice with the blood of Native people. When the girl in Silko's story takes up her storyteller's role from the dead "grandfather," the hunter is exhausted and numb. He drops his knife: "it shattered on the ice, and the blue glacier bear turned slowly to face him" (Silko, "Storyteller" 32). Hogan in Solar Storms probably intentionally evokes Silko's unforgettable tale for the reader, for Hogan's novel likewise tells the story of a mysterious blue "glacier bear" who is "the color of ice." This bear "wandered down to California. No one knew why it was so far from home" (Hogan, Solar 45). There would appear to be much self-reflexive humor in Hogan's remark about the bear's home. Hogan's bear is, [End Page 104] indeed, far from its "home" in Silko's fictive universe. Hogan's allusion is more than a metatextual witticism, however, for it points to important bonds of ideological solidarity between the two writers. Like Silko's bear, Hogan's ice bear is the victim of the European interlopers, who trap and cage it. Agnes befriends the beautiful animal, but ultimately she kills the bear to save her from further abuse by white owners. Grateful to Agnes for a good death, the bear spirit lends her its powers through its skin that she steals and makes into a coat. When Agnes dies, the coat seems to find its natural, new owner in Angela's infant half-sister, Aurora, Agnes's great-great-granddaughter. As in Silko's "Storyteller," we see in Solar Storms an intergenerational transfer of the power of the bear. The fact that we lose track of the bear coat at the end of Solar Storms is at first confusing. Fleeing the police, who would arrest resistant Indians among the Fat-Eaters, Angela takes Aurora but leaves the coat behind. We might argue that the vague whereabouts of the coat at the end of the novel frees it--and the blue bear's spirit--to turn up again in yet another text. Indeed, this ambiguous location of the coat at the end of Solar Storms reminds us that Silko likewise leaves her glacier bear in a transitional stage at the end of "Storyteller," when we see the bear turn toward the hunter, without yet attacking him, just as the story leaves off. 12 The linkage between Silko's and Hogan's works evoked by the bear reference has profound ramifications for both works. In "Storyteller," the bear's incipient triumph at the end seems clear, but its ultimate victory over the invader depends on the continuance of the story, a responsibility passed on to the girl protagonist by the dying old man. In a sense, Hogan has become this girl, assuming responsibility for continuing Silko's story. Though Hogan's bear dies physically in Solar Storms, its powers are lent to human beings who can, after all,

do more than animals to change the world. In fact, the mode (spirit or flesh) in which the bear endures hardly seems to matter. Moreover, the bear is "the mother [. . .] of twin cubs," whose current whereabouts, like the coat's, are temporarily unknown (45). Like their mother's coat, they could reappear in another text. Reinforcing the intertextual power of the bear-reference are Hogan's other possible allusions to Silko's story: in both works, frozen road-construction machinery underscores the ineptitude of white people [End Page 105] who would alter nature to their own ends without first thoroughly understanding the natural forces at work in the polar region. Through such witty intertextual references to Silko's story, Hogan makes an extremely serious point that is fundamental to Native American storytelling: "all the stories fit together," Silko tells us straightforwardly in Ceremony (246), and in Solar Storms, Angela relishes the moments when "everything comes together in a precise, clear knowing" (325). Hogan's intertextual invocation of Melville's Moby-Dick in Solar Storms makes a related point about connection. However, instead of continuing Melville's story, reinforcing its point as she does Silko's, Hogan criticizes the Eurocentric perspectives on nature conveyed in Melville's romance. She also offers a corrective view of the human bond with nature that rejects not only the transcendentalist position that Melville himself denounces in Moby-Dick , but also the antitranscendentalist, skeptical perspective to which Melville apparently subscribes. 13 From Agnes, Angela learns the story of Eho, the "woman keeper of the animals. [. . .] She was the woman who fell in love with a whale in the heart of water and did not want to return to the human worlds. She knew she could command water. [. . .] Because of her [. . .] men and women were to be the caretakers of the animals" (229). Angela dreams a second, related whale story: "I dreamed a white whale swam above me, singing, looking with its intelligent eyes into my own with something akin to love" (291; emphasis added). For most readers, this reference to a "white whale" identifying Angela with Eho as a woman keeper of animals will awaken a memory of Melville's pale leviathan. Hogan's apparent allusion to Moby-Dick invites us to compare the contradictory views of nature and the human relationship to nature's creatures that the stories of Eho and Ahab convey. For mad Ahab, the whale is the epitome of evil--all that is wild and unresponsive to his maniacal will. Ahab, the whaler who hates rather than respects his animal prey, is himself controlled by his own obsession with control--"trapped within his own destruction of the world," as Agnes says of the European invaders. By contrast, Eho and those like Angela who inherit Eho's responsibilities as keepers of animals are not, like Ahab, alienated from nature, but at home within it, not maimed by nature, but made whole in its embrace. Hogan's ostensibly simple, single reference to a white whale generates substantial dialogue with Melville about the [End Page 106] human place in nature. For Hogan, Ahab's shattered mind and body apparently reflect the soul-loss characterizing a destructive, Eurocentric society, whereas her Native characters, Eho and Angela, display physical and spiritual health. Hogan doubtless understands Melville's implied disdain for Ahab's self-absorbed, paranoid outlook. She probably also sees that Melville, the antitranscendentalist skeptic, clearly does not sanction the transcendentalist view of a benign natural world, authorially undercut by Ahab's tortured monologues and Ishmael's existential musings. Although Hogan's worldview seems closer in essence to the transcendentalists' idealism than to Melville's dubiety, recognition of key differences between her thought and theirs rewards a reader's attention. Obviously Hogan's view of a world everywhere imbued with spirit contrasts dramatically with Melville's own, conveyed in part through Ishmael's ambivalence toward the apparent meanings behind phenomenal appearances. However, Solar Storms suggests that romantic idealism and Melville's skepticism alike are too much rooted in western individualism. Proponents of transcendentalist philosophy such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were pronounced individualists, defining spirituality for themselves irrespective of outside authority or tradition. By contrast, Hogan emphasizes well-defined responsibility to the collective society and to nature, including the responsibility of learning traditional knowledge and ritual. We have seen in both of Hogan's novels, for example, how social wellbeing depends upon individuals' fulfillment of inherited roles: Michael Horse and Stace Red Hawk in Mean Spirit are tribal

