Note from Ay-leen: This is the first of a two-part essay from Noah Meernaum of the Steampunk Empire about minority representations in Weird West. Part Two of this essay will be posted next Sunday.
Wounded Range: A backtracking survey into the outlandishly penned or set trail of the Weird Western in American popular culture proposed to readdress its multicultural representations, taking in its past shadowed forms cast of lone two gun heroes, (or antiheroes), curious carriages, disfigured renderings, dying curses, sundered souls, vengeful spirits, and other unnatural varmints sifted from lost lore to the ragged pages of dime novels, pulps, and other two bit books. A notorious twisted trail turned inward with an outlook toward its past and present course.
Exhumed Relations: A prologue regarding the jointed course of the Weird Western prior to heading out.
To clearly revisit the mythic material that makes up the Weird Western, one must first reconsider its western overcast to discern the reversion of its past passages that are frequently over lined with appallingly malformed or misconstrued relations that are rendered from a Western outlook. I The revealing of these past impositions is vital to forming an unclouded view of its preceding fictional mistreatments that if left unmarked and unnoticed, (or relegated to a footnote), condones a certain Western occlusion that continually throws a delusional pall over the Weird Western.
Pointing out the frequent fault lines that the Weird Western has fallen into or is wrought with is crucial to expanding the limited range or stereotypical settings that continually threaten to recur and mold its future growth. The exposing of these stained refrains opens a waypoint toward restorative narratives that seek to redraw or reform its wounded path. The intention of this article is to go beyond the typical time frames or distinct western states that historically locate and conventionally contain the Weird Western as a purposeful way to uncover further intermingling fictional interchanges that seek to disrupt its indisputable Western cast.
These fictional inversions or excursions are part of a larger reexamination of the given representation of the mythical American frontier largely described by Anglo-American accounts that tend to settle in a solidly devised province. II This alternative reflection within or upon rearranging and disrupting the invariable Western position surrounding these past western inventions is a revolving factor driving current fictive reformations that seek, (with varying degrees of plotted intent), to reshape or reveal these past fictional ‘resettlements’. Two recent novel examples that involve this insular insurgence and expansive recast are Matthew Fleming’s The Kingdom of Ohio and Karin Lowachee’s The Gaslight Dogs.
While the charted territory within this study takes in or reflects the discernible western surroundings of the Weird Western, my further aim is to outlay its underlying multicultural forms that in the past have been struck out or toned down by a glaring white, Eurocentric-dominant light. This article will also investigate the import of preexisting fictional forms that have melded with the Weird Western to transgress the recognizable tropes within its outlined territory to question its uncontested Western province.
1. Unsettled Terms: Shifting windings seeking to round up this rough territory into recognizable terrain.
In an ongoing attempt to define a literary sub-genre corralling together a vastly inclusive body of written work with a pithy phrase, the moniker of Weird West© has been applied toward works that meld the western literary genre with the inventive speculations abounding in science fiction, that are also usually aligned with or in conflicted consideration of the supernatural writ surroundings often found in the gothic or horror sub-genre.1
A ‘playfully’ billed split conjunctive – Weird West© – has thus been shorn from the broader fictional expanse of the Weird Western. 2 Rather than be distracted from our essay’s intent by following the plain path worn by the usual cadaverous cowboys, ghastly gauchos or vile vaqueros traipsing about within the Weird West, we will move past these given guides in order to open further passages to analyze the context in which these Weird West figures are used. While it is not an intent to wholly dispel the delight that is, (or can be), imparted from these spirited delineations, it is with a current informed eye that one should perceive the past inflicted marks and present masquerades these western characters carry to recognize the underlying make-up that–if applied in callous hands–may intentionally mislead or mindlessly disfigure. Without a wider understanding of the wounded presence that underlines the cultural stereotypes the Weird Western often covers there is a risk of condoning an unthinking oversight that blindly follows or that recklessly recalls racist portrayals that are entertained with a Westerly warp and often draped as harmless fiction.
The range of the Weird Western evokes a vast fictional frontier outwardly shrouded in Western mythology, one that has migrated from Europe to America and seeded its own strange ground in the accumulated relations, (absorbed from multi-cultural lore), that have seeped and swelled, (and eventually been stamped), into the subjacent lot tilled as the Weird Western. 3 Within this essay, one should be wary of the Weird Western’s seemingly direct novel paths, (frequently laid to hoodwink), that are often twistingly lined as well traversed trails, (however craftily concealed they might become), that regularly wander, (and occasionally become mired), into various outlined territories.
