Other novels feature significant action in two or more settings that are too disparate and distant from each other to map as one locale. Further evidence that Grey's imagery delimits the West as one region with a uniform set of mythical symbols is his occasional reference to the action or characters of one book in another. His settings have an added importance, in that they were based on real places, in contrast to the inexplicit settings of some authors like Max Brand. Although Grey demonstrated that Old West adventures could be found throughout the West, he concentrated his most powerful imagery in the Colorado Plateau and its southern edge, the Mogollon Rim.
Nearly one-half of his westerns were set there, and the same ratio of his best-selling books were also placed there Hackett His focus on Arizona and southern Utah as the heart of his West was continued in the numerous movies based on his tales that he insisted be shot on location. Grey thus introduced Hollywood to Monument Valley in the s Kant Of course, popular accounts of western places that were unexplored by Grey certainly exist, so his views have not totally dominated the spatial perception of the West.
Even so, I assert that many people still continue to view Grey's Colorado Plateau as the quintessential West. The current popularity of mystery writer Tony Hillerman, who also sets his stories in the Four Corners region, strengthens Grey's earlier localization. The compelling characters and vivid landscapes in Grey's Colorado Plateau novels have influenced tourism and vernacular images in this area. The region has not had to struggle to attract American or foreign tourists; the famous Grand Circle tour of several of the most popular national parks in the United States is through the heart of Grey's West.
Tour books published by the American Automobile Association include Grey on the suggested reading list for Arizona. Nineteen of Grey's westerns are set in the twentieth century. He mixes contemporary events such as World War I, revolutions in Mexico, large-scale dam construction, and increasing automobile use with traditional frontier elements. He suggests not only that the frontier was intact in some places but also that it could be safely visited because heroes resided there to protect innocent travelers. In the forewords he wrote in for The Rainbow Trail and The Lone Star Ranger he explicitly asserted that the frontier character and wildness of the West persisted.
Promotional material on the original dust jackets for his westerns echoed those sentiments by relating that his material came from his extensive travel in out-of-the-way places of the West. In the twentieth-century setting of Majesty's Rancho the West is diminished in area but still challenging. The cowboy hero and college-student heroine leave bustling Los Angeles to find frontier excitement in a remote corner of southeastern Arizona. Earlys imagery appears throughout: prohibition is almost over; Al Capone-style gangsters rustle cattle with trucks at night; and there are much cigarette smoking and use of slang and curse words.
Although the West is predominantly an urban society, much of the public still believes that the frontier has not been completely displaced, arguably because Grey wrote of its survival into the twentieth century. Tourism associations try to fulfill these expectations by funneling travelers to places like Tombstone, Arizona, and Dodge City, Kansas, where the Wild West supposedly lives on.
The current use of Grey's name in Oregon, Arizona, and Utah travel literature implies that tourists believe his West still persists. Grey's formula had none of the sappiness over a disappearing frontier that characterized the writing of Owen Wister, Frederic Remington, and Emerson Hough Bold Grey's interpretation that the idealized West endured, if one looked in the right places, may have calmed public concerns over losing the frontier. Availability of cheap land can act as a safety valve for burgeoning populations dissatisfied with densely settled areas, but once the frontier is settled there can be tremendous political unrest and social upheaval in a country.
Instead of protesting the loss of a frontier, however, Americans celebrated its existence nostalgically through the western genre. His heroes and heroines often start out from typical backgrounds in the East but change in the West. At first the landscape seems harsh to these characters, but then it becomes familiar and finally benevolent. I find the comment that to Grey "nature is benign if not innocent" misleading Byrkit , In Grey's West the heroes rise to the challenges of nature and benefit from it, whereas the villains degenerate in the face of a brutal land.
Grey's colorful descriptions of scenery and his subordination of characters to the landscape result in his readers' both respecting the places he portrayed and desiring to visit them. He placed emphasis both on appreciating natural beauty and on encouraging interaction with the landscape, a duality epitomized today in the challenge of balancing environmental protection and tourism in national parks. Grey wrote as though a sacred but somehow approachable spirit resided in the western landscape, as in this example from The Rainbow Trail , :.
The Rainbow Bridge was the one great natural phenomenon, the one grand spectacle, which Shefford had ever seen that did not at first give vague disappointment, a confounding of reality, a disenchantment of contrast with what the mind had conceived.
