Contents

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p. ix

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xiv

When the Lamar Lectures Committee meets to choose the scholars it will nominate as lecturers to Mercer University s president, it tries to select those writers whose abilities are most likely to enable it to fulfill the terms of Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar s bequest: to present lectures of "the very highest type of ...

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Preface to the Paperback Edition

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pp. xv-xix

Although I don't believe that the parameters of the literary landscape of contemporary Southern literature and the West have changed dramatically since I first wrote Remapping Southern Literature, I want to enlarge and complicate my portrayal of that landscape by discussing several works not covered in the original book, ...

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xxi-xxiii

I first became aware of the Lamar Lectures years ago as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina. I remember sitting in Louis Rubin's office and seeing on his bookshelf a matched set of bound Lamar Lectures, including his own contribution, The Writer in the South. After a bit of investigating in the library, ...

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CHAPTER ONE: Embracing Place

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pp. 1-27

In New Westers: The West in Contemporary American Culture, Michael L. Johnson explores the recent resurgence of interest in the American West, an interest manifested throughout this country's popular culture from Stetson cologne to the Marlboro man to line dancing to adobe architecture. Although fascination with the ...

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CHAPTER TWO: Bleeding Westward

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pp. 28-65

Westerns. We have all read and watched them. We all know their appeal. Cowboys, horses, shoot-outs, Indians, majestic landscapes, the lonesome trail. Recent studies of the genre have suggested reasons for its tremendous and ongoing popularity. In West of Everything: The Inner Life of Westerns, Jane Tompkins argues that ...

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CHAPTER THREE: Regeneration through Community

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pp. 66-106

Recent Southern writers who write about the contemporary West represent a wide cross section of Southern fiction. Despite their diverse styles and interests, almost all of these authors utilize and revise the American myth of flight westward toward freedom. Driving the narrative in almost all of their work is the dream ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 107-114

In his essay "Doing Good Work Together," William Kittredge exhorts Americans to embrace a new mythology in order to understand and guide themselves. The Western dream of radical individualism, Kittredge says, destroys both self and community. "We begin to die of pointlessness when we are isolated," Kittredge writes ...

Notes

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pp. 115-126

Index

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pp. 127-130