Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Deerslayer's Back


Slotkin's award winning classic from the 70's: Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 I yanked my copy from way back in the shelf after prompting by two things. An email from a UU Minister announcing a series on Peace Making and violence that mentioned the dark side of life (yep, the dark and bloody ground the hunter plunges into in, and whow I hope the Minister realizes there is an American mindset out there sort of intrigued by that. A mindset fed by the Literature Slotkin masterfully reviews in his book.)

Then I saw Hurt Locker. Reviewed here by Michael Totten. The final scene is the hero returning to Iraq on day one of his second 365 day deployment. Images of him walking off the C-17 and then walking off alone in his EOD gear. (I couldn't find that final image, which is him walking away from the camera; but above pic is close enough.)

My emotion was that's exactly what I felt when I deployed. Guilt from leaving your family and pride knowing you were doing something not many could do (in my case keeping the books straight in a combat zone). My brain told me that image --playing with my emotion-- was Slokin's Deerslayer walking off into the Dark and Bloody ground, and while Slotkin's book fun to read criticism, there's nothing regenerative about it.

Anyway, the Deerslayer's back. Time to reread Slotkin.

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