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The Virginian (1911) di Owen Wister
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The Virginian (1911) (originale 1902; edizione 2009)

di Owen Wister

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiConversazioni / Citazioni
1,992336,629 (3.79)1 / 158
In the thousands of miles of rugged rangeland around Medicine Bow, Wyoming, the only law that rules is the law of the gun. A man has to have an iron jaw and a fast trigger to stay alive. And no one is tougher than the Virginian. A peaceable man by nature, slow to anger and soft-spoken, fair and just, nonetheless he brooks nonsense from no man. Once wronged, he is a judge with a gavel forged of cold steel. Frontier justice - Virginian style.Until he meets a woman. A woman who things she can tame his wild heart and teach him the ways of peace. But can the Virginian bring peace to Medicine Bow?… (altro)
Utente:Dureo
Titolo:The Virginian (1911)
Autori:Owen Wister
Info:General Books LLC (2009), Paperback, 292 pages
Collezioni:Owned
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Etichette:Nessuno

Informazioni sull'opera

The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains di Owen Wister (1902)

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» Vedi le 158 citazioni

Here's what I wrote after reading in 1990: "Touted as a populizer of the American cowboy, a romantic tale of chivalry in territorial Wyoming. A tale of "the Virginian", a cowboy who, possessing courage, charm, and gentleness, is able to secure an Eastern-bred (New England) lady as his wife. A tale of the American west before it really became governed - a West that Teddy Roosevelt and his friend Owen Wister experienced." I have no memory of reading this but sure do like the quotes from it I found online. Seems to be full of simple, gentle wisdom. ( )
  MGADMJK | Apr 2, 2022 |
Took too long to borrow it from the library, and then only read five chapters bc we were in the middle of packing and I hardly had time to read. I just returned it bc I knew it would never finish it in time for book club.
  GRLopez | Feb 13, 2022 |
Written in 1902, this is not only the archetypical western, but also good literature and a nice love story. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
"… the romance of American adventure had drawn them all alike to this great playground of young men…" (pg. 51)

Heralded as one of the originators and codifiers of what we now call the 'Western', despite being a huge fan of the genre I did not expect to be moved greatly by Owen Wister's 1902 novel The Virginian. And in its first act, it is a trial; wordy and indulgent and somewhat boorish, in the way that only turn-of-the-century writing can be. I found my eyes glazing over whole passages, many written in dialect. It is sentimental and the characters do not land easily. In the early stages it is hard to gauge what the book will be about.

But the impact of this novel on the popular image of the West is all but unparalleled, even if its title and author are not well known today, and if you are a fan of Westerns you read The Virginian and feel very much at home. (Those who are currently playing the Red Dead Redemption 2 video game might note the name of one of Wister's minor characters, a Mr. Le Moyne.) All the tropes which are now old-hat – the trail dust, the code of honour, the gunfight as resolution – came from books like Wister's, and when you read the Western's Genesis they become fresh again.

But The Virginian is not solely a museum piece; after a rocky start it becomes a fiercely engaging read in its own right. There are some great scenes and set-pieces (the resolving gun duel, for example, or the heartbreaking 'Balaam and Pedro' interlude), some spicy exchanges of dialogue, and some beautiful descriptive passages and turns-of-phrase. The book's sentimentality becomes more rugged (of the frankly-my-dear-I-don't-give-a-damn variety), in no small part because its dorky narrator takes a back seat, and the romanticism is, at times, irresistible.

When the book is assessed it often gets a kicking, not only because Westerns in general get a kicking nowadays, but because of a perceived racial and classist element. But I felt my Oxford World's Classics edition overegged this point; it is unreasonable to expect an enlightened 21st-century attitude from the book, and being conditioned by Robert Shulman's Introduction to expect some reactionary screed, I was surprised how tame The Virginian was on this front. It has its opinions, to be sure, but the editor of this contemporary volume is partisan; he does not let Wister breathe and, in his introduction and endnotes, tries to prejudice the reader against him. Whilst the Oxford edition succeeds in some respects, in its determination to direct the reader towards a specific appraisal it might be the worst curatorship of a classic I have yet read.

For Wister's The Virginian was not merely the first past the post for the Western saga. Its author was not really the creator of the Western tropes, but the observer and then articulator of what the West meant as an ideal. Wister did what any writer should do: he looked at what there was, found what was lying unspoken behind it and then brought that knowledge back, whilst entertaining his audience at the same time. He put his own biases into it – and sometimes clumsily – but considering what he achieves as artwork and frame he should be forgiven that. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Dec 18, 2018 |
This one really surprised me and in the best kind of way. I sheepishly admit that going into this one I assumed I wouldn't like it one bit (I generally don't cotton to westerns), but despite its setting - and the fact that its main character is a cowboy, through and through - well, reader, I loved it. Excellent story, with a nice sprinkling of good side stories, and great characters, too. ( )
  electrascaife | Oct 29, 2017 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (37 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Owen Wisterautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Cohn, R. J.autore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
Moyers, WilliamIllustratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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To Theodore Roosevelt
Some of these pages you have seen, some you have praised, one
stands new-written because you blamed it; and all, my dear critic,
beg leave to remind you of their author's changeless admiration.
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Some notable sight was drawing the passengers, both men and women, to the window; therefore I rose and crossed the car to see what it was.
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I had stepped into a world new to me indeed, and novelties were ocurring with scarce any time to get breath between them. As to where I should sleep, I had forgotten that problem altogether in my curiosity. What was the Virginian going to do now? I began to know that the quiet of the man was volanic.
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In the thousands of miles of rugged rangeland around Medicine Bow, Wyoming, the only law that rules is the law of the gun. A man has to have an iron jaw and a fast trigger to stay alive. And no one is tougher than the Virginian. A peaceable man by nature, slow to anger and soft-spoken, fair and just, nonetheless he brooks nonsense from no man. Once wronged, he is a judge with a gavel forged of cold steel. Frontier justice - Virginian style.Until he meets a woman. A woman who things she can tame his wild heart and teach him the ways of peace. But can the Virginian bring peace to Medicine Bow?

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