Frontier travel narratives: imagining the American West through novels.

  • 10.1079/9781786394590.0046
  • Literary tourism: theories, practice and case studies
  • p 46-56,
  • book-chapter

This chapter focuses on the role that reading novels might play in influencing how tourists imagine the American West as both a real and mythical space. It examines the myths of travel through the West through three well-known novels: The Virginian (Wister, 1902), The Dude Ranger (Grey, 1952), and The Searchers (Le May, 1954). All three instances tell the reader of crossing over into a frontier with possibilities of both danger and transformation. In analysing these narratives in detail, the chapter seeks to establish some of the core promises that are presented to the readers that may shape their future travel motivations and expectations.