In this Book

True West
summary
In no other region of the United States has the notion of authenticity played such an important yet elusive role as it has in the West. Though pervasive in literature, popular culture, and history, assumptions about western authenticity have not received adequate critical attention. Given the ongoing economic and social transformations in this vast region, the persistent nostalgia and desire for the “real” authentic West suggest regional and national identities at odds with themselves. True West explores the concept of authenticity as it is used to invent, test, advertise, and read the West.

The fifteen essays collected here apply contemporary critical and cultural theory to western literary history, Native American literature and identities, the visual West, and the imagining of place. Ranging geographically from the Canadian Prairies to Buena Park’s Entertainment Corridor in Southern California, and chronologically from early tourist narratives to contemporary environmental writing, True West challenges many assumptions we make about western writing and opens the door to an important new chapter in western literary history and cultural criticism.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright Page
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  1. Table of Contents
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. Part 1. Rhetorics of Authenticity
  2. pp. 19-20
  1. 1. Truth or Consequences: Projecting Authenticity in the 1830s
  2. pp. 21-37
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  1. 2. Cowgirls and Sage Hens: Henry Adams's Western Fantasy
  2. pp. 38-55
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  1. 3. Getting the Real Story: Implications of the Demand for Authenticity in Writings from the Canadian West
  2. pp. 56-71
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  1. 4. Willa Cather: "The West Authentic," the West Dividied
  2. pp. 72-94
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  1. Part 2. Authenticity and Native American Cultures
  2. pp. 95-96
  1. 5. Simultations of Authenticity: Imagined Indians and Sacred Landscape from New age to Nature Writing
  2. pp. 97-116
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  1. 6. "Read Indian Art": Charles Eastman's Search for an Authenticating Culture Concept
  2. pp. 117-139
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  1. 7. The Only Real Indians are Western Ones: Authenticity, Regionalism, and Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, or Sylvester Long
  2. pp. 140-154
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  1. 8. The Authenticity Game: "Getting Real" in Contemporary American Indian Literature
  2. pp. 155-176
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  1. Part 3. Picturing Histories
  2. pp. 177-178
  1. 9. Edward Curtis: Pictorialist and Ethnographic Adventurist
  2. pp. 179-193
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  1. 10. Animal Calling/Calling Animal: Threshold Space in Frederic Remington's Coming to the Call
  2. pp. 194-221
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  1. 11. "Cameras and Photographs were not Permitted in the Camps": Photographic Documentation and Distortion in Japanese America Internment Narratives
  2. pp. 222 -254
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  1. Part 4. Reimagining Place
  2. pp. 255-256
  1. 12. Authenticity, Occupancy, and Credibility: Rick Bass and the Rhetoric of Protecting Place
  2. pp. 257-274
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  1. 13. Authoring an Authentic Place: Environmental and Literary Stewardship in Stegner and Kittredge
  2. pp. 275-289
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  1. 14. "Genealogy is in our Blood": Terry Tempest Williams and the Redemption of "Native" Mormonism
  2. pp. 290-303
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  1. 15. Authentic Re-Creations: Ideology, Practice, and Regional History along Buena Park's Entertainment Corridor
  2. pp. 304-328
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 329-352
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 353-356
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 357-371
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