But this thing was glorious. It silenced him, yet did not awe or stun. His body and brain, weary and dull from the toil of travel, received a singular and revivifying freshness. He had a strange, mystic perception of this rosy-hued stupendous arch of stone, as if in a former life it had been a goal he could not reach Here at last, apparently, was the rainbow of his boyish dreams and of his manhood? Grey was one of the first writers to exploit much of the West's desert and mountain landscape.
His desert descriptions are varied and may have produced an unclear picture of what to expect in the arid West. The region is alternatively portrayed as a sandy wasteland, as in Stairs of Sand , a place of wealth, as in Desert Gold , a land that develops latent possibilities into greatness, as in The Heritage of the Desert , a productive area, as in The Desert of Wheat , and a colorful natural landscape, as in Riders of the Purple Sage. In The Vanishing American , he further popularized the desert by calling it a "land of enchantment," a phrase New Mexico adopted as its slogan in the s.
In Grey's West enterprising people could always procure more water to make the desert bloom, an attitude that persists in the expectation of many western urbanites to fuel regional growth. Most of Grey's westerns focus on a cattle culture imbued with individualism, rustling, and justified violence. Even though cowboys were featured in dime novels and The Virginian , critics agree that Grey was the true creator of the cowboy novel Milton His technique was to romanticize the shooting accuracy and chivalry of cowboys, but his heroes also could be dirty, sore, foul-mouthed, and drunk.
The heavy use of cowboy imagery in present-day advertising indicates the widespread acceptance of Grey's approach: the Marlboro Man is the archetype of these advertisements Salter Grey also popularized mineral prospectors, whom he portrayed as driven by powerful forces into the wilderness where they became largerthan-life. In Wanderer of the Wasteland Adam Larey, after apparently murdering his brother, takes to prospecting in the Mojave Desert, where he gains a reputation as a trustworthy avenger of evil by killing thieves with his bare hands.
Unable to abandon a life of isolation, he becomes known as Wansfell the Wanderer and devotes his life to befriending the unfortunate. As a result of the hero worship lavished on cowboys and prospectors, their modern equivalents may have received preferential treatment. For example, even though the land may be owned by the federal government, ranchers have mostly done whatever they wanted on the western grazing lands they lease, and they expect to continue doing so Marston Ranchers are often observed to act tough and individualistic; might this partly be role playing because of their perceived heritage?
Americans may accept these actions because ranchers are part of the beloved western myth. Environmentalists may call for revisions strengthening the fee payment and reclamation provisions of the public rangeland grazing law and the mining law, but I contend that the enduring cowboy and prospector romanticism partially thwarts these demands.
One of Grey's main contributions to the western novel and to ideas about acceptable behavior in the West is his introduction of the professional gunman, a role that was later embellished by Shane and Destry Cawelti Grey's typical gunman is not vile, but rather a lone figure who metes out deadly justice to rustlers and kidnappers. The most memorable characterization is that of leather-clad Lassiter in Riders of the Purple Sage , :.
Jane Withersteen wheeled and saw a horseman, silhouetted against the western sky, coming riding out of the sage. He had ridden down from the left, in the golden glare of the sun, and had been unobserved till close at hand. An answer to her prayer! Does any one know him?
Barry J. Marshall
The sensational gunplay in Grey's novels became one of his trademarks. He felt he could not express the essence of the frontier West if he omitted the fight or the blood. Vivid imagery of this type has been parlayed into hundreds of movies, books, television shows, and magazine stories. Edward Abbey acknowledged Grey as one of his favorite modern novelists; the climax of Abbey's novel Good News borrows the cliff-and-cactus drama from Desert Gold. Cultural groups that were exotic to readers, such as Navajos and Mormons, were a staple of Grey's westerns, and he dealt with them in a thoughtful manner that was far ahead of his time.
He usually portrayed Indians as either noble and worthy of emulation or as victims of bad whites.
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In Black Mesa a white trader illegally sells liquor to Navajos and poisons their only source of water. The plot of The Vanishing American exposes corruption in the U. Grey originally ended this novel with a marriage of the Navajo and the white heroine, but after pressure from his publisher he rewrote the ending? The brisk sales of this novel in suggest that Grey's sympathetic view of American Indians struck a popular chord, but it would be even more characteristic of the increasingly sensitive views of them since the s.
