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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paris, Texas - the Movie

The movie is re-considered with commentary in French.
Se lancer dans la critique de son film préféré constitue une démarche très intimidante, voire inabordable. Face à l'oeuvre cinématographique qui vous a le plus touché, remué, bouleversé, comment ne pas rester, par un simple avis, en deçà de la réalité ? En effet, les mots semblent vains et incapables de traduire avec justesse l'émotion et la beauté qui transpirent de Paris, Texas, film d'une force telle qu'il me serre les tripes et me renverse l'âme à chaque vision.
Récit de la renaissance d'un homme (Travis, incarné par Harry Dean Stanton), des années après une histoire d'amour passionnelle avec Jane (Nastassja Kinski), qui l'a littéralement consumé et anéanti, le film de Wenders imprime définitivement sur la rétine, dans le coeur et dans la chair du spectateur des images, des plans, des émotions, des sensations d'une force incomparable et indescriptible. Les multiples visions de ce film me serrent irrémédiablement le coeur et me rendent physiquement fébrile tant l'histoire et sa narration parviennent à se frayer un passage jusqu'à la fibre la plus infime de mon être." 

Arte Publico Archival Collection

The UHD (University of Houston Downtown) Blog reports on the availability of the UH-based Arte Publico collection via EBSCO.

New full-text archive: Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection

"EBSCOhost has just released the Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection, a historical archive focusing on content related to Hispanic history, literature and culture in the United States. 

This new archive includes materials drawn from the "Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project," the largest national project ever to locate, preserve and disseminate Hispanic culture in its written form.  These collections include Spanish and English language books, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines from colonial times until 1960. 

Although national in scope, the Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection is particularly strong in materials reflecting Hispanic cultures in Texas. These Texas materials include accounts of the Texas Revolution, publications on Texas government and civil rights, a selection of Texas newspapers and magazines, and more.  

Look for Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1 under Other Choices on the History and Spanish database pages of the UHD Library website."


Phil Collins and the Alamo

Yes, Phil Collins the British singer is fascinated with the Alamo. D Magazine.  Peter Simek begins his article "File this under most random celebrity obsession: British rock star, former Genesis man, and one of those rare drummer/front men, Phil Collins, has an obsession with the Alamo. In fact, he has the largest private collection of Alamo memorabilia in the world. He will be in Dallas on May 10 to speak about his life and the collection at the Dallas Historical Society. There is more information in the release after the jump (but please ignore the ridiculousness of the unqualified remark about Collins being the best drummer in the world contained therein). Also, note to Phil Collins: Begin every lecture with the drum intro from "In the Air Tonight" and your audiences will swell."  Read more about it ....

Is Holland Taylor Ann Richards?

Galveston's 1894 Grand Opera House releases this:
"The Grand 1894 Opera House will present the launch of "Money, Marbles, and Chalk" – an affectionate sketch of Ann Richards in its first version and a one-woman show starring Emmy Award-winning stage and screen actress, Holland Taylor.  Celebrating a "darling daughter of Texas", this production is scheduled for a limited engagement, May 14-16.  Show times are Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday matinee, 2pm."  Read more at

And who says Galveston lost its sense of purpose and humor in the hurricane?

Is Kathleen Turner Molly Ivins?

Maria Recio reports for the McClatchy Newspapers

Texas Mystery Month - May

Make Mine Mystery posts activities throughout the state for "Texas Mystery Month" under the title "Texas Mystery Month, Mark Troy."  It begins
"Twelve years ago, the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter came up with the idea of celebrating mysteries in Texas in the month of May. Twelve years later, that idea is still going strong. So, if you write mysteries or if you like mysteries, Texas is the place to be in May. Here is the lineup of events, courtesy of Sarah Ann Robertson, of HoTXSinC. I, personally, would love to welcome you to College Station, Texas on May 1.
Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter is pleased to announce the
Twelfth Annual 2010 Texas Mystery Month in May. Texas Mystery Month is a community service project of Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Project. The purpose of Texas Mystery Month is to spotlight Texas Mystery Authors. All Texas Mystery Authors are invited to participate.
Texas Mystery Month events include panel discussions, book signings, author presentations and more. Austin, College Station, Houston, San Antonio and Seguin are celebrating Texas Mystery Authors with activities in May, Texas Mystery Month."  Read more about it:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Texas Observer Writers Festival Lacunae

The Rag Blog
Dick Reavis in the "Rag Blog" posts a telling commentary on the Texas Observer "Writers' Festival." Re the lack of Tejano or African Texan authors.  The numerous comments that followed are equally instructive.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Southern Methodist University Press to Die?

