In this Book

Worldviews And The American West
summary

A diverse group of writers and scholars follow the lead of noted folklorist Barre Toelken and consider, from the inside, the ways in which varied cultures in the American West understand and express their relations to the world around them. As Barre Toelken puts it in The Dynamics of Folklore, "'Worldview' refers to the manner in which a culture sees and expresses its relation to the world around it." In Worldviews and the American West, seventeen notable authors and scholars, employing diverse approaches and styles, apply Toelken's ideas about worldview to the American West. While the contributors represent a range of voices, methods, and visions, they are integrated through their focus on the theme of worldview in one region. Worldviews and the American West includes essays by Margaret K. Brady, Hal Cannon, Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, James S. Griffith, Barry Lopez, Robert McCarl, Elliott Oring, Twilo Scofield, Steve Siporin, Kim Stafford, C. W. Sullivan III, Jeannie B. Thomas, George Venn, George B. Wasson, and William A. Wilson. Each of the authors in this collection attempts to get inside one or more of the worldviews of the many cultures that have come to share and interpret the American West. The result is a lively mix of styles and voices as the authors' own worldviews interact with the multiple perspectives of the diverse peoples (and, in Barry Lopez's "The Language of Animals," other species) of the West. This diversity matches the geography of the region they all call home and gives varied life and meaning to its physical and cultural landscape.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. vii
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  1. 1: Introduction
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Personal Essay
  2. p. 7
  1. 2: The Language of Animals
  2. pp. 9-15
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  1. Song
  2. p. 17
  1. 3: Faith of Our Fathers
  2. pp. 19-30
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  1. 4: Blue Shadows on Human Drama: The Western Songscape
  2. pp. 31-36
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  1. Objects
  2. p. 37
  1. 5: A Diversity of Dead Helpers: Folk Saints of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
  2. pp. 39-53
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  1. 6: Icons of Immortality: Forest Lawn and the American Way of Death
  2. pp. 54-64
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  1. 7: Ride ‘Em, Barbie Girl: Commodifying Folklore, Place, and the Exotic
  2. pp. 65-86
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  1. 8: Tall Tales and Sales
  2. pp. 87-104
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  1. Narrative
  2. p. 105
  1. 9: Jesse James: An American Outlaw
  2. pp. 107-117
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  1. 10: John Campbell ’s Adventure, and the Ecology of Story
  2. pp. 118-134
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  1. 11: Raven and the Tide: A Tlingit Narrative
  2. pp. 135-150
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  1. Groups
  2. p. 151
  1. 12: “Two Moonlight Rides and a Picnic Lunch”: Memories of Childhood in a Logging Community
  2. pp. 153-161
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  1. 13: In Her Own Words: Women’s Frontier Friendships in Letters, Diaries, and Reminiscences
  2. pp. 162-178
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  1. 14: The Concept of the West and Other Hindrances to the Study of Mormon Folklore
  2. pp. 179-190
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  1. 15: The Coquelle Indians and the Cultural “ Black Hole ” of the Southern Oregon Coast
  2. pp. 191-210
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  1. 16: Visible Landscapes/Invisible People: Negotiating the Power of Representation in a Mining Community
  2. pp. 211-226
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  1. Personal Essay
  2. p. 227
  1. 17: Local Character
  2. pp. 229-236
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  1. References
  2. pp. 237-252
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  1. Notes on Contributors and Editors
  2. pp. 253-257
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