The labor of typing out a story that could be told effortlessly and pleasantly, in appreciative company, often wreaks havoc with their prose. Unfortunately, great raconteurs who are also writers are all too often sloppy when they go to write down the stories they tell so well.
Joyce wrote about Dublin while living in Paris. Even though McMurtry is from that country and culture more specifically Wichita Falls, which stars in a moving essay on his own family history at the endhe has no illusions that the townsfolk are any kind of "salt of the earth" types.
Published inthis essay collection, which is really a single meandering intellectual journey occasionally interrupted by chapter breaks, moves from film to literature to travel to family history, but its subject is always McMurtry and his thoughts on Texas, both as a real place and as a subject.
McMurtry wrote about Texas while living in DC. The contrast between how we see our state and what outsiders see is amusingly highlighted in the first essay, where the locals of a tiny Texas town are star-struck by the arrival of Paul Newman filming Hud.
As someone born in the time he writes about, I saw the tail end of what McMurtry focuses on -- the end of cowboy culture as it transitioned to suburban culture.
Portis, who was from Arkansas, would probably be quite amused by the description of the fiddling competition in east Texas, which contains many of the same characters that Arkansas does.
For example, his decidedly equivocal thoughts on the great Texas literary trinity of Dobie, Webb, and Bedichek might have seemed sacrilegious at the time, when the three were getting schools, buildings, and professorial chairs named after them.
In a Narrow Grave offers insight to Texas, both from a certain window of time during the LBJ administration, and universally. They all went to the suburbs, or to small towns that, by the s, were imitating suburbs.
I really enjoyed these pieces, but he finds the most appropriate analogy himself: At heart they are usually impatient with the written word and feel that it is a weak substitute for the human voice. In their hands it usually is. And, Naturally the infamously unsentimental author of the "Ever a Bridegroom" essay on the deplorable state of Texas literature would be loath to contain his opinions to that single broadside.
And, as Texas contains multitudes, so does this book, as it contains his thoughts on everything from cowboy movies, like the adaptation of his novel Horseman, Pass By into the film Hud, to cowboy cities like his own beloved Houston, at the time in its rapid transitional phase from collecting the dregs of the frontier to the home of the Astrodome.
Most of what he said rang true for me. However, the better part of a half-century later, his assessments seem pretty accurate, particularly in how difficult it can be for literary forces like Dobie to capture their spoken voices in the written word: When someone remarks on what a pleasant day it is out in the Hill Country, the conversation is easy and natural, but often when that same sentiment is put on the page it can seem contrived and artificial.Published inthe content of "Narrow Grave" will seem dated to some readers.
Written in the shadow of the assassination in Dallas and while another Texan was in the White House, the essays capture Texas in a period of rough transition from its rural past to its globalized present (the rise and fall of Enron would certainly have been featured in a current version of this book)/5(5).
First published inIn a Narrow Grave is the classic statement of what it means to come from Texas. In these essays, McMurtry opens a window into the past and present of America's largest state.
In these essays, McMurtry opens a window into the past and present of America's largest state/5(37). Texas cities lure country folks away from rural economies and erode our link to history.
McMurtry sees this migration as the deﬁning character of modern Texas, the source of its passion and literary conﬂict. “The brush thrives and the small towns wither,” and cowboys. In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas by McMurtry, Larry and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at fresh-air-purifiers.com The book, In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas [Bulk, Wholesale, Quantity] ISBN# in Paperback by McMurtry, Larry may be ordered in bulk quantities.
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