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Out there in the great open spaces where men are men

Jean-Louis LEUTRAT
Revue française d'études américaines
No. 7, ARTS ET SOCIÉTÉ AUX ÉTATS-UNIS (Avril 79), pp. 89-100
Published by: Editions Belin
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20872731
Page Count: 12
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Out there in the great open spaces where men are men
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Abstract

Between the 1890's and the 1920's the American treatment of the Western theme underwent important changes. The rodeo displaced the Wild West show as a source of popular entertainment. Precursors of country and western music appeared on the scene, even though the connotations of the West and the cowboy were not fastened upon country music itself. Those were the years when a man-made image of the American West took shape. Movies were largely responsible for this: the western movie stars, especially Hart and Mix, came on as the true heirs of the « Wild and woolly West ». In later years the fantasy worked out by the various visual media came to be interpreted as the real McCoy, the unadulterated icon of the West. This leaves open the question: what was the real West? Was there ever such a place, and if so, where and when?

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