keepers of sacred responsibilities, and Angela Wing in Solar Storms must learn to act less in her own selfinterest and more on behalf of her kin before she truly knows herself as an Indian woman. Furthermore, Hogan's conception of animal being, as we have noted in both Mean Spirit and Solar Storms, remains outside even the most romantic Eurocentric frames of reference. Eho, for example, lives in a world where animals, including whales, have their own inviolable being as cohabitants of earth. In Hogan's view, animals are apparently different from, but not inferior to, their human relatives. Indeed, this Native concept of the "personhood" of animals remains one of the most resistant to cross-cultural understanding between Eurocentric and indigenous people. 14 When Eho falls in love with a whale, and [End Page 107] when Angela, fulfilling her destined role as animal keeper, feels she is loved by a whale, Hogan's readers are supposed to understand that these women, like Michael Horse in Sorrow Cave with the bats, move in dimensions of existence beyond the bounds of what the west defines as possible. Hogan's intertextual reference to Melville's Moby-Dick stakes important ground for Native American writing within the literary mainstream. The allusion invites the careful reader to ponder the increasing epistemological diversity of American letters at the close of the twentieth century. American Indian writers are not merely filling the centuries-long silence in American letters with indigenous voices, but also asking the literary community to reckon with the changes in what the words "American literature" might mean when Eurocentric conceptions of the world are challenged. Some intertextual connections between Mean Spirit and Momaday's House Made of Dawn, in particular, emphasize my point about the culturally and historically revisionary capacities of contemporary Native American literature. Hogan's and Momaday's priestcharacters who "turn Indian" link their novels to one another and to the genre of the captivity narrative; both Mean Spirit and House Made of Dawn also potentially revise this genre in the process of alluding to it. In House Made of Dawn, Father Olguin struggles hard to comprehend the tribes of the southwest among whom he lives. Not wanting to commit the sins of the Spanish missionaries like Fray Nicolas who came before him, but still feeling dedicated to his mission, Father Olguin learns the ways of the people, seeking genuine connections with them until at last he develops a limited but sympathetic cross-cultural perspective. Ultimately, he is able to say with some justification, "'I understand, do you hear?' And he began to shout. 'I understand! Oh God! I understand--I understand!'" (210). 15 Hogan's Father Dunne reminds us of Momaday's Father Olguin, though Hogan's priest undergoes an even more radical transformation. He learns to hear the "earth speaking. It was the deep and dreaming voice of the land. It was as if he had wakened for the first time, as if his eyes were at last opened. [. . .] Father Dunne thought he and Horse were both listening to a voice inside themselves, and that voice was God's earth." The Indians "said it was the year when the priest went sane" (Hogan, Mean 188-89). [End Page 108] Momaday's and Hogan's priest-characters in turn comprise intertextual connections to captivity narrative, a genre that usually rehearses the challenges to Christian orthodoxy incurred by living among tribal people. While some captivity narratives record sympathetic views of Indian ways acquired through living on close terms with Natives, most are like the famous narrative of Mary Rowlandson. Typically, they depict Native American tribes through western and Christian frames of reference. Contemporary Native American writers' representations of white people who "turn Indian," such as Father Olguin and Father Dunne, stand in revealing counterpoint to characters in the traditional captivity genre, who fight valiantly to maintain their Eurocentric identity. By contrast, such characters as Fathers Olguin and Dunne are portrayed as wellmeaning but misguided and spiritually bereft individuals, whose exposure to tribal cultures leaves them perceptive and spiritually fulfilled. The subtle and profound intertextual connections that American Indian writers such as Hogan forge between their works and other literature exert great transformative power throughout the intertext. Though certainly no American Indian writer has gone uninfluenced by the dominant culture, intertextual feats of the sort illustrated by Hogan's twin texts also constitute a reverse influence--the unprecedented influence of the Native

