Archive for June 1st, 2012

h1

The Virginian

June 1, 2012

So, The Virginian is apparently the first proper western, if we’re not counting pulps — and apparently we’re not. It’s also awfully good.

Usually, when I try to read westerns, the protagonist shoots someone, or semi-accidentally kills a horse, or somehow makes an enemy of someone — probably someone with a mustache — over a poker game, and then I realize I’m only two chapters in and give up.

The hero of The Virginian actually does make an enemy over a poker game in the early chapters, and, since all of those other westerns are probably imitating this one, I guess I could blame Owen Wister for all those books I couldn’t finish. It seems silly, though, to blame someone for being better than his imitators. Read the rest of this entry ?