The literary areas to be discussed might not align with a reader’s presumptions about where the Weird Western roams, (or the superficial depiction by which it is knowingly apprehended). The indefinite shifts and uncertain dips into outlying storied subsections that broach fictional, (or mythological), boundaries referenced within may be met with unsettled opinion regarding its relative involvement. While this approach can be considered far-reaching or stretching to some, the various parts spread throughout are meant as a reexamination of the subgenre itself.
Though this particular survey is attentively intended to expand the meanings and interpretations of the Weird Western, and disclose hidden contributions to unmask its contrived infusions, I must also acknowledge its own limited parameters. This is not a fully comprehensive essay about the entire fictional subgenre collectively banded as the Weird Western and may widely mention contributions or skim through intricate areas that deserve fuller consideration or further in-depth study. The sections that expose the appropriation of multicultural forms can, certain be elaborated much further than they will be here. A concentrated effort, however, has been made within these set margins in order to avoid a narrow overview, and this essay, at the very least, will expand the outlook upon a compound (and complex) literary subgenre to reveal its current state and expose portions of its soiled mass. 4
2. ‘Sons of Origins’ or “Y’all done killed my Paw!” The discolored relations of them durn blasted comic cousins. 1
While the combination of the supernatural or paranormal melding with, (or acting in resisting opposition to), the engineering and prospective American spirit that defines the conventional motifs within the Weird Western continues to result in odd categorical blends such as Western/Steampunk, the term Weird Western was originally emblazoned on the graphic banner of DC comics Weird Western Tales©, initially serialized from 1972 to 1980. 2
Shaped from such Silver Age midstream pale wraiths and wranglers as the frontier phantom -The (‘original’) Ghost Rider and Kid Colt – Weird Western Tales© was branded in the Bronze Age, featuring the tarnished and torn Jonah Hex, among other good, bad, and ugly descendants such as Bat Lash, Cinnamon, El Diablo, and Scalphunter. 3 The main characters of Jonah Hex and Scalphunter were cast of a common western concoction: a white man descended of mixed blood or of mediating existence, (Native American and European), that marked them as ‘lone’ outcasts that often straddled their divided allegiances along their fraught path as awry antiheroes. Drawn around the mold of blended bounty hunters or trackers inherited from past fictional westerns that idealized the form of the spirited ‘Indian’ guide, their ‘unusual’ abilities were often stretched toward encounters between two worlds – their evenhanded, (often gripping two-gun), earthly pursuits and their preternaturally spun quests.4
Predictably strung as the shadowy spaghetti-lined celluloid characters they rode in upon, (and as will be stated sifted from the hash of the pulps and dime pages), the series did manage to strike upon some stark realities beyond the typical ‘reservations’ or romantic inclinations of other codified western comics that often portrayed banally token characters, although Weird Western Tales often awfully rendered African Americans or Native Americans as victims or slaves in need of rescue.5 Despite the main protagonists mixed within Weird Western Tales© being often infixed in tones of emblematic white, their edified outlook was often tinged by shades of grey.
