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HuihuiNavigating Art and Literature in the Pacific$
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Jeffrey Carroll, Brandy Nalani McDougall, and Georganne Nordstrom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838959

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838959.001.0001

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Adventures in Chronicling

Adventures in Chronicling

The Relational Web of Albert Wendt’s The Adventures of Vela

Chapter:
(p.283) Chapter Twenty-Three Adventures in Chronicling
Source:
Huihui
Author(s):

Steven Gin

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824838959.003.0024

This chapter offers a reading of Albert Wendt’s 2009 novel The Adventures of Vela and highlights the ways in which he brings a relational web among the many oral, textual, and mythological works into dialogue. The Adventures of Vela is written entirely in verse and takes on many of the features of an epic. It follows three chronicler-narrators—Alapati, Vela, and Nafanua—in their intertwined quests to construct and narrate a chronicle of their own and each other’s lives. This chapter examines the intricate and interwoven narratives and their three chroniclers in The Adventures of Vela. More specifically, it considers the responsibility between Vela and Alapati that develops through their ongoing mutually creative process of chronicling. It shows how Wendt dramatizes the challenges of developing a Pacific literature, maintaining a strong connection to one’s traditional roots, and simultaneously voyaging outward, forging relations with other audiences and other aesthetic traditions.

Keywords:   relational web, Albert Wendt, The Adventures of Vela, chronicling, Pacific literature

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