Talking on the Page: Editing Aboriginal Oral Texts


119 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-4433-6
DDC 808'.06697




Edited by Laura J. Murray and Keren D. Rice
Reviewed by Ronald R. Henry

Ronald Henry is director of the School of Translators and Interpreters
at Laurentian University.


In order to disseminate knowledge of the Native experience for the
benefit of indigenous peoples and non-Natives alike, modern-day
record-keepers, artists, and academics have edited, reformulated, and
rewritten Native oral discourse, both traditional and contemporary, from
Longfellow to Tomson Highway. Talking on the Page addresses the complex
question of the oral exchange replicated on paper. The contributors
address matters of transcription, annotation, aesthetics, politics, and
editing, along with the paramount issue of translation. As Basil
Johnston reminds us in one notable contribution, the story is the thing,
and it is always open to interpretation. Indeed, a person understands
only to the limit of his or her knowledge and experience. In the final
analysis, the purpose of language and of literature is to share some
understanding of the natural, the abstract, and the transcendental. This
book offers insights into that purpose.


“Talking on the Page: Editing Aboriginal Oral Texts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,