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I started it yesterday and am on page 3. So far, it has human nature pegged! That first scene could be put into a modern book or film, or into a real life interaction. I can see a hip-hop dude gently teasing an elder, while a stranger observes the exchange, and then, the dude steps forward to the stranger and says, "I am here to pick you up," with trepidation on the stranger's part. Realism and a good story. You know, The Virginian by Owen Wister and works by some other Western writers are as much classics as those written by Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. They just haven't gotten the respect they deserve. I would like to take a class where the Western is the focus as great literature. I am sure someone has developed such a course. If not, maybe I will....
I'd be interested in studying more about Westerns.
I'm reading The Virginian, too, but am farther along.
There's a famous line coming up, during the card game...watch for it!
"If you're going to call me that, smile." I think that's verbatim. Very effective. I like that the narrator says the letter is determined by the spirit. The story was originally written in 1902, which shows in the writing style. It's not possible for me to read it fast.
Don't read it fast, there's so much in it to enjoy!
I believe that the misquote by Hollywood is "Smile when you say that, mister!"
I told my mother I was reading The Virginian, and she said that she had read it as a girl in 1940. So we started discussing it, based on my unfinished reading of it and her 72-year old memory of it. She said, "I'm going to download it on my Kindle and read it!" She is 82 years old, the story is 110 years old, and the Kindle she got for Christmas last year. This is a sign of our times. I wonder what the Virginian would have to say about that?
That's nice, brickhorse. I like a story that young and old alike can enjoy.
I picked up The Virginian again, last night, and got so involved I had a hard time putting it down...I need more coffee this morning, I was up way too late! (and I didn't even finish it!)
It's exciting to me that people are still reading this classic and finding it as engrossing as I find it. I'm on the train and the Virginian and Trampas are having their power struggle over the cowhands going to Rawhide or the Judge's ranch. Very interesting. I'm going to reread it after I get to the end of that section because I am sure I'm missing subtlties that I'll catch once I know the outcome.
I finished reading The Virginian last night, and again, I stayed up way too late...this time in order to get to the end.
It's a very good book, I am keeping a copy on my shelf for a reread in the future.
I finally reached a point that kept me up way too late last night, the tale of Pedro. It was an appropos lesson for me, who is getting pressured to sell one of my mares. Today I thought of a possible solution: leasing her as a broodmare to a friend of mine. He can feed her and ride her and she can make awesome foals from his stallion. Anyway, it helped me find a different solution beyond sale. Pedro was not in vain.
brickhorse, what a great story to share!
Hopefully, your friend will take good care of your mare. :)
I'm still going through it slowly. It's one I'm trying to savor, rather than fly through like I usually do. I'm keeping my copy too, although the cover came off so I'll have to use a rubber band to keep it together on the shelf.
I'm coming up toward the end of the story, with less than 100 pages to go. As a writer I can see some of the literary methods the author is using to move the story forward, to show character development, and to build tension. The character the Virginian is a icon for the sensitive manly man, IMO. I ordered the book West of Everything: the Inner Life of Westerns. I want to read what this author has to say about The Virginian; she's an academic and critically analyzing Westerns from a popular culture perspective. Reckon I'll see what she's got to say and whether I agree with her.
Do post when you're read that book, brickhorse. I'd be interested in what the author says.
I finished the book, and it is definitely a classic. Clearly it was written when "benevolent" racism was considered acceptable (in particular the passage that compares lynching of "Southern negroes" with lynching cattle rustlers; and, passages about "Indian chiefs" who were childishly agreeable). As far as the Western aspect, I liked the story, although the loving condescension toward Molly as a woman with a woman's understanding was once again rooted in a particular time. But yes, it was a good story and I look forward to reading its critical analysis in The West of Everything book.
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