Sagebrush Anthology: Literature from the Silver Age of the Old Westby Lawrence I. Berkove
Pub. Date: 06/28/2006
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
The Sagebrush Anthology enlarges Mark Twain’s circle to encompass the Sagebrush Bohemians through a compelling blend of humorous and serious fiction, memoir, nonfiction, letters, and poetry. These selections convey the experiences shaped by Nevada’s rough-and-tumble culture, abounding in wit and humor-with a fondness for literary hoaxes-that were the last major formative influence on Twain. The anthology contains sixty-eight selections-seven by Twain-representing outstanding work by accomplished Sagebrushers Dan De Quille, Sam Davis, Joe Goodman, and Rollin Daggett, plus pieces by lesser-known writers such as Arthur McEwen, Alf Doten, and Fred Hart. Berkove’s introduction recounts the history of the school and identifies and analyzes its main thematic and stylistic characteristics. He shows that Sagebrush literature records and reflects the collision of the last generation of frontiersmen with the new culture of technology, industry, and big business-men of talent, imagination, and integrity driven to work out distinctive ways of coping with an unresponsive system of justice, an economy tilted toward the rich, and a society that impinged on individual liberties.
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