3. Scorned Sources– “Reckon its run down from them thar rebel runoffs deemed the pulps?”
The inheritance of the leading part of these compounded tales was largely imparted from its pulpy predecessors, massively published in America through the 1920’s to the 40’s.1 Especially earmarked was the ill-favored literary relation, (a red headed stepchild?), bundled as Weird Tales, that often wheedled writers from other prime pulps such as its slushy sister publication Short Stories that steadily churned out its stable detective and western accounts. 2 Weird Tales was certainly the oddest of these flimsy offshoots, shakily surviving with fanciful stories involving supernatural affairs that were often barely bound with scantily clad women. The allowance of looser territory or more of an open range in which to explore and mix literary conventions may have been a draw for some writers, with other outlying greenhorn’s itching to blaze their own tales. Thus while other springy fictional publications were distinctly outlining their formulaic territory of daring detection, super heroic feats, and whipping western yarns onto crafted paths that were rising toward a soaring peak in the 1940’s, Weird Tales struggled to maintain its unusual concoctions, however it managed to whet some keen interest, mainly through writers such as Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith’s strange passages, yet also by the cleaving exploits of creator Robert E. Howard’s,(now iconic), barbarian, Conan.3
Before the tangled and snarled fictional feats of his vanguard warrior, Howard had previously ventured deep into the realm of moonlight musings in Weird Tales with his terse tale “In the Forest of Villefere” (August, 1925), followed by further dogged deeds in “Wolfshead” (April, 1926).4 These early gothic forays into supernatural subjects would become intertwined with Howard’s other heroic incarnations portrayed in the pages of Weird Tales such as the mystically supported Solomon Kane that struck his decisive staff through a vampire Queen, along with a horde of undead bloodsucking minions.5 Recalling this last eerie entity Howard furthermore is cited as weaving one of the first Weird Westerns, within his taut tale “The Horror from the Mound” (May, 1932), that digs up the Old World vampire and unleashes its preternatural evil into the setting of the West Texas pine basin, (a central vein that would be reopened later in howling terrain by Joe R. Lansdale).6 Howard’s twisted trail blazing appears to have been a wild romp toward his more tame excursions within the bandy borders of western pulp, however its melded mark left an impression that revealed a binding knit between gothic and western boundaries.
4. Stereotyped Settings – An indelible mark upon American popular fiction?
Was this particular junction brought about through Howard’s slicing bravado or was it insightfully raised through the former fierce and ripping frontier renderings shot through the forerunner of the pulps in the American dime novel that continued to haunt the jagged outlines of an imagined mythical west? 1 For despite the dime books’ early death or published American demise at the end of the nineteenth century, they opened the way in establishing an inkling of the legendary American West, a spirited lineage that impacted later forms of popular fiction. 2 These spellbinding yarns spun from oral lore that was formerly insubstantial and mutable were increasingly being set down, literally stereotyped in print, and this inflexible cast and setting indelibly held a more solid position that would sear an ineradicable brand onto the American conception of the west.
5. Distorted Enfacements – Marred remains that continue to haunt.
Scores of adjectival addresses will never revoke the devastating imprint of the Native American stereotype–the ‘savaged’ form of which has been so fiercely rent, (to perhaps impress all dissenting Americans of the dangers of insistent nonconformity to Western edicts?). 1 The systematic blight disfiguring the Native American within popular fiction was brutally set within the nineteenth century in North America, and utterly despoiled in the reigning Western press. The atrocious Westernized mold first cast natives as the silent “noble” but their image had then been forged into the vicious scalping ‘savage,’ and these violent portrayals were then impressed upon immeasurable storied sections. As a result, the repeated representation of the “savage” natives had served to justify the edicts of Manifest Destiny in defending against marauding and molesting ‘red devils’ who repeatedly cut and run, wittedly plundering and wildly killing innocent settlers. 2 These maligned relations further impressed the need for the ‘savages’ to be held accountable for such vicious acts and be duly reformed. Thus, the formerly solemnly depicted native was then ran riotously rampant as the ‘out fired’ industrial insurgent, an unrepentant heathen ‘Injun’ to eradicate or dutifully bend to Western decree.
The overrun stereotype of the Indian is an acknowledged cliché of the fictive western, yet despite the ongoing overwrought concern to properly portray Native Americans, either in researched historic surroundings or within the expanded realm of alternate fiction, Anglo-American empathic views toward Native American characters often resort to typical tropes or reverent sympathy. 3 The right of representation toward describing an individual Native American viewpoint, or relating the imagined surroundings of a particular First Nation tribe that has been repeatedly intentionally distorted and thoughtlessly lined through uncountable western fictive drivel or racist renderings demands considerable reflection upon the envisioning author as to their fictional intent. 4 The responsible writer regarding Native American inclusion in revised fictional forms should reflect upon the incisive lines of author N. Scott Momaday:
“Word by word these men were disposing of him in language, their language, and they were making a bad job of it” 5
