By John Beck
Because international warfare II, the yank West has turn into the nation’s army arsenal, proving flooring, and disposal web site. via a wide-ranging dialogue of contemporary literature produced in and in regards to the West, soiled Wars explores how the region’s iconic landscapes, invested with myths of nationwide advantage, have obscured the West’s the most important position in a post–World battle II age of “permanent war.” In readings of western—particularly southwestern—literature, John Beck presents a traditionally trained account of the way the military-industrial economic climate, validated to guard the USA after Pearl Harbor, has as an alternative produced western waste lands and “waste populations” because the enemies and collateral casualties of an everlasting nation of emergency. Beck bargains new readings of writers comparable to Cormac McCarthy, Leslie Marmon Silko, Don DeLillo, Rebecca Solnit, Julie Otsuka, and Terry Tempest Williams. He additionally attracts on quite a few resources in heritage, political idea, philosophy, environmental stories, and different fields. all through soiled Wars, he identifies resonances among various reports and representations of the West that let us to contemplate internment rules, the manufacture of atomic guns, the tradition of chilly conflict defense, border policing, and poisonous toxins as a part of a broader application of a sustained and invasive administration of western area. (20100601)
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Additional info for Dirty Wars: Landscape, Power, and Waste in Western American Literature (Postwestern Horizons)
While the Southwest is 26 the pur l oined l a ndsc a pe by no means the only part of the West transformed by post–Pearl Harbor militarization, the particularity of the Southwest’s desert spaces — its relative isolation, sparse population, and mineral wealth — has meant that it has been especially useful for the siting of some of the most deadly aspects of modern military-industrial enterprise. No geographical region is more indeterminately locatable than the Southwest, and the deﬁnition of where and what the Southwest is continues to provoke disagreement.
114 What Nel is suggesting here is that the Cold War produced contending versions of reality that, as Miller also argues, increasingly come into conﬂict with one another. ” 116 For Pynchon, American reality is intrinsically split, producing an ideologically contained reality of the visible world (the world made possible by the descendants of the Puritan “saints”) that exists alongside an uncanny invisible world of the preterite, the abjected outcasts and strangers of the dominant order. These economically and socially unwanted “other” populations, in their structural relation with the elect, function to deﬁne the elect by negation.
32 Increasingly, the marginal, land-based communities described by writers like McCarthy, Anaya, and Silko found themselves adjacent to, if not consumed by, New Western corporate hubs like DeLillo’s Phoenix. ” 34 Military spending in particular underpinned the West’s economic and political ascendancy. 36 The military’s nuclear program also reshaped the region’s extraction industries, with the federally sponsored Atomic Energy Commission creating an artiﬁcial uranium-mining boom during the 1950s when the mineral was found in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, and on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.