Is the American West in Sergio Leonea's ai??spaghetti westernsai?? the same American West we find in Douglas Couplanda's Generation X? In Jim Jarmuscha's movies? In Calexicoa's music? Or is the American West as this book tells us a constantly moving mutating idea within a complex global culture? And what precisely (or better yet imprecisely) does it mean?Using Gilles Deleuze and FA(c)lix Guattaria's concept of the rhizome Neil Campbell shows how the West (or west-ness) continually breaks away from a mainstream notion of American ai??rootednessai?? and renews and transforms itself in various cultural forms. A region long traversed by various transient peoples (from tribes and conquerors to immigrants traders and trappers) the West reflects a mythic quest for settlement permanence and synthesisa"even notions of a national or global identitya"at odds with its rootless history culture and nature. Crossing the concept of ai??rootsai?? with ai??routesai?? this book shows how notions of the Westa"in representations ranging from literature and film to photography music and architectural theorya"give expression to ideas about identity nationhood and belonging in a world increasingly defined by movement across time and borders.
The Rhizomatic West offers a new vision of the American West as a hybrid performative space a staging place for myriad intersecting and constantly changing identities.