6. Distinct Voices – Divergent Native American reflections to alterable consider.
In reviewing the wider fictive realm involving Native American characters that revolve around the peculiar settings of the Weird Western, the most resounding or penetrating descriptions that reveal the most insight, (or are not tactlessly token), are portrayed by artists or writers who convey a clear direction regarding their thematic involvement that is either centered around specific Native American people, tribes, totemic animals or transitive figures, (such as the trickster) and draws upon their unique myths or stories that exposes the cloaked or closeted Western refrains that are often appallingly applied or ‘generally’ avoided in consideration of the Native American ‘plight’.1
The collection Native American Literature: An Anthology edited by Lawana Trout contains numerous stories that share an expanded outlook toward the term Weird Western, of particular note is John Bierhorst’s “The Vampire Skeleton Onondaga Story”, Gerald Vizenor’s “Naanabozho and the Gambler” and Russell Bates “Rite of Encounter”. In novel form Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine (1984, rev. 1993) and Painted Drum (2005) offer vaster perspectives and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (1991) vividly displaces the victorious glorification of violent polarity inherent in past fictional westerns. James Welch’s Fool’s Crow as Silko does questions the centrality of linear narrative and offers alternative ways of approaching or arranging the preset lines of fiction. A singularly powerful realigning is intricately wove of words poignantly rearranging the structure of an alternate epic tale of the vast formation of America, poetically wound in Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire (Memoria del fuego) trilogy. Of significant relation to the interchanging outlines of a wider fictional frontier recalling the forgotten or misspoken, while vividly igniting its atrocious acts, that are brutally covered Galeano’s second volume, Faces and Masks, 1987 (Las caras y las mascaras, 1984) unwearyingly unwinds to question the absolute rule of written Western history.
William Sanders is another distinct voice in the wilderness of the Weird West, know primarily through his collection Are We Having Fun Yet? American Indian Fantasy Stories, with prior jangling jaunts in The Wild Blue and the Grey. One of his insightful stories is “The Undiscovered” which throws a considerate light on the possible re-informing of Western literature.
The last artist and author mentioned may seem like a strange combo to be bunched here as many take their work to be asinine outlines or ridiculous renditions involving Native Americans. Joe R. Lansdale and Timothy Truman, however, do not shy away from the informed racist ‘Indian’ impressions that others step around, (or are sidled behind the back), and beneath their ripping yarns is the exposure of a buried and festering American wound that will willingly commit any depravity in the name of the almighty dollar. Lansdale (writer), Truman (pencils) and Sam Glanzman (inks) attempt to actually add some depth to the comics by building around Native American mythology rather riding right over top of it or slapping it on for effect. Their resurrected treatment of Jonah Hex places him back with the horrible hucksters and pale ignoramuses of the ‘Old West’, (that Hex is often such a one of similar tone is not skimped), in Jonah Hex: Two-Gun Mojo , Riders of the Worm and Such and Shadows West (1999), where the Wild West shows are ripped, shot and exposed for the vile under wraps they were. Lansdale digs up rotting white men in Dead in the West, 1986) blowing further singular steam toward ripping past dime divisions through John Feather’s pointed quips in his recollected “The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down: A DIME NOVEL”. Rising further is Lansdale’s Zeppelin’s West that purty much ignites any then thar taboo subject that might offend such gentile folk who prefer to keep their slanderous perversions hid.
Notes for Wounded Range, Part 1:
Introduction: Exhumed Relations
- I. In reference to people whose cultures and societies align with Greco-Roman beliefs and practices, especially in Europe and North or South America the term Western is capitally applied, while the lower case west or western is used to denote a stated area or relation to the literary or popular fictional field. Exceptions to this rule are found in the headings of specific titles or terms.
- II. Specifically within the field of recent Western studies examining the fictional west there has been a pronounced or outlined aim to expose the one sided views, (primarily related by white male writers), of its past Westernized outlines set to convey and portray a certain cast mainly molded by Anglo American mythology. See J. David Stevens, The Word Rides Again: Rereading the Frontier in American Fiction (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2002). In related terms of broadening or re-considering the expansive reach of American frontier fiction see David Mogen, Scott P. Sanders, and Joanne B. Karpinski, eds. Frontier Gothic: Terror and Wonder at the Frontier in American Literature (Cranbury, NJ, London, Mississauga, Ontario: Associated University Presses, Inc. 1993).
1. Unsettled Terms
- The term Weird West©, is copyrighted by Pinnacle Entertainment Group, used mainly in promotion of their Deadlands© role-playing game begun in 1996. The titles and themes surrounding the particular term Weird West© are also extended into the companies books or players guides.
http://www.peginc.com/company.html (accessed 5/30/10).
