chapter  3
Deforming America’s Western Imaginary 1
Pages 36

One of the legacies of the western political theory canon is the myth that the modern state emerged as a historically evolving contract in which individuals, seeking to avoid getting caught up in a war of everyman against every man, assent to a centralized authority. While Foucault's historical field of reference is the European continent, a similar and compelling case has been made for the US, whose realization as a nation-state on the North American continent is attributed by Richard Slotkin to the rule of the gun. The Searchers partakes of the traditional Euro American patriotism, inaugurated in the silent westerns and continued in the classic ones. The author shows how a state-centric macro-level politics fails to register the continuing micropolitical struggles of Native American peoples. Much of the imagery caught by Wenders's still camera in his western journey is central to cinematic West in Paris, Texas, in which many of the shots exhibit America's contemporary name-dominated habitus.