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The Role of the Mythic West in Some Representative Examples of Classic and Modern American Literature

The Shaping Force of the American Frontier. Studies in American Literature 13

By (author) J. Bakker
Format: Hardback
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, New York, United States
Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Published: 30th Sep 1991
Dimensions: h 240mm
ISBN-10: 0773497137
ISBN-13: 9780773497139
Barcode No: 9780773497139
The chapters in part one of this text re-examine the impact of the mythic West on a selection of 19th-century texts in the light of the latest literary-critical approaches to Western writing. Works include Cooper's "Leatherstocking Tales", Melville, Whitman, Twain and many others. The selection has been guided by the fact that all these works deal explicitly with the frontier West. The second half of the book contains chapters on the modern Western. First the literary or adult Western from Owen Wister's "The Virginian" through to E.L. Doctorow's "Welcome to Hard Times". The second chapter discusses the popular or formula Western, concentrating on what links it to the literary Western: violence and the love story, addressing such writers as Zane Grey and Max Brand. The third chapter is devoted entirely to Larry McMurtry's novels, "Lonesome Dove" and "Anything for Billy", examining in what sense and to what extent he succeeds in revitalizing the conventions and stereotypes on which the traditional popular Western is based.

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