The more modern label of horror is often affixed to the array of supernatural themes winding in this peculiar fictional subgenre, rather than gothic; although the latter broad distinction takes in certain grim or shadowy characteristics, shifting figures, and portentous settings, (such as badlands or wastelands), that are continually conveyed that envision an alternate, (or outlandish), American West of the 19th century or that of its divergent, (or displaced), continuation, along with the less infernally obvious and more internally haunted figures and harrowing backgrounds that are implanted from gothic lore.
- The Weird Western, (and arguably the fictional western as a whole), has been referenced as being informed from, (or as an extension of), the oral refrains and subset literary accretions lined as an ‘American Gothic’, a form of fiction that is variously called ‘Frontier Gothic’ or reexamined as ‘Western gothicism’. For an expansive reading see David Mogen, Scott P. Sanders, and Joanne B Karpinski, eds. Frontier Gothic: Terror and Wonder at the Frontier in American Literature (Cranbury, NJ, London, Mississauga, Ontario: Associated University Presses, Inc. 1993).
- Originally the term following fictional frontier in this section was writ as outwardly rooted, however the phrase shrouded more poignantly carries the intermediate nature of the intermingled mythological windings that have been carried into the various outlines around the Weird Western, that are at once glaringly obvious, yet upon close observance may convey allusive or hidden strands within.
- Specifically the informative inclusion of the importance of how the Weird Western draws upon a vast mythological make-up that while obviously bearing Western symbols and themes is often absorbed of, (and admixed with), the influx of various mythological lore abundantly seeded by multiple cultures in North America is regrettably curtailed and widely touched upon within this exploration. While there is observance of the novel contributions or conditional narrative descriptions of African, Asian and Native Americans along with the evident Euro-American representations, there are regrettable generalities, (or noted relegations), toward other cultural reflections, particularly the further confluence of Middle Eastern or South American imagery and myths, that have formed an extensive part of the Weird Western’s composition. Hopefully these broad mentions may be detailed in a future connective essay. There is an appended section to the current essay that further outlines a wider range of cultural involvement in the selected bibliography and recommended reading segment.
2. ‘Sons of Origins’
- ‘Sons of Origins’ is appropriated from Marvel Comics Trade Paperback title collecting super-heroic origin stories involving Marvel’s stock characters of the 1960’s and 70’s. The term ‘comic cousins’ is brazenly barrowed from Timothy Truman http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=1046 (accessed 06/12/10).
- Weird Western Tales© has been reprinted or resurrected in several forms since its initial run ending in 1980. The name is a copyright of DC comics/Vertigo and the compounded tag line is occasionally attached to its reprinted graphic collections as well as the publishers various ongoing reincarnated sub-forms linking the title through its myriad ‘limited’ miniseries. For additional information regarding Jonah Hex and the subsequent comic characters such as Scalphunter, and other comic cohorts see http://www.torrents.net/torrent/31948/Jonah-Hex/ (accessed 06/10/10). A personal favorite term that gleefully knocked the collective term Weird Western, (and draws upon the supposed derisive contention between Cyberpunk/Steampunk), was bandied by Joe R. Lansdale and Pat Lobrutto as the brand of ‘Cowpunk’. Joe R. Lansdale and Pat Lobrutto, “Introduction: The Cowpunk Anthology” in Razored Saddles, Joe R. Lansdale and Pat Lobrutto eds. (Arlington Heights, Illinois: Dark Harvest, 1989).
- The term Silver Age refers to American comic books published from 1956 to 1971, with the subsequent Bronze Age occurring from 1971 to 1980. The phrase Bronze Age is a recent adoption taken in 2009 to denote this particular printed era and was originally coined in Wizard magazine in 1995 to refer to the Bronze Age of Horror, encompassing comic books that conveyed horror elements.
