On the Border

Is Brokeback Mountain a Western? Nah. It’s set in the west, certainly, and its characters are part of “cowboy” life and culture—but it’s not a Western. That is, it does not reflect the cultural needs and divides that provide the dynamic behind the Western. Instead, it’s an indictment of one culture by another, the country … Continue reading On the Border

What Has Smiley Brought Forth?

Scholar of Appalachian culture Rodger Cunningham (author of Apples on the Flood: Minority Discourse and Appalachia), forwarded to me a link to a post on the blog “Hillbilly Savants,” another response to Jane Smiley’s diatribe against Appalachian culture—this one by Eric Drummond Smith. Seeing it makes me hope that Smiley has inadvertently done a favor … Continue reading What Has Smiley Brought Forth?