Final Progress on Curated Collection

After gathering several works together to fit into my theme of western genre fiction, I tried to figure out some other classifications that I could use to add in other works that tow the line of the western genre. I added a “exporting the cowboy” section to examine some works that feel very much like westerns, but either take cowboys to other places or use their archetypes or settings in narratives. I included in this category H. Rider Haggard’s classic novel “King Solomon’s Mines” because I find it to be very much in line with what we find and what we think of as traditional western storytelling. I don’t know if Haggard had any good deal of exposure to American works that concerned the American west, but I find it interesting how similar his protagonist is to someone like Louis L’Amour’s protagonists. This has caused me to more deeply question where the heroes that have developed in our culture come from, and where they are going. One trend I would consider profoundly important is the movement away from the traditional young, white man protagonists, and toward more minority and woman heroes in situations often opposing the kind of people that were traditionally put in the hero role. This trend makes me wonder what the future of the American cowboy hero will be, whether it will change beyond recognition or simply disappear altogether. Either way, I think the spirit of the cowboy hero lives on through the continued mainstream interest in justice, evident in film series like the Avengers or television shows like CSI and NCIS.

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