American writer on the mainstream. Such reverse-influence is illustrated through Hogan's dialogue with Melville, as well as through the ways in which Hogan, Momaday, and others 16 revise the Indian captivity genre. When works by Hogan and other Native writers "return to the unwritten"--the space of memory--they alter our literary horizons and, consequently, reshape our ideas of the world in which we live. In the end, such works may change the world by changing minds; they may impart to readers at least a version of what Roger Dunsmore has defined as a particularly "Indian" state of consciousness, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all things of the earth. At the turn of this century, such a collective state of mind seems long overdue. As Dunsmore proclaims, "A society of those [. . .] who have so separated themselves from the rest of nature as to think and feel and actually believe that they alone have full consciousness or spirit or value in and of themselves, is the most dangerous and potentially destructive society imaginable" (116). Catherine Rainwater teaches at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She has co-edited two books on women writers, and published several essays on Native American literature. Her essay on Louise Erdrich, published in American Literature, was awarded the Modern Language Association's Foerster Prize. Her book, Dreams of Fiery Stars: The Transformations of Native American Fiction, was published earlier this year.

1. Lawrence Wright's Twins provides an overview of historical and popular attitudes toward twins as well as a review of genetic and environmental theories about the bonds between twins. People with missing twins, even those whose twin "vanished" or died in the womb, report psychological effects (88-89). His discussion also considers the vast range of human responses to twins. For example, some pre-industrial societies have killed them, suspecting them of evil, while others have venerated them as sacred, as having a shared soul and magical powers (6). "Clairvoyance is a part of twin lore" (55) even in the west, according to Wright, where identical twins in particular continue to challenge long-cherished notions of the uniqueness of individual identity. 2. Recent scientific studies of twins corroborate this Lakotan view. Technological advances allow us to view twin fetuses in the womb, where they apparently sometimes "fight" and sometimes embrace (Wright 90). Genetic abnormalities in live or stillborn multiple births probably shaped tribal views of them, as well. It is easy to see, for instance, how the case of a girl born in 1949 with five partially developed fetuses in her brain could lead to mythmaking (Wright 89). Marjorie Wallace's haunting account of "June" and "Jennifer"--twin girls self-exiled from society who shared a private language only they could decode--likewise inspires wonder concerning the mysterious bond between monozygotic twins. 3. As Peggy V. Beck, Anna Lee Walters, and Nia Francisco explain (13-14), the lore of tribal pairs emphasizes balance (versus Eurocentric hierarchy) or harmony of opposites (versus western dualism). 4. Allen documents sacred pair cosmogony in many tribes, including the Five Civilized Tribes (Sacred Hoop 20), which include Hogan's Chickasaw tribe. Though Allen thinks there is little trace of twin mythology among the Lakota and Northwest tribes, twins nevertheless are considered sacred by the Lakota, and there is a Blackfeet myth about twin wolves, Glooskap and Malsum, a good and evil balanced pair (Spence 1519). For a fascinating study of how cosmic twin pairs figure comparably in Caribbean literature, see Clark. 5. Note the family name of "Blanket" in Mean Spirit . 6. See chapter 5 of my Dreams of Fiery Stars for a discussion of the intertextual links between Silko's Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead, and James Welch's The Death of Jim Loney and Winter in the Blood.

