Talk:House Made of Dawn

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As per HQCentral, I've posted this here. As it stands, this article is exceedingly long. Even with the analysis gone - which it should be; Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought - the article is still very large.

One big target for reduction of the page should be the "background" section. Remember that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; as such, we should be able to give background by leading the reader to pages describing the historical events being mentioned. Of these events, which of them have articles? Which need articles? Create and link as necessary. Zetawoof(ζ) 06:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

You really need to read the article before you post here. It is not original thought as my sources are listed on the bottom of the entry. I'm reverting you again. I also am strongly opposed to breaking up the article as that would make the information harder to find.--HQCentral 06:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC) P.S. "Remember, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia." What does that mean? Larger encyclopedias actually tend to give background in the article when it is relevant to the subject. Encyclopedias are broad works, and Wikipedia is not paper.
The use of sources doesn't make the interpretation encyclopedic, I'm afraid. What's more, the sheer size of the interpretation is overwhelming - it's about twice as large than most of the larger articles in the encyclopedia (e.g. World War II), even taken alone. If an interpretation is to remain in any form, it'll have to be abbreviated dramatically.
As for the background... if the information given is historical, it should already be covered somewhere. (If it isn't covered, then that needs to be corrected!) There's no need to duplicate all the relevant information here. I'm not advocating breaking up the article - the book isn't so notable that it deserves multiple articles - but simply leaving the explanation of some of the background information to a different article. Zetawoof(ζ) 08:32, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I am a bit bothered by the "interpertation" of this novel, which is, as stated, excessivly lengthy and more appropriate for a Journal or Critical Review. What was written here is not simply a synopsis of standard understanding of this novel, but unique, and often personal insight into a novel from one perspective only - with no reference to other perspectives on this novel.

I'm also curious why there was no real mention of this novel's understanding from American Indian perspective, which is one of the more unique aspects of HMOD. --Kipruss3 16:10, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


Why are there like a thousand references at the bottom of the page? Seems superfluous. 00:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


I've done some merciless editing on the article to try to get it back under control, as well as leaving the following message on HQCentral's talk page:

Hi there. Just to give you a heads-up, I have removed your literary analysis in its entirety from the House Made of Dawn article. While it is an interesting, well-written and well-researched essay, it unfortunately falls foul of the WP:NPOV (neutral point of view) policy and is not encyclopedic material - though it might very well be publishable in another sort of project. Do please take a look at the paragraph headed "A simple formulation" in WP:NPOV for a better explanation than I could give of why this is, especially if you look at your own sentence in the deleted section that goes "the positive outcome of Abel's migration between two worlds can be seen as a hopeful beginning of a new period of Pueblo culture." I have also alerted the other editors who have been working on this page and will place a statement on the talk page so that a group discussion can take place there. If you want to dispute my edits, then please let's continue the conversation there so that everyone can have input.

Do please leave any comments on these deletions and edits below. Vizjim 09:19, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Just to note, the edits have resulted in this article being upgraded from "Start" to "B" class. What else do people think we should add to improve article quality?

The historical/literary criticism was an excellent addition (unless I just missed it the first time through), as it begins to touch some of the questions that can be raised by a book *by* a native author but *for* a white audience. That was the kind of launching point I was hoping to see. The tight synopsis provides a more useful Wiki type experience to get the gist of the work.


And it looks like most of the edits have been reverted - the article is back to nearly the same state it was in when I tagged it as {{verylong}}. This really isn't OK; in particular, the analysis is original research:

This reading of House Made of Dawn focuses on the novel's thematic center: the problem of identity. First we deal with Abel's early years of harmony and the gradual emergence of conflicts which lead to his departure from the community. Next we examine Abel's attempts to resolve his confusion after his return from a war which has further undermined his sense of belonging. In fact, Abel has become a man between two cultures, unable to cope with either. In the last section of this reading we will show that Abel's eventual return to his native culture takes the course of a rite of passage. The interpretation is based on a close analysis of the novel's symbolism against the background of Mircea Eliade's studies of initiation ceremonies and religious patterns.

There's actually some discussion going on at the Wikipedia mailing list over what degree of analysis of a fictional work is acceptable. Consensus appears to be that articles on fictional works should be limited to a neutral plot summary, and perhaps a brief summary of published or commonly accepted readings. Original readings, such as the one shown above, aren't acceptable; Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a literary journal.

