Thursday, August 29, 2019

Much in what he says …

… John Williams Considers the Literary Western (or Lack Thereof) c. 1961 | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Western adventure, then, is not really epical; no national force stronger than himself pushed the American frontiersman beyond the bounds of his known experience into the chaos of a new land, into the unknown. His voyage into the wilderness was most meaning­fully a voyage into the self, experiment­al, private and sometimes obscure.
He understands Calvinism better than Marilynne Robinson does. But it seems to me by confining himself to “the Western” he overlooks that the region has in fact been well served by  Willa Cather and, more recently, Larry Watson.

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