Thursday, July 14, 2016

Favorite western short stories

Read a lot of great westerns over the last year and had some great conversations here about the genre. New question.

What are your favorite short story westerns?

A couple that I really like:

Miley Bennett by Jack Schaefer

Stage to Lordsburg by Ernest Haycox

Lost Sister by Dorothy M Johnson

The opening section of Hard Rain Falling
"...the traditional western has sexism built in because the woman symbolizes an alternative to violence: she offers the hero a way out without killing, but to satisfy the need for action, this offer must be rejected, making the woman’s role a rather tiresome impediment to the main attraction. "

Monday, July 4, 2016

Interesting. I don't necessarily like the "neo" term but agree with the sentiment. The Western genre, in many respects, literally died. And that has to be taken into account when writing in and about the genre:

"Leonard’s novel was written just at the end of what we now remember as the golden age of the Western genre, at a time when the author himself had already migrated to more fresh and vibrant varieties of potboiler. Since then, time has passed, John Wayne has died, and the image of a ranch-dwelling man on horseback has been requisitioned by a series of decreasingly plausible American presidents. Yet the Western itself has never quite gone extinct. It lives on in the form of the neo-Western, the backward-looking descendant of the original species, distinguished above all by its self-awareness as a genre out of time. That is to say, the neo-Western knows that the Western is a dead genre, and it knows that we know it, too. And so it must somehow attempt to answer (implicitly or explicitly, through serious reflection or through mocking parody) the question of how this came to be."