Grey was one of the first popular writers to discuss Mormon beliefs seriously Coan and Lillard He admired Mormon industriousness and even stated that Jim Emmett, the Mormon manager of Lees Ferry, was the man who influenced him the most Stott But Grey despised the church's treatment of women, especially polygamy. After spending much time among Mormons Grey decided that the younger church members were starting a trend away from polygamy, a shift positively portrayed in The Rainbow Trail. Nevertheless, he was ambivalent in The Man of the Forest , in which the group is depicted both as suspected abductors of women and as trustworthy outdoorsmen who value justice.
For Grey and his readers the West is a place with restorative powers, an escape from the banality and immorality of the older parts of the United States. His heroes and heroines are disenchanted with the ostentation, shallowness, and softness of the East. In The Call of the Canyon a shell-shocked and gassed World War I veteran feels unappreciated by eastern socialites and opts for a simple life of hard, manual work in remote Oak Creek Canyon of Arizona.
His flapper girlfriend objects to the simplicity of the West, and they separate when he accuses her of not being woman enough or American enough to stay and help him reconstruct his broken life. They reconcile only when she realizes her love of the wide-open landscape and decides to devote her life to ranching and raising a family in the West. Western imagery also promotes the region as a land of unbounded economic opportunity Vale and Vale Grey popularized this ideal too, often by having his hard-working cowboys reap financial and romantic rewards commensurate with their heroic deeds.
The happy-ending syndrome is taken to miraculous extremes in Desert Gold , in which in a span of minutes a Yaqui Indian leads the hero to a gold mine, the source of the only river in the region, and an old box containing a letter that clears the reputation of his sweetheart. Grey is a place-defining novelist for the West because of his immense and enduring popularity and his embellishment of preexisting western images with graphic portrayals of life in the West.
The two new mass-market paperback editions of his westerns released since may further extend his influence. The use of his evocative writings in anthologies that tout the appreciation of western wildlife and landscapes also keeps Grey's imagery prominent. Nevertheless, his effect on western images would have been transient had he not imparted his own distinct sense of the areal and temporal extent of the West of American imagination.
For anyone who wants to understand how a few thousand men can tie down an army of millions this is a must read.
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The text can be rather tedious with endless descriptions on types of sand and terrain because it was lifted from a diary that logged such matters but when he writes on insurgency strategy I sat up and paid attention. The politics are of interest and his opinions of the British Army are scathing. A book from the past that informs the present and the future View 1 comment. Revolt in the Desert, is another account of Lawrence as a liaison Officer between Britain and Arab revolts, In fact what makes me write this review is that I got in touch with the poetic style that Lawrence used to express some psychological feelings.
In reality this book should be picked in the best shelf of the British literature. WM4: Salvate il soldato Lawrence. Dopo settant'anni di dibattito sulla sua figura, davvero non meritava di essere buttato sul mercato editoriale senza nemmeno due parole di accompagnamento. Spedito fuori dalla trincea senza nessuno a coprirlo.
Fior di carriere critico-letterarie si sono costruite o infrante davanti al mito di Lawrence d'Arabia, e forse quando un editore sceglie di pubblicare un testo come Rivolta nel deserto , datato , una prefazione sarebbe cosa buona e giusta. Non l'ha pens WM4: Salvate il soldato Lawrence. Un corollario che ignora completamente decenni di dispute, in cui sono stati coinvolti nomi come George Bernard Shaw, Richard Aldington, Robert Graves e molti altri.
One of my favorite adventure books that i have read since childhood. No way around it. Incredible writing, unbelievable action, made all the more intense by the fact that it DID happen. Great introduction to Arab culture, habits, and viewpoints. All around a phenomenal book. Dec 28, BGP rated it liked it. This text is an unnecessary abridgment of one of the most compelling and beautifully written non-fiction works of the 20th century, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. While fans and collectors of Lawrence's work may find the book of interest, new readers should disregard this text and direct their attention to Seven Pillars of Wisdom post-haste.
Mar 22, John rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. A vivid, first hand, account of a key period in modern history. A must read for anyone trying to understand and appreciate some of the background to the complex problems of the Middle East today. Lawrence wrote his memoirs of the WW1 war against the Ottoman Empire as a page long book "The seven pillars of wisdom" but heavily in debt was forced by his publishers to rush out an abridged version.
