Nokaa-Zagaakwa’on Gaawiin Zagaakwasiiaag: Tender Buttons Unfastened
This essay is a digression Gertrude Stein might have enjoyed if an Anishinaabe poet had joined her Saturday salons in Paris with Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, Mildred Aldrich and others who practiced modern ways of fastening and unfastening words and images. The act of translating Stein’s English into Anishinaabemowin serves as a method of linguistic and artistic analysis. The Anishinaabemowin lines offered here are experimental word play in response to the spirit of her work, not definitive equivalents. Stein evokes the senses in writing. She centers identity around angles and dimensions not often included in verse. She offers social commentary in the form of images that can benefit from a range of diverse readings. Anishinaabe-based explorations of the way she combines sensation, location, and history are not lessons in grammar or explication; they are ventures into a territory co-created by Stein’s imagination and the over-arching aesthetics of Anishinaabemowin. The essay is an example of nindinendaamin izhitwaawinan epiichi gaawiin zagaakwa’igaadesinoog gaye geyabi zagaakwa’igaazoyaang, unbuttoning and rebuttoning ideas across traditions.
Copyright (c) 2018 Margaret Noodin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).