Black Elk Speaks by Black Elk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I started this book a long time ago. I slowly poked my way through, and thoroughly benefitted from evey step of my pokey way. The extensive footnotes and endnotes, as well as the 10 appendecies, are helpful in pulling apart Neihardt's poetry from Black Elk's actual narrative. As a Christian, I have a lot of questions about the origin of Black Elk's visions. And how reliable one man's memory of events occuring some thirty to sixty years earlier can be thought to be is, well, questionable.
That said, this is a book worth reading. The penetrating criticism of modern life (circa 1930) provided in places by Neihardt and in oter by Black Elk himself, is worthy of pondering. The poetry of what Neihardt writes is simply haunting in places. And one does become more familiar with the story of the Lakota and their dealings with the U.S. Government.
I plan to revisit this book in the future.
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