MYTHIC SPACE

   Richard Slotkin defines mystic space as “a pseudohistorical (or pseudo-real) setting that is powerfully associated with stories and concerns rooted in the culture’s myth/ideological tradition” (1992, 234). In other words, all Westerns take place in a mythic space immediately recognized by viewers as “the West,” whether that “West” is the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, or the deserts of Mexico. Significantly, the cultural image of the West for most American viewers probably comes from images on the screen in Western films rather than from either fiction narrative or geographic reality.
   See also LANDSCAPE.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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