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Joe Penhall to Adapt BUTCHER’S CROSSING for Director Sam Mendes and Focus Features

I especially look forward to reading him now that you bring up his portrayal of women. But, of course, like the buffalo, she becomes an animal to be exploited, even to the point of being wasted. Excellent points, Trevor. I agree, John. That fine tunes it much better than I did. Certainly Andrews is disillusioned. Like Ishmael fretting over the whiteness of the whale, Andrews has been enlightened by the whiteness of all that snow. But maybe this particular brand of enlightenment also results in a kind of blindness that is, in a way, a form of corruption.

Like Miller, Andrews can now dispassionately kill and skin a buffalo. Like Miller, he can now just as dispassionately satisfy his sexual cravings. The reason would be the attention Stoner now has, how do I approach an apparently misogynistic masterpiece? Tricky to do without letting some time pass.

This though is much more tempting, plus I like westerns love that Panther cover, inaccurate as it may be. Perhaps at some point I should pair this with the Stegner. Kevin is very good on these big country novels, and with you, him and Trevor behind this one clearly it must be very good.

Butcher's Crossing by John Williams: | Books

To take an example from another field, Robert Silverberg is one of my favourite SF writers. He often has central female characters. A lack of women in the context of a western set in the wilds makes a certain sense. A young man called William grows discontented with his allotted place in the world and seeks a new challenge in an alien but romanticised environment. He makes his way, clumsily at first but ultimately with a degree of success, in that new environment.

But then comes a period of disillusionment with what he finds there, followed eventually by a kind of acceptance and hope. The books are not kind to women perhaps, but nor are they consciously unkind.

They are of their time, a time when the male sensibility about women was still largely unreconstructed. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. The journey out is grueling, but at the end is a place of paradisal richness. Once there, however, the three men abandon themselves to an orgy of slaughter, so caught up in killing buffalo that they lose all sense of time.

Winter soon overtakes them: they are snowed in. It was perhaps the first and best revisionist western. John Williams may have published only a few novels, but they were all just about perfect. And the prose is superb, a rarity in writing about the west. More, John Williams. Along with the necessary isolation of the artist, he conveys the sobering if startled recognition—perhaps with his own career in mind—of the transitory triumph of art.

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