Memory Serves

Memory Serves

Oratories

Book - 2015
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Memory Serves gathers together the oratories award-winning author Lee Maracle has delivered and performed over a twenty-year period. Revised for publication, the lectures hold the features and style of oratory intrinsic to the Salish people in general and the Sto: lo in particular. From her Coast Salish perspective and with great eloquence, Maracle shares her knowledge of Sto: lo history, memory, philosophy, law, spirituality, feminism and the colonial condition of her people.

Powerful and inspiring, Memory Serves is an extremely timely book, not only because it is the first collection of oratories by one of the most important Indigenous authors in Canada, but also because it offers all Canadians, in Maracle's own words, "another way to be, to think, to know," a way that holds the promise of a "journey toward a common consciousness."

Memory Serves: Oratories:

"The topics she covers, the approaches she employs, and the strength of her language highlight the reasons the author has been a driving force in Canadian aboriginal culture for decades. Memory Serves adds to the vital canon of Canadian aboriginal literature."
--Alexis Kienlen, Quill and Quire
"Memory Serves is one of Maracle's greatest books. It is a read that imparts wisdom from a great writer and it will leave you feeling empowered knowing that the wisdom of Maracle's words are being shared with you."
--Christine Smith (McFarlane), rabble.ca



Publisher: Edmonton, Alberta : NeWest Press, c2015
ISBN: 9781926455440
Branch Call Number: 814.54 MAR
Characteristics: xviii, 267 p. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Kamboureli, Smaro

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May 16, 2016

Its rather awkward to rate this: from a stylistic point of view its a five stars, but from an intellectual point of view, maybe one star, or even just a half star. There is an old book entitled "The Ego And Its Own" by Stirner (you can find it at gutenberg) which has an enchanting quality to its prose, so mesmerizing is the audacity of some of its statements, but, a little thinking about its statement, it is revealed to be the philosophy of a psychopath, likewise this book, "Memory Serves" by Maracle, has a similar quality: its soft voice, delicate phrases, and intimate tone, gives a mesmerizing quality to its audacious statements, but a little reflection on its statements betrays the face behind the stylistic mask: it is the philosophy of a pathological liar. Some small examples should suffice for the purpose here: "I choose to remember what happens..." (pg. 2); "Memory is to be played with..." (pg.35); "Our memory has an attitude. [...] not from some bogus factual accuracy or fabricated objectivity" (pg 38); "...reality is always false." (pg. 137); "...and then we story that up" (pg. 233) that is a phrase that occurs several times in the book.
Some of things she says are ludicrous, like saying that Europeans have no history or tradition of orality or oratory, nor for respect for memory. Huh? I suppose she has never heard of Homer, Plato, or Cicero, nor of the traditions of memory (on this, I recommend "The Art Of Memory" by F. Yates). Other preposterous things she says are that those in the West (which, bizarrely, she excludes herself from) dehumanize Afghanis, and the reason she gives is that of the war declared upon the Taliban regime. There are many other factually false statements she makes, which she clothes in delicate phrases and soft tones, so it can go right over one's head; I won't give examples because this comment is getting too long.

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