Library's relic program features the American West

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Ascension Parish Library hosts a six-week series of readings and discussions entitled “The American West in Fact and Fiction” as their annual Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) series sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and funded by the library. 

”The American West in Fact and Fiction” meets each Tuesday starting September 11 and concluding on Tuesday, October 16, from 6-8 PM, at the library’s Gonzales location, 708 S. Irma Boulevard.  Readers who are interested in committing to the program must register in advance, either in person or by calling the library at 647-3955.  Every reader receives a set of program books to check out, so they must have a current library card or apply for one.  Registration is limited and begins Monday, August 13.

Charles Elliott, Professor of Louisiana History at Southeastern Louisiana University, leads discussions on four novels: The Brave Cowboy by Edward Abbey,Fools Crow by James Welch, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West by Patricia Nelson Limerick, and Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey.  A review of the novels will place them in relationship to each other and suggest major themes that readers will consider in the program.

”The American West in Fact and Fiction” offers several perspectives on the region as a means of raising questions about the West’s symbolic significance in the American mind and about the problems of its history.  The powerful image of the cowboy and the entire genre of the “Western,” the experience of the Native Americans, and the modern West as a society will be explored through literature and analyzed with historical materials.