One of the only post-modern westerns that I know of. And, yeah, some might say Cormac McCarthy but he' s more of a modernist-primitive or something. Robert Coover, best known for "The Public Burning," takes on one of America's signature genres and recasts the tropes and cliches as a kind of absurdist drama reminiscent at times of Beckett and Kafka. By turns bloody and surreal, Coover hits on a singular mix of the profane and the baroque for his dialogue (conveniently presented without quotation marks, something McCarthy does too), which anticipates "Deadwood." It is hard to tell whether he genuinely likes the genre and is taking it apart out of love or if he has contempt for it and is killing it with irony and farce. At times it reminded me of Jarmusch's acid western "Dead Man." Interesting, at the very least. Other modern takes on the western: McCarthy, of course, "True Grit," "Butcher's Crossing," "The Brothers Sisters."
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