As such, I've reverted the article to Vizjim's last edit. Although I appreciate the work which must have gone into your historical background and analysis, HQCentral, it really doesn't belong here. Zetawoof(ζ) 00:32, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Policy is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The removal of the material helps nothing, and how could it be original research when my sources are listed at the bottom!? The plot is very symbolic, so it can't be understood without interpretation. Feel free to add another interpretation if you'd like, though. The only encyclopedia that doesn't offer interpretation that I know of is Wikipedia. And, that encyclopedia was founded by a stockbroker (rather than a publisher). Encyclopedias are unique in the fact that they cover all aspects of knowledge.--HQCentral 01:00, 25 July 2006 (UTC) P.S. I didn't revert all of his changes, just the deletions.
The paragraph I cited above is a prime example of original research - it presents an original analysis of the text without attributing it to a reputable outside source. Have you read the no original research policy yet? If not, you really need to. To cite policy directly, this analysis falls under the category of material which "introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source".
I'm also rather annoyed that you're reverting a bunch of other changes which being made to the article without discussing them at all. For example:
  • I replaced two links to Amazon and Google Books with a single link to Wikipedia's internal ISBN system. Reverted without comment. Why?
  • Vizjim removed a bunch of historical background, replacing it with links to articles which already discuss this material. Reverted with comment "re-inserting historical background". Why?
I really don't want to get into a revert war over this, particularly because this would be a really lame edit war. Zetawoof(ζ) 01:46, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes. It would be a really lame edit war. As for an explanation, (1) The linked articles don't discuss events from a Native American perspective; and (2) the internal ISBN system doesn't allow you to read the book online. I really didn't need to explain all of that, though, since it was obvious. As for annoyance, I am very annoyed by the removal of my hard work. I have a hunch you came here because you thought the article was too long. (You started off with a {{very long}} template.) I think you're using these arguments as excuses to trim the article.--HQCentral 02:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
In order:
  1. If the linked articles don't discuss events from a Native American perspective, that seems more like a problem with those articles (or with the lack of more appropriate articles) than a failing of this one. There's no reason for this article, which is supposed to be about a book, to delve deeply into Native American history.
  2. The internal ISBN system links to a number of sources for the book, including Google Books (as the first link!) and Amazon, as well as numerous other sources. It doesn't link directly to the online text, but the intrepid reader can surely find that for him or herself.
You are, incidentally, entirely correct that I started taking an interest in this article because I thought it was too long. It's still too long - right now it sits at 110 kilobytes, while the article size guidelines dictate that articles should generally be no longer than 30 to 50 kilobytes. For perspective, note that the article on World War II is slightly shorter than this article, at 100 kilobytes, and it's only that long because it's already been split up heavily. There's no reason whatsoever that an article about a book should be anywhere near that kind of length.
I'm still waiting for a response on the issue of original research in the analysis, by the way. Zetawoof(ζ) 02:30, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
It's a size guideline. Users of certain "rarely-used browsers" don't want it to be longer. As for "World War II," I think it's a shame that "Italian Campaign (World War II)" is an article on Wikipedia. (Most online encyclopedias, like Encyclopedia Americana Online, Britannica Premium Service, World Book Online, and Encarta don't do crap like that.) As long as there's an article about every Futurama episode on Wikipedia (see A Fishful of Dollars) then I don't see why there shouldn't be an in-depth examination of a literary milestone such as this. As for original research, I have already given my answer.--HQCentral 03:41, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
The original reason for a limit right at 32 KB was created was some older browsers - but it's generally agreed upon that 30-50 KB is an appropriate length for an article anyway. If you have a problem with this, take it up elsewhere. Not here.
Also even if all the material should remain - the article does it a disservice by crowding all the material into one place. Almost a "divide and conquer" principle is needed. Just a personal note - I almost didn't read the article as my first reaction to it was "this is to much to take in - do I have the energy!" :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:38, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
As far as the original research goes, I've cited policy which makes it pretty clear that original literary analysis doesn't belong in an article. Now, are you going to abide by that, or are you going to ignore policy? Zetawoof(ζ) 04:50, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I guess that the fact that the article was reverted again answers that question. HQCentral, I know that you are proud of the work that you did here but please understand that it is not your page. Like it says every time you submit your work, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." There is a way to "userfy" the deleted analysis so that it is still available to any member of the Wikipedia community who wishes to see it: maybe you would like to explore that option? Other than that, you have two pretty experienced editors telling you that the analysis section does not conform to the way that Wikipedia works, and so far your only answer to that has been to say that other encyclopedias work differently, and that in essence your work is too good to lose. Everybody has problems with Wikipedia (personally, I think there should be a way to restrict the number of pages around phemonema such as Pokemon), and the willingness to move towards consensus despite those problems is a major part of the Wikipedia project. Does the fact that the article was upgraded following the changes not tell you anything?
  • I am going to ask an administrator to have a go at dispute resolution and would ask you to back off on these persistent reverts. Please understand that this is nothing personal: I don't know you, I do like your writing style, but that's about it. I just want this major, important book to have an article worthy of it, not an overlong article that will likely put off casual readers. Vizjim 06:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you both for the compliments. I think we can agree to disagree on this, but I don't think I can stop myself from reverting the deletion. I might tolerate more moderate edits. But such extreme deletions are not going to get us anywhere.--HQCentral 08:40, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Such reversion is going to serve no purpose. See other's comment above on the non-ownership of this article and text. Also you might like to think a little more creatively about where or whether these inclusions have a suitable home on wikipedia. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:48, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I never said I owned the article. That's why I tolerated the other edits. It's when others started deleted my writing that I turned to reversion. So, check the history closer next time. The text in the article isn't hurting anything, so perhaps you should figure out something productive you could add to Wikipedia. I can't think of anything more uncreative than deleting the text. Try to think different from everyone else.--HQCentral 08:55, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
  • This is a consensus-based project, as you can see everywhere within it from the deletion process to the ways of selecting administrators. The challenge, in other words, is exactly not to "try to think different from everyone else". And you don't "tolerate" changes to articles - you contribute coverage, other people edit it, that's it. I really can't understand why someone capable of creating a decent reading of Momaday's symbolism is having such difficulty with Wikipedia's clearly set out policies and ways of working (e.g. WP:OR). Vizjim 09:38, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Reversion is NOT a valid debating technique. Stop. NOW. Zetawoof(ζ) 04:58, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Long article[edit]

