Jane Tompkins

  • LANGUAGE AND LANDSCAPE: AN ONTOLOGY FOR THE WESTERN

    WHAT YOU SEE in the insets to the left are the opening shots of western movies, shots that put a whole set of values in place before a single word is spoken. I’ll discuss those values in more detail later. But for now, it is enough to say that this is the same world we enter when we read a passage from Louis L’Amour’s 1958 novel Radigan:

    She had never felt like this before, but right now she was backed up against death with all the nonsense and the fancy words trimmed way. The hide of truth was peeled back to expose the bare, quivering raw flesh of itself, and there was no nonsense about it. She