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Related: ego - individual - person - personal - self - entity


Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. Individualists promote the unrestricted exercise of individual goals and desires. They oppose any external interference with an individual's choices - whether by society, the state, or any other group or institution. Individualism is therefore opposed to collectivism, which stresses community and societal goals over individual goals.

Individualism has a controversial relationship with egoism (selfishness). While many individualists are egoists, they usually do not argue that selfishness is inherently good. Rather, they argue that individuals should not be constrained by any socially-imposed morality; they believe that individuals should be free to choose to be selfish (or to choose any other lifestyle) if they so desire.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualism [Aug 2006]

Western and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction in America: From High Noon to Midnight (1987) - Cynthia S. Hamilton

Western and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction in America: From High Noon to Midnight (1987) - Cynthia S. Hamilton
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Both westerns and hard-boiled detective fiction celebrate individualism. Hamilton opens her book by exposing the unfairness of treating the genres of the formulaic tradition as inferior to literary fiction.

"While high art is defined in terms of its most successful examples, popular culture is defined in terms of its lowest common determinator. While high art is defined as an individual phenomenon, popular and mass art are defined as social phenomena." --page 3

Yes, high art is about cult of personality. But the authors of popular fiction, once they ascend to a certain level of quality and popularity, are rescued from anonymity too. See Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Doyle, Stephen King, Gaston Leroux for examples.

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