The Early Novel of the Southwest

By Edwin W. Gaston Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
CONCLUSION

AS THIS STUDY SUGGESTS, the early novel of the Southwest followed the incipient romantic tradition of much European and American fiction. In its better examples, like the American novel as a whole, however, it "worked out its destiny and defined itself " by incorporating an element of mature romance, and it evolved from the incipient to the mature in terms of form and thought. Beginning with the first novel, L'Heroine du Texas ( 1819), and continuing through those near the end of the early period--Riders of the Purple Sage ( 1912), for instance--a romantic concept of setting, often bordering on the primitivistic, prevailed. The tendency to glorify nature and the Indian, especially in the very early works, was reminiscent of the French romantic, Francois Rene de Chateaubriand. Other indications of the novel's romantic nature included writers' preferences for highly-colored plots, action at the expense of characterization, and escapism, fantasy, and sentimentality. Each of these is an attribute not only of romance, but of incipient romance, and each appeared in many works both of the pre--and the post-Civil War divisions of the early period. The prevailing plot type of external conflict, particularly that of man against man (but also that of man against nature), rather than the more complex internal, or psychological, conflict of man

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The Early Novel of the Southwest
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter I- Introduction 3
  • Chapter II- A General Survey 31
  • Chapter III- Plot Types and Techniques 45
  • Chapter IV- Character Portrayal 82
  • Chapter V- Impressions of Geography 123
  • Chapter VI- Intellectual and Philosophical Concepts 156
  • Chapter VII- Conclusion 189
  • Epilogue- Southwestern Fiction since 1918 195
  • Appendixes 209
  • Appendix II- The Authors 263
  • Related Studies 288
  • Bibliography 292
  • Index 303
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