Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly 33:2 (Spring 2013)
Jon T. Coleman’s Here Lies Hugh Glass attempts to apply flesh to the corporeal body of Hugh Glass through the use of nineteenth-century hyperbole and twentieth-century reinvention. As such, Coleman weaves narratives of fiction and fact together, giving the reader a disjointed summation of Glass’s life, a life Coleman suggests is more Homer Simpson than Homer’s Odysseus. We see a character emerge in 1823 who is wounded in a battle with the Arikaras and survives a mauling by a female grizzly bear, only to meet his end ten years later at the hands of Arikaras along the banks of the Yellowstone River. Beginning in 1825 with James Hall, the first person to write of Hugh Glass’s ordeal, Coleman reveals a series of chroniclers less interested in the man than the scars he carried.