7. This is a term most recently employed by Harjo and Bird to describe English, which is, ironically, many Native Americans' first (and sometimes only) language. 8. See Debo, 300-39 on the Dawes Act; and 306, 333, 354, and 371 on Osage oil. See also Casteel on Hogan's treatment of this history in Mean Spirit . 9. For more on contemporary expression of Native American prophecy, see Johnson. For an excellent discussion of the concept of a "time beyond time," see Lucas. Finally, see Mooney (64) for a discussion of T'vibo, a Paiute prophet spreading his message from around 1869-1872; the ending of Mean Spirit seems to incorporate his prophecy. 10. However, see Silko's remarks on the intersections between contemporary physics, including conceptions of time, and Native American thought (Coltelli 138). 11. See Coltelli (71-86), where Hogan specifically discusses House and comments extensively on how important to her are her fellow Native American writers, whose works inspire her. Hogan has written an essay on House ("Who Puts Together"), and, in Dwellings (102-03), Hogan discusses Moby-Dick and Charles Olson's Call Me Ishmael. 12. I say "leaves off" rather than "ends" or "concludes" because the point of the story is that it must go on. It is not over. 13. On Louise Erdrich's dialogue with Melville's Moby-Dick , see also my Dreams of Fiery Stars, chapter 5. 14. See Dunsmore's discussion of this problem, 103-22. 15. For a discussion of Father Olguin's role, see also Scarberry-Garca, and on Father Dunne's crosscultural function, see Musher. 16. Interesting to note but beyond the scope of this essay is Louise Erdrich's dialogue with captivity narratives in her poem entitled "Captivity."

Works Cited
Allen, Paula Gunn. Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook . Boston: Beacon, 1991. ------. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon, 1986. ------. The Woman Who Owned the Shadows. San Francisco: Spinsters, 1983. Beck, Peggy V., Anna Lee Walters, and Nia Francisco. The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge, Sources of Life. Tsaile, AZ: Navajo Community College P, 1992. Casteel, Alix. "Dark Wealth in Linda Hogan's Mean Spirit ." Studies in American Indian Literatures 6 (1994): 49-68. Clark, Vv. "Developing Diaspora Literacy and Marasa Consciousness." Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text . Ed. Hortense Spillers. New York: Routledge, 1991. 40-61.

Coltelli, Laura. "Linda Hogan." Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak . Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1990. 71-86. ------. "Leslie Marmon Silko." Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak . Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1990. 135-53. Culler, Jonathan. Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1975. Debo, Angie. A History of the Indians of the United States. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1970. Dunsmore, Roger. Earth's Mind: Essays in Native Literature. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1997. Erdrich, Louise. "Captivity." Jacklight: Poems. New York: Holt, 1984. Harjo, Joy, and Gloria Bird, eds. Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writings of North America. New York: Norton, 1997. Hassrick, Royal B. The Sioux. Life and Customs of a Warrior Society. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1964. Hogan, Linda. Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. New York: Touchstone, 1995. ------. Mean Spirit . New York: Ivy, 1990. ------. Solar Storms. New York: Scribner, 1995. ------. "Who Puts Together." Studies in American Indian Literature: Critical Essays and Course Designs. Ed. Paula Gunn Allen. New York: MLA, 1983. 169-77. Johnson, Willard. "Contemporary Native American Prophecy in Historical Perspective." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64 (1996): 575-612. Locke, Raymond Friday. The Book of the Navajo. Los Angeles: Mankind, 1992. Lucas, Phil. The Native Americans: The Tribal People of the Northwest . TBS. Atlanta: Turner Home Entertainment, 1994. Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick, or The Whale. 1851. Ed. Charles Feidelson, Jr. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964. Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper, 1968. Mooney, James. The Ghost Dance. North Dighton, MA: JG, 1996. Morris, Irvin. From the Glittering World: A Navajo Story. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1997. Musher, Andrea. "Showdown at Sorrow Cave: Bat Medicine and the Spirit of Resistance in Mean Spirit ." Studies in American Indian Literatures 6 (1994): 23-36. Rainwater, Catherine. Dreams of Fiery Stars: The Transformations of Native American Fiction. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1999. Riffaterre, Michael. Fictional Truth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1990. Scarberry-Garca, Susan. Landmarks of Healing: A Study of House Made of Dawn. Albuquerque: U of

New Mexico P, 1990. Silko, Leslie Marmon. Almanac of the Dead. New York: Simon, 1991. ------. Ceremony. New York: Penguin, 1977. ------. "Storyteller." Storyteller. New York: Arcade, 1981. 17-32. Spence, Lewis. The Illustrated Guide to Native American Myths and Legends. Stamford, CT: Longmeadow, 1993. Wallace, Marjorie. The Silent Twins. New York: Ballantine, 1986. Welch, James. The Death of Jim Loney. New York: Penguin, 1979. ------. Winter in the Blood. New York: Penguin, 1974. Wright, Lawrence. Twins and What They Tell Us about Who We Are. New York: John Wiley, 1997.