Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I'm later than usual tonight because someone stole the seat off my bicycle! Why would anyone want a bike seat? Had to get it to the bike shop, get a new stem and seat, and a seat lock. I didn't even know there was such a thing. It's a little plastic thingy that won't allow anyone to remove the seat from the bike frame (though if the person has a knife on them the "lock" is history). So now I'm ready to ride again. Yee-haw! That brings me to The Virginian (nice segue don't you think?). The Slaves of Golconda are suddenly realizing it's the middle of April and discussion on the book begins April 30th. Where has the time gone? Anyone is welcome to become a Slave. If you have a blog, post about the book on April 30th, then post your post a second time at Metaxucafe before you mosey over to the forum discussion. If you don't have a blog, that's fine too, just go straight to the forum. I believe it was Sylvia who requested awhile back that if someone has the Barnes and Noble edition to post the questions from the back of the book. So here you go Sylvia and all the rest of you Slaves. Some food for thought while you read:

  1. The Virginian is still a good read, and a good western is still a good movie. Just the same, there is no doubt that the western, novel or movie, has lost some of its appeal. It no longer seems as relevant, no longer seems to move large audiences on some mythic level as it once did. Why is that, do you think? Have the times changed so that the western story is no longer ours? Are there other genres whose themes more accurately capture our world today?
  2. The Virginian and other westerns are sometimes read as repudiations of the cult of domesticity that dominated American culture in the nineteenth century, and therefore as an assertion of regenerate masculinity over women and femininity. Does The Virginian read that way to you?
  3. Like Mario Puzo's mafiosi, Wister's Virginian has an archaic sense of honor. Does Wister give us any hint of where that sense comes from? Does the cowboy life itself promote this?
  4. ----There is a spoiler in this one------ If you were there at the wedding of the Virginian and Molly, would you have predicted a happy marriage? Are they truly suited to each other? What problems would you have foreseen?
Now, choose one of the questions and write a five-paragraph essay. Your first paragraph should contain a thesis statement somewhere around sentence four. Your final paragraph should be a nice summing up. The three paragraphs in between should each discuss one important aspect of your thesis. You should have at least one quote from the text to help illustrate your thesis. Spelling and grammar count. And be sure to title your paper.