Annotated Bibliography


Cawelti, John G. The Six-Gun Mystique Sequel. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular, 1999. Print.


Calwelti explores the origins and manifestations of the Western fiction genre from it’s inception to it’s most current state. He dissects the various archetypes found in this particular genre including it’s heroes and villains which stand as constants through it’s various manifestations through history.  He traces the idea of the Western as the great American myth–the legend of the great American frontier, a place of adventure, danger, and endless positbility. Calwelti examines Western fiction’s vast history including it’s place in literature, film, radio, and it’s place in American pop culture. Most importantly Calwelti spends  great deal of though and critical analysis of the “post-modern Western” found in many of Western’s fiction’s current interpretations.  The Post-Western, which is a vital component of my thesis, is a modern day telling of a Western sans the old setting. Horses are replaced by cars and the open range is swapped for the city.  Calwelti’s book and knowledge was vital to piecing together the rich tapestry that is the Western genre. His inclusion of the Post-Western provided a great deal of insight of how No Country functions in the Western cannon.


Cooper, Lydia R. ““He’s A Psychopathic Killer, But So What?”: Folklore And Morality In Cormac Mccarthy’s “No Country For Old Men”.” Papers On Language & Literature 45.1 (2009): 37-59. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 29 Apr. 2013.


In this article Cooper conducts a close reading of both McCarthy’s novel and the Coen brothers adaptation of the novel. She compares the novel to McCarthy’s other works to dissect various themes like death, God, and morality that appear in his various stories. I was particular interested in her analysis of  morality in the narrative and how it directly relates to the nature of Sheriff Bell and his place as the story’s “hero”. His narrative, along with Chigurh, is so important to the book’s own nebulous philosophy on good and evil. Her reading of the novel helped to support my thesis’s argument about how No Country defies the conventions of the Western. Her extremely poignant deconstruction of Bell as a morally just, yet confused, gun fighter who engages in extreme inaction instead of confrontation. Cooper’s focus on McCarthy’s fixation with the personification of evil helped me to grasp the author’s intent and personal philosophy on morality. She never ignores the importance of No Country and it’s place in the Western genre.




Murdoch, David Hamilton. The American West: The Invention of a Myth. Reno: University of Nevada, 2001. Print.


Similar to what Calwelti did in his examination of the Western, Murdoch details the birth of the Western myths through American history. He put together a very easy to follow history of the Western’s birth from the American frontier to it’s place in fiction depictions. Murdoch concerns himself mainly with the fact that helped shape the myths that fans of Westerns cling to. He explains that Westerns, because they are shaped from American myth, attach themselves to themes like violence, discovery, and adventure remain untouched regardless of the manifestation in the genre.These themes are very American are almost encoded into our DNA to include them in our Westerns and have a general interest in them when seeking out a narrative. Murdoch feels we will never really separate ourselves from our fascination with Westerns and instead continue to mold the genre into whatever fits the era. The universal nature of the Western is so widely recognized that even other culture use it’s framework.


Pizzello, Stephen, and Jean Oppenheimer. “Western Destinies.” American Cinematographer 88.9 (2007): 30-47. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 29 Apr. 2013.


This thought provoking interview with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins explains how important “No Country for Old Men” is to the post-modern Western genre. Deakins not only worked on No Country but has worked alongside the Coen’s for years and has helped create that famous “Coen” style. Deakins’ insight into visual storytelling is massive part of my argument within my thesis. Deakins points out the various lighting techniques used to create the cloaked in darkness Chigurh and how his very, often wordless, tells its own story about death itself. Because I speak so much on the visual aspects of Westerns and what they imply to the story, Deakins allows me to explore Chigurh’s appearance overall and how he is a manifestation of the “black hat” in this genre. A good portion of this thesis relies on words–thankfully Deakins provides crucial information on how to closely read visual storytelling in film. The drastic difference between narrative and literature becomes slightly illuminated because of Mr. Deakin’s expertise on the subject.

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Published on May 22, 2013 at 9:52 am Comments (0)

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