(accessed 6/3/10). For information regarding Jonah Hex and the subsequent comic character Scalphunter see http://www.torrents.net/torrent/31948/Jonah-Hex/ (accessed 06/10/10)
- The ‘gifted’ character of the white tracker with mixed Native American blood, (or mediating adoptive guide abounding between the white man and the ‘Indian Native’), was primarily derived from James Fenimore Cooper’s character Natty Bumppo or Hawkeye, developed in Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, (begun with The Pioneers, 1823 to The Deerslayer, 1841), yet was a storied fictional figure lifted from spoken lore and written narratives of white Europeans ‘settling’ with Native North Americans. The image of the Native American guide or scout was well versed in Cooper’s time, as they had been described through these colonist accounts as established insightful aides to the British and French explorers and ‘pioneers’. For a further relation see Gina Macdonald and Andrew Macdonald, with MaryAnn Sheridan “Historical Models” from their Introduction in Shaman or Sherlock? The Native American Detective, (Westport, Connecticut, London: Greenwood Press, 2002) 3-4. For the relation regarding Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales and Natty Bumppo see Bill Brown, “Reading the West: Cultural and Historical Background “ in Reading The West: An Anthology of Dime Westerns, Bill Brown ed. (Boston, New York: Bedford Books, 1997) 3 (Leatherstocking Tales) and in the subsection “Conflict and Concealment”, 33 (Bumppo).
- The popularity of the ‘Spaghetti Western’ in America was primarily projected through Sergio Leone’s film The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in 1966, and continued to cast its fantastic pall onto other graphic and literary fictional forms representing the American Western into the 1970’s and unto the present. The other typified comic relations surrounding Weird Western Tales drew upon its supposed diverse antiheroic range, (albeit thickly drawing upon known stereotypes), such as Marvel’s comic counter Reno Jones, Gunhawk that featured a lone African-American amidst the series various strained array of gunfighters. See the outline of Marvel’s Gunhawks comic book and the characters Jonah Hex, Scalphunter listed under “Racism in the Old West” http://funkystuffblog.com/funkystuffblog/tag/healer-randolph/ (accessed 06/10/10).
3. Scorned Sources
- The history of the mass pulps in America essentially began with Frank Munsey derived from his desire to compete with the Weekly story papers and dime novels that firms such as Beadle and Adams and Street and Smith were massively churning out in 1889. Munsey had begun his own venture in 1882 entitled Golden Argosy, Freighted with Treasures for Boys and Girls, that was trimmed to Argosy by 1891, adapted to a rough wood-pulp paper irregularly cut to a 7 by 10 inch format and bound in a half-and-inch thick magazine. Argosy by the early 1900’s was selling a half-million copies a month. By the 1920’s the dime novel was dead, and by the time of the middle years of the Depression over two hundred separate pulps were spawned. Ron Goulart, “Chapter One, The Pulpwood Era” in Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines, Ron Goulart, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1972) 10-12. Goulart further cites the detailed period of the pulps as being roughly from 1920 to 1940. Goulart, “Preface”, Cheap Thrills, 7. See also Tony Goodstone, “Introduction: Nickel Heroes/Dime Novels” in The Pulps: Fifty Years of American Pop Culture, Tony Goodstone, ed. (New York: Chelsea House, 1970) ix. And Erin A. Smith, “The ragtag and bobtail of the fiction parade: Pulp Magazines and the Literary Marketplace”, Chapter 8 in Scorned Literature: Essays on the History and Criticism of Popular Fiction in America, Lydia Cushman Schurman and Deidre Johnson, eds. (Westport, Connecticut, London: Greenwood Press, 2002) 123-124. The title of this essays section 3, “Scorned Sources “,was inspired by Schurman and Johnson’s title to their collection of essays.
- For an extensive history covering the writers and publishing history of Weird Tales see Robert Weinberg, The Weird Tales Story (San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1999).
- http://www.vintagelibrary.com/pulpfiction/authors/Robert-E-Howard.php (accessed 06/10/10).
- First publication date for Robert E. Howard’s “In the Forests of Villefère” and “Wolfshead” see http://howardworks.com/storyi.htm#inth (accessed 6/10/10).
- For the initial publication date of Howard’s character Solomon Kane in Weird Tales see http://howardworks.com/storyi.htm#inth (accessed 6/10/10). Solomon Kane’s exploits are recollected from Robert E. Howard, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, (Del Ray, 2004).
- First publication date for Robert E. Howard’s “The Horror from the Mound” http://howardworks.com/storyi.htm#inth (accessed 6/10/10). Joe R. Lansdale a writer from East Texas, (Nacogdoches), is known as one of the central authors that have fictitiously fiddled or riotously ‘revamped’ the Weird Western in the 1980’s. Lansdale’s novella Dead in the West, (Space and Time, 1986), ‘unearthed’ zombies into the western surrounds of Texas.