Just a note on the length of articles. This is not a paper encyclopedia. Associated subject should be linked to, not reproduced - even in varied form - within an article on another subject. IF a subject does not have a "suitable" treatment in wikipedia already then it maybe that another article is called for. i.e. "American policy as seen within 'xxxx' novel" or some similar title. This article would need to stand on it's own terms. And comply with all wikipedia standards, policies etc. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 07:35, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


The question of keeping or removing the material was in mediation. You can still come to the page and post your opinion and arguments.

The case is closed, and the consensus was to move analysis into a separate article, here or on Wikibooks, leave a small annotation, and link to it as the main article for the section. Please implement this if you are familiar enough with the subject.

CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 22:31, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

As an uninvolved outsider, my few observations on this article as it presently stands:
  1. First, its clear that the author (if indeed one person wrote all of this) has written a long and comprehensive article, with a lot of detail and analysis. That deserves much credit.
  2. The difficulty is, that Wikipedia is not really the place for fully detailed studies (or original research if any of this is O.R., needs checking). It's an encyclopedia. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to summarize a subject area, so others can get the idea of it and a good overview of the key issues and points, relatively quickly, with links to other relevant information as it proves useful.
  3. Unfortunately, therefore, whilst this article is a great literary review, it is a poor encyclopedia entry, specifically because it is inappropriately detailed and lengthy and therefore prevents it from doing its job (giving a relatively quick overview and summary with pointers to where readers can find out more).
  4. Some parts may be best summarized in summary style, but the above is my feeling on it.
Hope this is helpful. Its a great analysis. Unfortunately the top priorities for an encyclopedia include verifiability (backed by cites) and appropriate length (to let others gain an understanding and identify further sources for detail), and these are not yet attended to in this article, as it stands. They should be, at which point it will be a better article for them. FT2 (Talk | email) 03:52, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the complements. I would like to point out, though, that the word encyclopedic means "universal education" (encyclic, "universal" + paideia, "education"). Many people think of the scope of smaller encyclopedias they know (often small 20-or-so volume sets). But, Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia ever created. The depth of detail is limitless because Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. The largest encyclopedias throughout history have, in fact, attempted to publish all human knowledge, sometimes including entire novels within their covers. Jimbo seems to agree: "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."--HQCentral 04:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
yes. But selectivity is part of that. For example, if one wanted to read "History of computing", it would actually be better to have a 5 page article that missed some detail, than a 50 page article that included anything relevant. The former will be digestible to more people. Article length has to cater for many readers, its more than just "we have infinite space so say everything on a subject. Theres an editorial view too, whats important and whats not essential. Thats my thoughts too. I cannot learn about this novel from this article, because it's too long. Its that simple. So I probably won't read it. FT2 (Talk | email) 05:22, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I didn't know you did that. In that case, I would be willing to cut out those sections provided there is a link like "==Background== / ''See [[Jemez runners]]''--HQCentral 06:33, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
  • There is, at the bottom of the page, placed there as soon as I did the articles.Vizjim 06:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem with the literary analysis is that it is by no means uncontentious (though well-written and potentially publishable). The writer is dependent on the sort of stereotype of what you might call the anthropologist's American Indian, unchangingly bound by custom, ceremony and mythology. To a certain extent this does reflect Momaday's own 1968 reading of Navajo culture (to which, of course, he also was an outsider), but there are huge problems with simply assuming a "rigid tribal pattern" in a community that had undergone enormous changes and disruptions in the previous century. The author appears to hold the belief, questioned by everyone from Clifford Geertz to Gerald Vizenor, that Western norms of human adolescence and early manhood can unquestioningly be applied to Native cultures. The essayist does not seem to have given consideration to the fact that Momaday is writing from the otuside every bit as much as Tony Hillerman. In short, the writing is strong and he argues his conclusions well (hence my original suggestion that he attempt publication rather than Wikipedia), but this essay is undoubtedly original thought and equally undoubtedly it is contentious. Wikipedia is not a project to get across individual points of view in this way. Vizjim 06:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Straight question to the author then, because it has to be asked: Aside from the length issue itself, analysis and literary criticism is a person's views on a book, rather than a summary of the book itself. So it must pass the test of being notable views and not just a Wikipedia editor's opinions (original research).
The question for that would be, how much of this analysis and discussion is "views of different commentators on the book" which already exist and are being summarized and contrasted, and how much is either direct "lifting" of their views (opyright issues) or the editor's own view (OR). A good test for this is, could one go down it and find all notable views on the book compared and contrasted, and each statement sourced to a book or article or such? (so to speak). FT2 (Talk | email) 09:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Some policy-conforming suggestions. Possibly a compromise.

