James Welch's winter in the blood as contemporary literary pragmatism
Dr. JG Ravi Kumar
James Welch's work functions simultaneously as self-exploration, contemporary literary pragmatism, and as a form of anthropology and archeology used to identify and interrogate historic, social, cultural, and political realities. In addition, it contains a fundamental binary composed of a pragmatic, grounded gaze at certain realities of living experience nevertheless often expressed in abstractions that invite theoretical association. In this sense the frontier still exists, a place wherein there is not only the scarcity of buildings, railroads, and other infrastructures by which we deem places civilized, but where there is a kind of scarcity of language and understanding as well. High theory, like a Manhattan skyscraper, is of limited value in this land and mindscape, where utility within a local context is valued above all else. At the same time, there is a need to understand and articulate lived experience that quickly achieves higher levels of abstraction.