Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself

Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself

Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself

Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself

Synopsis

A diverse group of writers and scholars follow the lead of notedfolklorist Barre Toelken and consider, from the inside, the ways inwhich varied cultures in the American West understand and express theirrelations to the world around them. As Barre Toelken puts it in The Dynamics of Folklore, "'Worldview' refers to the manner in which aculture sees and expresses its relation to the world around it." In Worldviews and the American West, seventeen notable authors andscholars, employing diverse approaches and styles, apply Toelken's ideasabout worldview to the American West. While the contributors represent arange of voices, methods, and visions, they are integrated throughtheir focus on the theme of worldview in one region. Worldviews and the American West includes essays by Margaret K. Brady, Hal Cannon, Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, James S. Griffith, Barry Lopez,Robert McCarl, Elliott Oring, Twilo Scofield, Steve Siporin, Kim Stafford, C. W. Sullivan III, Jeannie B. Thomas, George Venn, George B.Wasson, and William A. Wilson. Each of the authors in this collectionattempts to get inside one or more of the worldviews of the manycultures that have come to share and interpret the American West. Theresult is a lively mix of styles and voices as the authors' ownworldviews interact with the multiple perspectives of the diversepeoples (and, in Barry Lopez's "The Language of Animals," other species)of the West. This diversity matches the geography of the region theyall call home and gives varied life and meaning to its physical andcultural landscape.
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