It's quite clear that the way it is now the analysis doesn't fit Wikipedia standarts. It's a good work, and we actually value original research. There's WP:IAR, and no rules are strict boundaries, but IAR works when there is no controversy or doubt about positive effect. Since several editors argue the analysis is not for this article, it is the case when the policies take priority.

The article is excessively long, and the complete analysis makes it hard to read, but, being valuable for understanding the book, it must be kept. First of all, I suggest you make a brief summary of it, restricted to about 1-2 kilobytes, and just mentioning what are the main concepts of the book. This analysis will be kept in the article.

For the full analysis, I suggest two main options:

  • If your analysis is based dominantly, especially in conclusions, on other publications, please wikify it and add inline references, mention authors of specific arguments and conclusions in the text, and so on. If this is done, the article can be put in the main namespace with name like Analysis of House Made of Dawn. The section with brief summary will link to it as the main article (see World War II as example).
  • If your analysis contains original thought, it's fine, and it can be stored in Wikibooks, which has less restrictions. Formatting is still needed, but referencing sources in the corresponding section is more than enough. See the [Bookshelf] for similar works. Either me, other editors of the article, or some editors at Wikibooks can help you with formatting. In this case I suggest we don't creep the guidelines and anyway keep it as the main article for the analysis section.

So it will be not much difference for article readers, it's just about how much original thought was applied. I personally feel the second option offers much more freedom in editing and requires less effort.

CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 22:03, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

So, do all parties agree to this compromise? CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 12:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Seems good to me.--HQCentral 00:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
And me. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Was a solution ever done to this? The article is so unweildy at this point, I don't think anyone noticed that there was an entire section in two places. It would be nice to see something pared down with this article. Athryn 09:35, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

No, it doesn't appear that the compromise agreed upon here was ever implemented. Please go ahead and start trimming. Zetawoof(ζ) 00:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I suggest it should be moved to another page, and left to a short annotation, as we all agreed to that. However, I'm not well versed in this specific novel, and expected HQCentral to do it, since he could do it better. I'll remind him (he isn't gone), and, if he doesn't respond shortly, suggest that someone else does it; after all, the annotation can be rewritten later. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 00:37, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


We've discovered that HQCentral (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) is a sock puppet of notorious plagiarist Primetime. Wikipedia:Long term abuse/Primetime, Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Primetime. -Will Beback 02:53, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:NScottMomaday HouseMadeOfDawn.jpg[edit]

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Image:NScottMomaday HouseMadeOfDawn.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:46, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Literary significance and criticism[edit]

This section ends with "—and its subject matter and theme did not seem to conform to the prescription above." There is no prescription above; the clause refers to nothing. Either some large preceding section has been removed, or (as seems more likely) the paragraph was copy-pasted from some other source which had such a preceding section. I suggest removing that final clause.Philgoetz (talk) 06:14, 29 April 2017 (UTC)