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New Trends in Children's Literature Research

Twenty-first Century Approaches (2000-2012) from the University of Vigo (Spain)


Edited By Veljka Ruzicka Kenfel

The purpose of this volume is to present the scientific background of the Children’s Literature and Translation research group, which was established in 1992 at the University of Vigo. In 2006 it was awarded the category of Excellence Research Group. The scientific activities of members over the twenty years it has been in existence have contributed to improving and intensifying research into children’s literature in Spain and also to raising its scientific status. The group has strengthened collaboration with other Spanish universities and opened fruitful cooperation with foreign research centres. This book shows some new research lines we are focussing on and reflects current research trends in Children’s Literature in Spanish universities.
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The Rise and Fall of the European West for Youth: Spaghetti and Chorizo Westerns at a Glance


Javier Gil Castaño

1. Introduction

The so-called Western genre has always been a part of our lives. In the past, some kids liked imitating the classical cowboy’s way of life, playing the “good guy” who fights evil, eventually winning the lady’s love. That was a continuation of the archetypal medieval male heroes, but peppered with some specific features that have made the genre an eternal source of inspiration.

As adults, most of us have sometimes thought about the values, symbols, and even challenges that these films pose, maybe as a way of understanding why it became such an important genre, capable of making such an impact on the lives of millions for decades.

However, it is known that the different levels of influence of Western films and stories vary depending on features such as social and historical context, motion picture classification (subcategories) and cultural-idiosyncratic elements.

The main purpose of this short paper is to explain the importance of the genre and to analyse the details of the rise and fall of one of its most important subcategories, the Italian-Spanish Western (also known as Spaghetti or Chorizo Westerns for the films made in Italy and Spain, respectively). As some sort of context is always necessary to see how different phenomena develop, the main analytical focus will be on how it influenced children and young adults all throughout its Golden Age in Spain until it decayed and disappeared. Classic...

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