He hated it and refused to allow even the most basic editing. Consequently it has many different variants on place names, often fails to clarify the vast array of characters in the Arab army or the overall development of the war. On the other hand it conveys brilliantly the characters, countrys Lawrence wrote his memoirs of the WW1 war against the Ottoman Empire as a page long book "The seven pillars of wisdom" but heavily in debt was forced by his publishers to rush out an abridged version. On the other hand it conveys brilliantly the characters, countryside, conditions and the day to day action.
The British under General Allenby based in Eqypt were fighting a conventional WW1 battle of artillery and massed infantry attacks against the Turks in Palestine. Lawrence, a British Army major, medically unfit for active duty was an Oxford scholar and linguist who excelled at military intelligence. He was sent to work with the Arab uprising in what is now Saudi Arabia and immediately struck up a rapport with the leaders. He was not alone but his leadership, diplomatic and organisational skills saw him continually switching between leading patrols to blow up the Turkish railways, smoothing disputes between Arab leaders, persuading Allanby and his staff to send money, weapons and trained soldiers and providing strategic direction to the Arab leaders.
He earned the respect of the latter by in effect becoming one of them, pushing himself to ride great lengths in the most arduous conditions and to be in the thick of the fighting and not least by learning the language and customs so he could mix easily with them. At the same time he worked diligently with Allenby to ensure that the the two groups were fully coordinated and the Turks eventually pushed out of the Middle East.
The final chapter on the capture bloodlessly of Damascus is particularly fascinating. Whilst everyone else is celebrating, Lawrence is quietly operating behind the scenes to insert the most competent Arab leaders into a new government, ruthlessly eliminating a couple of thugs who try to take over, then reforming a police force, getting the electricity and water supply back on, setting up hospitals, arranging food supplies and cleaning the streets! And the writing is of the highest quality.
Lawrence, Distinctive, rare and expensive, the powerful, fire breathing Brough Superior motorcycle was a classic in it's own time. Lawrence of Arabia suffered a fatal brain injury while riding his Superior. Highly intellectual, literary, and courageous in battle, T. Lawrence was not only a talented military officer, but also an accomplished archeologist.
Having survived a life magnetically drawn to adventure and risk, and well known for indulging in seve "Revolt In The Desert", T. Having survived a life magnetically drawn to adventure and risk, and well known for indulging in severe forms of masochism, I would think that Lawrence would have appreciated the aesthetics and the irony of being killed while touring the verdant English countryside on his Superior motorcycle.
Lawrence didn't want the general public to see any book by or about him, but he needed money after Arabia, to live on. He finally agreed to let this book appear but every time there was any publicity about him, even to promote one of his own books, he suffered desperately from the public exposure.
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Jul 12, Jim rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction. They claimed his depictions of the West were too fanciful, too violent, and not faithful to the moral realities of the frontier. They thought his characters unrealistic and much larger-than-life. Broun stated that "the substance of any two Zane Grey books could be written upon the back of a postage stamp. Whipple praised a typical Grey novel as a modern version of the ancient Beowulf saga,. It lacks fluency and facility. Grey based his work in his own varied first-hand experience, supported by careful note-taking, and considerable research.
In , a reviewer said Grey's "moral ideas Dolly warned him against publishing the treatise, and he retreated from a public confrontation. Grey portrayed the struggle of the Navajo to preserve their identity and culture against corrupting influences of the white government and of missionaries.
This viewpoint enraged religious groups. Grey contended, "I have studied the Navaho Indians for 12 years. I know their wrongs.
Zane Grey - Wikipedia
The missionaries sent out there are almost everyone mean, vicious, weak, immoral, useless men. With this book, Grey completed the most productive period of his writing career, having laid out most major themes, character types, and settings. His Wanderer of the Wasteland is a thinly disguised autobiography. Several of his later writings e. Rangle River were based in Australia. Grey co-founded the "Porpoise Club" with his friend, Robert H. Davis of Munsey's Magazine , to popularize the sport of hunting of dolphins and porpoises.
