United States Authors Series: Ernest Haycox pdf epub fb2

United States Authors Series: Ernest Haycox by Stephen L. Tanner pdf epub fb2

United States Authors Series: Ernest Haycox Author: Stephen L. Tanner
Title: United States Authors Series: Ernest Haycox
ISBN: 0805738983
ISBN13: 978-0805738988
Other Formats: azw rtf mobi azw
Pages: 150 pages
Publisher: Twayne Publishers; 1 edition (July 15, 1996)
Language: English
Category: Literature & Fiction
Size PDF version: 1577 kb
Size EPUB version: 1721 kb
Subcategory: History & Criticism




For most of the century "serious literature" has been sharply distinguished from "popular fiction," the former being characterized by its best examples, and the latter, unfortunately, by its worst. As a genre, westerns - dubbed "horse operas" by some critics - have been no exception to this overgeneralization, and Ernest Haycox, who authored dozens upon dozens of novels and stories true to the genre, has not managed to escape such reductive categorization. In this engaging, thought-provoking examination of Haycox's writing, Stephen L. Tanner broadens such a narrow critical perspective to address this long-standing literary dichotomy: How does one evaluate a first-rate author in an allegedly second-rate genre? Looking at Haycox's prolific, highly disciplined, and often anguished career, Tanner goes on to ask, Was Haycox a failed serious novelist or a masterful writer of romantic adventure?Tanner seeks to answer these questions by analyzing the westerns themselves, which Haycox wrote with a keen eye for detail and historical accuracy, but also by looking extensively at Haycox's correspondence with his editors and longtime friends.Haycox's best fiction, according to Tanner, breaks away from stereotypes and enters the realm of art, with its complexities of character and dramatic tension. Tanner argues that the Haycox hero rises above the commonplace western protagonist because his moral code is conflicted and imperfect: He displays a moral ambiguity that deepens our reading of him and saves him from absurdity. Haycox's characters, contends Tanner, have imaginative substance and are psychologically interesting, combining weaknesses with strengths. Because the Haycox story is grounded in the history of a specific time and evokes a vivid sense of place, the environment does not serve as a mere picturesque backdrop.