27. America Unscripted: Performing the Wild West

  1. Nicolas S. Witschi
  1. Jefferson D. Slagle

Published Online: 27 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444396591.ch27

A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West

A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West

How to Cite

Slagle, J. D. (2011) America Unscripted: Performing the Wild West, in A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West (ed N. S. Witschi), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444396591.ch27

Editor Information

  1. Western Michigan University, USA

Author Information

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187336

Online ISBN: 9781444396591

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Keywords:

  • issues, themes and case studies - America unscripted, performing the Wild West;
  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West, traveling exhibition - arena performance, executed by “real westerners”;
  • Rome, and Cody's show, challenge issued to Cody's riders by Prince Sermonta - and the American cowboys, riding a herd of wild Italian horses in ten minutes;
  • ways, in which Wild West performance - being understood, as authentic or “real”;
  • Wild West's traveling character - impracticability of time travel, nature of exhibition's arena;
  • performing history in the Wild West - Walter Benjamin, arguing that the most perfect reproduction of a work of art, lacks in its presence in time and space;
  • Wild West, reflecting popular notions of the West - creating those notions;
  • Wild West's performance of signature events - sacred American drama of westward expansion;
  • Wild West body, and bodies of Wild West performers - emphasized over the space in which they act;
  • Cody, interweaving his own life with the imaginative life - of American national history, American frontier experience and his own experience, identical

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Performing History in the Wild West

  • The Wild West Body

  • References and Further Reading