By William R. Handley, Nathaniel Lewis

ISBN-10: 0803203993

ISBN-13: 9780803203990

ISBN-10: 0803224109

ISBN-13: 9780803224100

In no different sector of the U.S. has the concept of authenticity performed such a huge but elusive position because it has within the West. although pervasive in literature, popular tradition, and historical past, assumptions approximately western authenticity haven't bought sufficient serious awareness. Given the continued financial and social differences during this gigantic quarter, the power nostalgia and hope for the “real” genuine West recommend nearby and nationwide identities at odds with themselves. real West explores the idea that of authenticity because it is used to invent, attempt, put it on the market, and browse the West.The fifteen essays accumulated the following observe modern serious and cultural conception to western literary background, local American literature and identities, the visible West, and the imagining of position. Ranging geographically from the Canadian Prairies to Buena Park’s leisure hall in Southern California, and chronologically from early vacationer narratives to modern environmental writing, actual West demanding situations many assumptions we make approximately western writing and opens the door to a huge new bankruptcy in western literary historical past and cultural feedback.

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This essay attempts to establish the condition of authorship in the 1830s for those writers “treating of the Western country” (in Hall’s language)—that is, for authors writing in the West and about the West. The struggle to incorporate (give recognizable body to) western authorship finally points to a historical absence and to a set of troubled expectations and conditions that predict the broader nineteenth-century failure of a recognized western canon. In many ways, the tangle of the western marketplace in the 1830s serves as a model in American literary history of how authors and cultures interact.

Clark, 1904), 24; Edwin James, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1823), 1:1. 19. ” By “finishing” he means “fine effects” and detailed rhetorical flourishes, as opposed to “broad” effects. See William Charvat, The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800 –1870, ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli (Columbia: Ohio State University Press, 1968), 72. Murray, Travels in North America, v–vi. 21. Flint, preface to Personal Narrative of James O.

The naked truth has in it more of poetry and a more energetic challenge to the affections, than any possible embellishment, or fictitious garniture, that could be thrown around it—more than any creations of fancy, with which it could be charged. ” 26 That a popular but unreliable form of writing emerged from the Romance of Fact is by now critically established. Hall, Hoffman, and others were hardly realists, and were not reliable historians or cultural commenta31 lewis tors, but for this essay’s purposes we must also appreciate the result for the western author, who becomes an authority—and potentially a romantic one— dwarfed by his or her subject.

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True West: Authenticity and the American West (Postwestern Horizons) by William R. Handley, Nathaniel Lewis


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