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Intimate FrontiersA Literary Geography of the Amazon$
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Felipe Martínez-Pinzón and Javier Uriarte

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941831

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941831.001.0001

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Endless Stories: Perspectivism and Narrative Form in Native Amazonian Literature

Endless Stories: Perspectivism and Narrative Form in Native Amazonian Literature

(p.128) Endless Stories: Perspectivism and Narrative Form in Native Amazonian Literature
Intimate Frontiers

Lúcia Sá

Liverpool University Press

In this article, Sá explores “ethnological” storytelling as a way of linking the human-nature-animal relations into a continuum where one does not make sense without the other. Borrowing from the often times cited notion of perspectivism —popularized by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s but originally part of Amazonian indigenous sense-making— according to which the common denominator among living things is not animality but gentitude (peopleness), Sá’s article exhibits the inner mechanisms by which the ethics and aesthetics of Amazonian storytelling produces plant-animal-human relations at the same time erasing the distinctions between them. According to her, stories of plant domestication and inter-tribal marriage are explained together in historias that have a community-making ethos both as ritualistic practice and as entertainment, merging humor and literary potency. These are stories that tell of how communities come about and how they mutate, resist, adapt and turn anew in the face of diverse challenges. In that sense, Amazonian storytelling is a community-making practice that resists the urge to make landscape into something singular and concrete, a place that is possible to turn into property.

Keywords:   “Ethnological” storytelling, From Roraima to the Orinoco (1917), Perspectivism, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (1951), Tucano People, Pemon People, Plant-animal-human relations

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