They made their first catch off Seabright, New Jersey on September 21, , where they harpooned and reeled in a bottlenose dolphin. Grey's son Loren claims in the introduction to Tales of Tahitian Waters that Zane Grey fished on average days a year through his adult life. Grey and his brother R. Zane Grey was its president from to He pioneered the fishing of Boohoo fish sailfish. Zane Grey Creek was named for him. Grey indulged his interest in fishing with visits to Australia and New Zealand. He first visited New Zealand in and caught several large fish of great variety, including a mako shark , a ferocious fighter which presented a new challenge.
Grey established a base at Otehei Bay, Urupukapuka Island in the Bay of Islands , which became a destination for the rich and famous. He wrote many articles in international sporting magazines highlighting the uniqueness of New Zealand fishing, which has produced heavy-tackle world records for the major billfish , striped marlin , black marlin, blue marlin and broadbill. He held numerous world records during this time  and invented the teaser, a hookless bait that is still used today to attract fish.
Grey made three additional fishing trips to New Zealand. The second was January to April , the third December to March , and the last from December to February Grey fished out of Wedgeport, Nova Scotia , for many summers. Grey also helped establish deep-sea sport fishing in New South Wales , Australia, particularly in Bermagui , which is famous for marlin fishing. Patron of the Bermagui Sport Fishing Association for and , Grey set a number of world records,    and wrote of his experiences in his book An American Angler in Australia.
From on, Grey was a frequent visitor to Tahiti. He fished the surrounding waters several months at a time and maintained a permanent fishing camp at Vairao. He claimed that these were the most difficult waters he had ever fished, but from these waters he also took some of his most important records, such as the first marlin over 1, pounds. Zane Grey died of heart failure on October 23, , at his home in Altadena, California. Grey became one of the first millionaire authors. Zane Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions.
Grey wrote not only Westerns, but two hunting books, six children's books, three baseball books, and eight fishing books. It is estimated that he wrote more than nine million words in his career. There were other Western writers who had fast and furious action, but Zane Grey was the one who could make the action not only convincing but inevitable, and somehow you got the impression that the bigness of the country generated a bigness of character.
Grey was President Dwight D.
Eisenhower 's favorite writer. It eagerly adapted Western stories to the screen practically from its inception, with Bronco Billy Anderson becoming the first major western star. After his first two books were adapted to the screen, Grey formed his own motion picture company. This enabled him to control production values and faithfulness to his books. After seven films he sold his company to Jesse Lasky who was a partner of the founder of Paramount Pictures. Paramount made a number of movies based on Grey's writings and hired him as advisor.
In Grey appeared as himself in a feature film shot in Australia, White Death At the same time he provided a story that was filmed as Rangle River Grey became disenchanted by the commercial exploitation and copyright infringement of his works. He felt his stories and characters were diluted by being adapted to film. Its costars were Randolph Scott and Robert Young. The period of the s and s included the great works of John Ford , who successfully used the settings of Grey's novels in Arizona and Utah.
The success of Grey's The Lone Star Ranger the novel was adapted into four movies: , , and , and a comic book in and King of the Royal Mounted popular as a series of Big Little Books and comics, later turned into a film and three film serials inspired two radio series by George Trendle WXYZ , Detroit. Preston of the Yukon on TV. More of Grey's work was featured in adapted form on the Zane Grey Show , which ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System for five months in the s, and the "Zane Grey Western Theatre," which had a five-year run of episodes.
Many famous actors got their start in films based on Zane Grey books. Works published posthumously after include original novels, sequels to earlier novels, and compilations and revisions of previously published novels. Between and , films were adapted from the novels and stories of Zane Grey. In addition, three television series included episodes adapted from his work, including Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
American novelist. Biography portal. Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 19, The Sun. San Bernardino County Sun. Retrieved November 22, Pauly July 27, University of Illinois Press. Retrieved November 19, Retrieved April 15, Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books. Gruber, Frank Zane Grey: A Biography. Mattituck, New York: Amereon Ltd. Hulse, Ed Filming the West of Zane Grey. May, Stephen J. Zane Grey: Romancing The West. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. Pauly, Thomas H. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Zane Grey at Wikipedia's sister projects.
Categories : births deaths 20th-century American novelists American dentists American male novelists Angling writers American people of English descent American film studio executives Novelists from Ohio People from Zanesville, Ohio Penn Quakers baseball players Self-published authors American Western genre novelists American fishers 20th-century American male writers University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine alumni Film producers from Ohio.
The Short Stop. The Heritage of the Desert. The Young Forester. The Young Pitcher.