4. Stereotyped Settings
- While there is often confused overlap in the mass definition or specific determination of what format constituted a known dimension for the American dime novel toward its sensational run in the nineteenth century, (they were often multiply enfolded or bundled with story papers, pamphlet novels, or wrapped up in/as the cheap library, (out of which they were cut and bound), they are singularly identified by author Michael Denning as arising from the ‘fifty page, 5-inch-by-8 ½ -inch bundled pamphlets’ put out of business by increased postal rates in 1845. Denning cites the publishing firm of Beadle and Adams, (‘a small New York publisher of ten-cent song and etiquette books’), as producing the adaptive dime novel in 1860 that was trimmed to ‘4-inch- by- 6-inch pamphlets’ and subsequently leavened to 100 pages. See Michael Denning, “The Figure of the Dime Novel in American Culture” in “Part One: Books for the Million!” within his collective Mechanic Accents: Dime Novels and Working-Class Culture in America (London, New York: Verso, 1987) 10-11.
- For a relation regarding the uncertain death of the dime novel as America was entering a new century in 1900 and its lingering effects upon the ensuing popular fictional form, (for its Utopian state), see Denning’s “Conclusion: Happy Endings” in Mechanic Accents, 201-213. A substantive further study surrounding this subject is Daryl Jones’, The Dime Novel Western, 1978 and recently Bill Brown’s Reading The West, 1997.
5. Distorted Enfacements
- One principle source consulted toward relating the European description of Native North Americans that were subsequently rendered by Anglo Americans was pulled from Robert F. Berkhofer Jr., The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present (New York: Knopf, 1978). For current relations see Ward Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race: Literature, Cinema, and the Colonization of the American Indian (Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1992) and Helen Carr, Inventing the American Primitive: Politics, Gender and the Representation of Native American Literary Traditions, 1789-1936 (New York: New York UP, 1996).
- For a thorough treatment of the mass systematic slander run through the Anglo American industrial press in the nineteenth century both in fictive and ‘actual’ accounts see James Clifford, The Invented Indian: Cultural Fictions and Government Policies (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction 1990). Also Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives (New York: Prentice, 1945). The term Native American encompasses a vast cultural inclusion and its broad relation often causes confusion. To clarify the intonation of Native American within this section primarily encompasses people of North America in its wide-ranging application here though its expansive consideration does not intend to minimize the involvement or consideration of the wider involvement of indigenous people throughout the combined Americas.
- In terms of an involved research toward adopting revisionist fictions that feature Native Americans see Devon A. Mihesuah’s “Voices, Interpretations, and the New Indian History: Comments on the American Indian Quartely’s Special Issue on Writing about, American Indians.” Writing about (Writing about) American Indians. Special issue of American Indian Quartely 20.1 (1996): 91-108. Also Simon Ortiz, “Indians Sure Come in Handy.” Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land. INAD Literary Journal 1.1 (1980): 4. Albuquerque: Institute for Native American Development (Native American Studies, University of New Mexico, 1980). Reprinted in Woven Stone (Tuscon: University of Arizona P, 1992) 296-97.
- As an overall informed resource for writers considering adopting multiple cultural views within or toward their alternate fiction see Bruce Ziff, ed. Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, UP, 1996). Specifically relevant to Native American representation is the contribution from James D. Nelson. “Native American Intellectual Property Rights: Issues in the Control of Esoteric Knowledge”. 237-54. Also David L. Moore, “Rough Knowledge and Radical Understanding: Sacred Silence in American Indian Literatures.” American Indian Quarterly 21.4 (1997): 633-62.
- N. Scott Momady, House Made of Dawn, (New York: Harper and Row, 1968) 102
6. Distinct Voices
- Uninformed fictional relations such as broad tribal casting or attaching misinformed ‘valid’ Native North American names to individual characters are some of the common perpetuations of the stereotypical jargon that continues to be thrown around Native Americans in popular Western culture. One vital reference to expand these fictional misconceptions is the relighting outline proposed by Devon A. Mihesuah, “Suggested Guidelines for Institutions with Scholars Who Conduct Research on American Indians”
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