   Michael Merschel in his "Texas Pages" at the Dallas News brings news about the apparent closing of the venerated Southern Methodist University Press, est. 1937 and still quite active.  He begins
"The future of the award-winning Southern Methodist University Press is at risk today after university provost Paul W. Ludden announced plans to suspend operations for budgetary reasons. (Link is to today's Dallas Morning News story.)
Ludden noted that "challenging budgetary times" are when "difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions must be made." He said that "By suspending operations rather than closing the press with finality, we retain the option to resume the press in a renewed form in the future."
Mark Long's comment regarding the reversion of copyright control to the original authors is point to remember -- for the authors and potential re-printing by other presses.
The Parlor wonders if this will be followed by a re-start with only digital publishing as did Rice University recently.
Read more about it :

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TEKS Watch

Inquiring minds may wish to follow UTEP's
"The state of Texas is currently revising its K-12 social studies Texas curriculum. The process begins with the standards--known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)--and will then move on to textbooks, testing, and educator certification.

TEKSWatch exists to educate citizens--in Texas and the nation--and encourage them to participate in the conversation."

Texas Wildflowers by Slight Clutter


Texas Wildflowers by slight clutter

Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Texas Wildflowers [saturated] by slight clutter.

Slight Clutter's original caption: "Took off on a hunt for wildflowers yesterday. My search took me to Brenham, Texas. This photo was taken alongside the road near an overpass.

I have to add that I suffered greatly for my "art," leaving Brenham with at least four dreadfully painful fire ant bites. Oh, but don't worry, they got there's in the end -- I promise you. mwahaahaahaahaa! "

Journal of Texas Women Writers

 Journal of Texas Women Writers  a digital Journal
Description from the Texas Digital Library page:  "Journal of Texas Women Writers (JoTWW) is an online, peer-reviewed, biannual journal dedicated to fostering Texas women's writing and to studying texts by Texas women writers. JoTWW publishes creative writing (nonfiction, fiction, poetry, etc.) by women writers from or currently living in Texas, scholarly articles about the lives and texts of women writers from Texas and/or women writers who have lived for significant periods in Texas, brief encyclopedic entries on cultural issues relevant to Texas women's writing, as well as reviews of creative, critical, and biographical studies that include Texas women writers. JoTWW's critical articles focus on well-known Texas women writers, such as Katherine Anne Porter (below), Sandra Cisneros, Mary Karr, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, on lesser-known Texas women writers (such as Dorothy Scarborough, Jane Gilmore Rushing, and Naomi Shihab Nye), and on non-Texas women writers whose texts are set in—or are in some way related to—Texas."
Vol. 1 No. 2 (2009) Table of Contents

Vol 1, No 2 (2009)

Digital Collections - Texas History, Literature, etc.

The Texas Digital Library ( ) connects you to a variety of colleges' digital collections.
See some sample stories at
The TDL Conference is May 17-18
TCDL 2010 logo

State Preservation Plan - 10 year review

Tracey Silverman passes along this news.

Logo for the Texas Historical Commission Statewide Plan




Every 10 years, the THC and our partners develop a Statewide Preservation Plan for Texas. This is an important opportunity to lay a pathway for Texans to preserve, protect and leverage our historic and cultural assets for the betterment of our communities. We envision this plan being a dynamic, web-based tool loaded with resources, best practices, case studies and local applications. It will have an eye toward achievable goals and activities that we can all implement at the local, regional and state level. But in order for this plan to be about you, we need your help. Here are two easy ways you can get involved:


1.      Come to a planning forum. We'll be in your neck of the woods this summer, so mark your calendars for a statewide planning forum near you. Get up to date details on these forums, including printable flyers, by visiting our meetings page.

