The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Observer Observes McMurtry's Unnatural Observation on Place

The Texas Observer's role in disturbing the burial place of Texas literature is paid a light revivival within its "A Novelist in Full" by Azita Osamloo.

While pawing through the remains of a separate dilemma, Osamloo states,
"The dilemma calls to mind the 1981 Observer essay in which Larry McMurtry took his fellow Texas writers to task for “paying too much attention to nature, not enough to human nature.” "

Yes, that would partially account for McMurtry's differing sensibilities, his separation from nature, and his documentation of Texans' collective separation.

Now that our separation from nature is acknowledged by climate change, one wonders when our novelists will document our going back home again, back to the plains, the ponds, the forests, the highlands, and the marshlands.

Somewhere I seem to remember that I read an account of Edward Abbey, an, ahem, activitst environmentalist and writer, and that account included a portion of his childhood maybe in or around San Antonio in the custody of his mother and her some sort of emotionally intense religious committment. Could that intensive religiosity have transferred into his own firebrand label? If that were plausible, could we lay some claim to him as a Texas writer - that is, if his time here and some of his influences are significantly derived from here?

Such a connection, if we successful transit to it, may offer a basis for other surreal or otherwise odd literary passersby.

It's unfashionable to claim Conan the Barbarian as a Texan, despite the author's clear Texan citizenship and the outlandish bragadaccio of Conan being suggestive of the often larger-than-life Texan profile (even in something so simple as that Lions movie with the two brothers on their old Texas farm).

And there's Anne Rice and her previous vampirial narratives. She met and matured and married with a young Texan who went on to be a significant surrealist poet. She and he were close kins in their literature. Is vampirism so distant from surreal poetry? Her husband's Texas roots sucked up something to push him onward when "feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace" (terribly misquoting Browning). But could Anne have sunk her teeth properly without her Texas influence?

While Conan and vampires are beyond the realm of real nature, they are still bound to it by their very primitive and visceral existences - hence still deferring to nature.

Even Cormac McCarthy's work begins and lives deep within natural impulses and terrains - The Road being one of the ultimate places, merging the internal novel with the external.

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