The "Whirling Darkness" of Now: Unconventional Apocalypse in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony
Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony (1977) utilizes an apocalyptic tale as its narrative core. This apocalyptic narrative flies in the face of many of the conventions set forth by other Judaic, Christian, Islamic, and even Native American eschatological narratives. Indeed, Ceremony's apocalypse is not a discrete, well-defined event, but an ongoing and potentially eternal cycle. As such, the apocalypse presented by Silko is not based in scheme of destruction and rebirth, but, rather, patterns of survival against an ever-encroaching, everpresent erasure of identity. It is an end time without an end, without culmination and, therefore, without a guaranteed salvation or denouement. In this way, Silko's Ceremony creates a bold new vision of apocalypse, one that finds its basis in Native American culture and experience but redefines what it might mean to experience an "end-time."