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The edge of the abyss: Metamorphosis as reality in contemporary Native American literature

The edge of the abyss: Metamorphosis as reality in contemporary Native American literature, approaches the concept of metamorphosis from a metaphysical and philosophical perspective as a culturally defined reality. It focuses on the works of contemporary Native American writers: Leslie Silko, Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, and Louise Erdrich, who address the metamorphic properties of Time and the metamorphic abilities of Man as a continuing link to the supernatural and natural worlds through stories which descend from a history of oral traditions.

The Edge of the Abyss explores the use of language and stories as a cultural survival technique for the retention of tribal ideology and world view. It addresses the fine line which exists between Western and Native American concepts of reality in order to re-define metamorphosis within a cultural context.
This thesis uses an interdisciplinary approach utilizing anthropological, sociological, shamanistic, literary, and cultural materials in a comparative analysis.


Elise Marubbio


Tom Holm





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 M37e


ATT 3107018
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences