Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
John Neihardt was like James Boswell: each man's genius -- and it is a rare one -- lay in recognizing, respecting and calling forth the greater genius of another. Neihardt’s task was easier; he was nearly the sole arbiter of Black Elk's communication, with little to fear from comparison with other accounts, but also harder. He faced barriers in personal knowledge, tastes, values and language, as well as a public unprepared to accept his mentor's worth. This book pays tribute to Neihardt and appropriately is not a "balanced" appraisal but an appreciation of his best. However, despite claims for his creative oeuvre, it demonstrates that the Nebraska laureate's lasting contribution to American letters was his collaboration with Black Elk.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987