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Geschichte – Mythos – Identität: Zur globalen Zirkulation des Western-Genres by Thomas Klein (Bertz und Fischer, Berlin, 2015: German text only)


Promo text: ‘The Western is considered to be the “American genre par excellence.” This book, however, shows how the US Western spread globally and influenced other national cinemas, such as the European-made Western variants that emerged during the 1960s. Equally, while numerous historical period films from other countries do not promote the myth of the Wild West or feature the American frontier as such, viewers are still able to view these historical films as Westerns. For example, Mexican, Brazilian, Argentinian, Australian, Indian and Japanese films have told Western-like tales that instead have their own local colonial and postcolonial histories foregrounded. And in these films we often find character types that are clearly influenced by the characters that are typically found in American Westerns. Cultural studies and genre studies are thus applied to these international films in order to argue that the Western can be understood to be a truly global genre.’

This book features a good number of mostly black and white pictures (there are 4 pages of colour pictures in the centre). The emphasis appears to be on Australian Westerns, a variety of South American Westerns, Japanese Westerns, Social Bandit Westerns, Outlaw Westerns and Landscape though American and Italian Westerns do get a mention too. I don’t read German so cannot offer any further insight into this book’s content.