·         Canyon - May 20, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

·         Canton - May 25, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Canton Plaza Museum

·         Beaumont - June 15, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse

·         El Paso - June 28, 6-8:30 p.m.  (location TBD)

·         Alpine - June 29, evening reception; June 30, planning forum, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Big Bend

·         Brownsville - July 15, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Alonso Building

·         San Angelo - July 22, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Cactus Hotel

·         Austin - July 28, 4-6:30 p.m. (location TBD)

RSVP to any of these meetings by contacting Rebecca Orr at or 512.936.9615.

2.      Visit our blog! We recently launched the Statewide Plan blog as a tool to keep everyone informed and involved. You'll find information about the plan and work to date, our draft themes/issues, news, resources and ways to get involved. We envision the blog to be an open dialogue about historic preservation, the challenges we face and the opportunities we can harness through a statewide plan. Come often and share what's on your mind.

We look forward to your participation!


Tracey Silverman, Agency Planner, Administrative Division, Texas Historical Commission, P.O. Box 12276, Austin, TX 78711-2276, 512.936.9615.

Monday, May 03, 2010

1813 Texas Revolution

Somos Austin    

For Austin historian, Tejano declaration has special meaning

"Every year since 2007, history scholars and history buffs dressed in period costumes of the early 1800s gather to re-enact a forgotten piece of the story of Texas — the declaration by Tejano settlers of the first Republic of Texas on April 6, 1813.
As he prepares to commemorate that history again tomorrow in San Antonio — at 2 p.m. in front of the Spanish Governor's Palace, 105 Plaza de Armas — historian Dan Arellano says the fourth-annual Tejano Declaration of Independence re-enactment has even more meaning this time.
If the social studies curriculum endorsed by the State Board of Education is approved next month, the First Republic won't be overlooked anymore, at least not in Texas schoolbooks, said Arellano, the president of the Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin. The Austin group co-sponsors the re-enactment with the Bexareno Genealogy Society of San Antonio."

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Lone Star Lit 101

Cyndi   Cindy Hughes , Executive Director of the Writers League of Texas and founding director of the Texas Book Festival, provides an interesting list of Texas authors from the previous two decades in the "Dog Canyon."  She calls it "Lone Star Lit 101."  Includes literature, history,  a wide variety of literary forms: Bestsellers, Prize winners, Westerns, Children's books, Poets, Journalists, Texas Monthly, Dang Good Books, Mysteries, Inspirational, Grand Dames, Romances, Science Fiction, and Historians. About 70 authors in all.
She says "Unlike so-called Southern literature, which tends to focus on family, the history of the south, and even race and Gothic mystique, Texas lit doesn't have a distinctive Texas voice or typical subject matter. That is quite okay with me. Why should Texas writers echo one another and all be forced to write about Texas? I would argue that the fact that Texas writers crank out such an amazing variety of books makes our literary scene the most vibrant in the whole United States. Take that, Big Apple!"
Folks at the Parlor and Bookshelf suggest that the lack of a distinctive voice simply marks Texas as a large and diverse community where the wide open spaces also reflect the wide open minds of Texans.

Retro / Metro Texas

Michael B. Ennis provides and interesting essay on old Texas and new Texas under the title "No Hat, No Cattle" via Texas Monthly.

DRT Elaine Davis Award

News from "Inside the Gates" at the Alamo:

"The Daughters of The Republic of Texas Library is now accepting applications for the 2010 Elaine B. Davis Research Award.
Professors, undergraduates, graduate students, genealogists, and independent scholars interested in using the library's unique materials for research are encouraged to apply. The Davis Award provides one grant of $400. The winning applicant must use the funds to offset travel, lodging, and photocopy costs incurred in the course of conducting research at the DRT Library."  Read more about it: