Saturday, September 28, 2013

N. Scott Momaday

I went to the guest speaker series featuring N. Scott Momaday. For those of you who don't know who he is, he is a Native American author of Kiowa decent. He spent some time in the Jemez Pueblo Reservation which is the setting for one of his novels House Made of Dawn, which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. He writes poetry, fiction, essays, plays, as well as other mediums. He has won many awards and honors.

He talked about the Indian Oratory which at some point he described as the spoken work as a spiritual and creative form. He said that his voice was diminished, because he recently was in the hospital, but to me I really enjoyed his voice and loved the way he spoke. His voice was very pleasing to the ears, and it had a hint of wisdom, understanding as well as playfulness.

He spoke of how his father use to tell him stories as a young boy and that they were a generation from extinction. Which I thought was true. Stories that were passed down orally can be extinct by the next generation if the story telling doesn't continue. He told the audience how he got his name which is an interesting story intertwined with the story of the seven sisters running through the forest from their brother "the bear".

N. Scott Momaday spoke of the spirit of the Navajo people as they were force to relocate and make the long trek to a new land. He described them having dignity even though they were going through this ordure. They were singing, talking, and playing with their dogs when they made camp; not letting their sadness take over their life.

He described his time riding on his horse, Pecos, and how it was an exercise of the mind and that the Kiowa ancestors were centaurs. With his horse he would rescue the maiden in distress, rode with Billy the Kid, and fight the bad guys.

He told this funny story with him meeting Georgia O'Keefe for the first time. The way he tells it is funny and sweet. He wrote a poem after describing their first meeting. If you get the chance to meet with him or hear him speak that story is worth hearing.

Something he said I really liked, but I'm not sure if it is word for word, but he said, "I read to find inspiration. I write to restore candor to my mind".

He now resides in Santa Fe and he feels at ease. He was telling us of the time he swam laps, and how it was more boring than running on a treadmill. To entertain himself while swimming laps he wrote epitaphs. I really enjoyed his speech and his voice is truly remarkable. I would encourage anybody if you get the chance to go hear him speak. He seems sweet, nice, and funny. He also likes to mention the word erotica.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.