J. Bakker teaches American literature at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is one of the founders and co-editors of the Dutch Quarterly Review of Anglo-American Letters (DQR).1991 0-7734-9713-7
The chapters in part one re-examine the impact of the mythic west on a selection of 19th century texts in the light of the latest literary-critical approaches to Western writing. Works include Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Melville, Whitman, Twain, et al. The selection has been guided by the fact that all these works deal explicitly with the frontier West. Part two contains chapters on the modern Western. First, the literary Western from Owen Wister's The Virginian through E.L. Doctorow's Welcome to Hard Times. The second chapter discusses the popular or formula Western, concentrating on what links it to the literary Western: violence and the love story. Addresses such writers as Zane Grey and Max Brand. The third chapter is devoted entirely to Larry McMurtry's novels Lonesome Dove and Anything for Billy, examining in what sense and to what extent he succeeds in revitalizing the conventions and stereotypes on which the traditional popular Western is based.