How the West Was Won. Countless novels, paintings and films have glorified as fearless pioneers and energetic settlers – the New American – conquered the continent. Unstoppable they moved the Frontier westward until their young state to from coast to coast extended. The wild indigenous people ideologically and physically pushed aside so that the vast land without restriction as promised land was up for consideration: This land is your land, this land is my country , and who courageously access, could a homestead secure.
Or will such as the use of animal buffalo treasures. The powerful but shoot man tactically mature herd animals by the dozen was not art, but lucrative for their meat and fur. From 1870, the leather demand grew so rapidly shot down that millions and left behind skinned. Around the turn of the century, the species was almost wiped out.
Told from the 1873 ” Butcher’s Crossing < " John Williams: "Butcher's Crossing" at "
but first and foremost this is a thrilling piece of literature, incredibly exciting, overwhelming image strong Kopfkino with naturalistic devotion to detail, while in disciplined regularity tells of a stoic conducting the observation narrator, the seemingly can bring anything from the rest.
the call Go West! and the twenty-three William Andrews from Boston followed. He was able to study at Harvard and should make a career. But in the third year he breaks off to embark on the search. What he does not know himself. In any case, something was missing in his previous existence, “that was neither free nor good or alive”.
Like so many hopes he find the “best,” “freedom,” “hope,” “life force” in the wild.
After two grueling weeks, he emerges in Butcher’s Crossing, Kansas, the overland carriage. On the dusty main road going men in suit and bowler hat, others in faded jeans and dirty fatigues their business. Will that a greenhorn , you can see him. He relates a primitive chamber at Butcher’s Hotel . The window loosely inserted into the wooden frame boards facade are covered with gazeähnlichem fabric. A narrow rope bed with a thin mattress, a rough table, a chair, a mirror are all to be rented inventory. Surcharge a wooden tub and hot water is delivered. For breakfast there is a plate of lukewarm beans, grits and hot, bitter coffee.
Butcher’s Crossing is a pathetic collection of half a dozen shacks behind some tents army gray cloth. But from their potential everyone dreams who lives here. Because in a year or two railway tracks will be laid here. The town at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is booming, the American Dream will be true for anyone who knows how to forge his luck.
Will’s father, the well-off lay priest has his son given a letter of recommendation. It is addressed to a certain J. D. McDonald, former haberdashery salesman in Boston, which it is said to have drifted here. As well as he can, he should stand by his son.
McDonald receives welcome in his office outside in the brine pits. He can and he will be happy to help, if only because he desperately needed someone to do all the paperwork, so he can take care around the actual business, the distribution of its tanned buffalo hides. Most recently, he had sold one hundred thousand skins to St. Louis, and that was just the beginning of a glorious future. McDonald thinks he’s one of the few “Men of Vision” here. Evidence: he has secured a few plots of land has long
Surprisingly jumps Will the career path not to.. He is drawn more to the hunters of buffalo. Although McDonald can not understand the ( “These young people … just do not know what to do with it.”) Directs, he wants the experienced Hunter Miller, who was not quite so bad as the other, and leads him . so his fate
The decisive meeting place – where else? – in Jackson’s Saloon instead. Although the eloquent intellectuals Will after he introduced himself politely, can the polycyclic Miller, who can write his name just barely explain what moved him, the two find each other very well, in a rather intuitive level. Miller raves about the last good years was when the prairie “black with buffalo” and a few hunters in a very short time could kill a thousand animals more. Now, the areas are deserted. But he harbors a plan. In a remote valley high up in the mountains of Colorado know Miller one last huge herd of buffalo, which he hunt and wants to make money. “Two weeks to get there, a week to ten days for hunting, then another two weeks for the return.”
The prospect of adventure and immediate experience of nature pulls at Will in an almost mystical way. If Miller, as he announces, puts together a small group of four men, anxious horses, oxen and a Zuggespann, food, guns and ammunition, he is willing to finance everything in advance. After the hunt the skins at McDonald are sold and the killing on be split between two. Transfigured into a trance, you will agree.
The third man on the team is Fred Schneider, the best skinner far and wide. Skeptical about whether it up there actually still so are many buffalo as Miller promises he acts for himself rather from a risk-free fixed daily rate. Charley Hoge, the number four and “a man of the Bible,” heard already at the counter to, but fights to the end not to participate because he has bad memories of the Rockies. In “Ice and Hellfire” He was there once caught in a blizzard, lost after falling consciousness, and Miller had to disconnect his frozen hand with the knife.
So pulls Will Andrews, the idealist who does not knows what he is looking for, with three steely men archaic blank in “the land of the devil”, where Miller actually leads to a buffalo Trail of thousands and thousands of animals. They are the last hunting grounds, and everything will turn out quite differently than expected.
“Butcher’s Crossing” is a lesson in humans. Unlike usual meet in this Western one another not two human opponents who are fighting on equal terms, to the good, the better and the stronger wins. Here, the man himself seems to have the unlimited power of creation to subdue. As unbridled greed breaks through and he like slaughters in a frenzy, he stands against a much larger opponent, nature. “Here we find that the nature of the situation is that every other circumstance makes small for us, and that it rectifies all people a God who come to her.” (The prefix the novel excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson prägendem essay “Nature” and Will has inspired.)
The novel’s plot points beyond itself, the individual case without John Williams each riseth a moral finger. Nature shows the troops from the beginning to its limits and can not mitigate ambition, arrogance and greed. The fate of the men takes place as a logical consequence of their actions, and human action deprives man and nature livelihoods. When strenuous climb the men die of thirst almost the plummeting winter forcing his will on, incessant snowstorms tie her up for months in the mountains and almost rob them of all life force. In the end they survive (except for one), but the victory did not carry it.
You left a ruined landscape and animal paradise, a sea of blood, where thousands carcasses rotting in the open. They have driven the extinction of a species. Cynically they can not even hit more capital from their company. For now, times have changed. The market for buffalo heads is saturated, the last animals have died in vain, as well as their butchers have suffered in vain. In Butcher’s Crossing the elation of depression has given way. Although the railroad comes, but the route is “just under fifty miles north of this city over.” And Will Andrews in despair when he realizes that he was possessed with the move threatened about it to lose itself.
ends a hearty Western? The hero rides “out into the open country”, to the west, alone, the rising sun in the back. But Will Andrews “did not know where he was going;. He just knew it would later have even occur to him during the day”
This book I have to my to the list 20 favorite books “