By James Ward Lee
For the 1st 1/2 the 20th century, Texas literature, tradition, and folklore have been ruled by way of J. Frank Dobie, the fellow Lon Tinkle known as "Mr. Texas." Dobie's Texas was once a land of exuberance and romance, a time whilst Texas was once happy with itself and no longer loath to allow the realm realize it. however the tradition of the country replaced within the Sixties, and the determine who changed Dobie because the dominant Texas author and literary icon was once Larry McMurtry. The Texas of Larry McMurtry is a much various panorama. The previous certainties have been changed via irony and cultural revolution. The excessive, broad, and good-looking posture of Texans was once muted by way of politics, scholar unrest, and warfare. within the first essays during this volume--"The Age of Dobie" and "The Age of McMurtry"--James Ward Lee areas the writers, the politicians, and the cultural leaders within the context of every age. next chapters speak about writers and developments in Texas literature. Lee discusses long-standing arguments approximately Texas literature and surveys our bodies of labor that experience had an influence on it. one other a part of the booklet appears to be like at Texas folklore and tradition. "The makes use of of Folklore," "The Folkways of the Arklatex," "Texas: Land of Legends and Myths," and "The Texas Sidekick" all learn the way in which Texans stay and paintings and notice the realm. the ultimate component to the booklet is made from a few own essays through a guy whose rules and attitudes are often atypical yet regularly funny. Lee writes of the lifestyles he has led in Texas as a school professor and takes a backward examine his lifestyles from boyhood to provider within the U.S. military.
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Additional info for Adventures With a Texas Humanist
It is true that Dobie became nationally famous with his magazine articles, his books, and his anthologies after 1920, but many of the early writers enjoyed some small national attention. Sweet and Knox turned Texas Siftings from a regional to a national publication and moved it to New York. It was reprinted in England and even translated into German. O. Henry’s 1907 publication Hearts of the West included some of his Texas stories and was nationally popular, and Mollie Moore Davis’s novels and poems were published and read nationally.
Ragsdale tells how Dobie pushed for the inclusion of Larry Chittenden, the cowboy who authored the famous doggerel verse so beloved of Texans, “The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball” (99–101, passim). During the Centennial year, Texas spent a great deal of money setting up the state fairgrounds in Dallas for the main exposition and building monuments and establishing museums all over the state. ) The center of Centennial events was Dallas, but the flamboyant newspaper publisher and Texas booster Amon Carter staged a counter celebration, the Centennial Frontier Fair in Fort Worth, that included Paul Whiteman and his orchestra, a dazzling array of showgirls, rodeos, fan dancer Sally Rand, and Billy Rose’s Casa Mañana show.
These heroes have over the years passed into myth and have achieved near godlike status—at least in the minds of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and descendants of the Old Three Hundred. Early books about Texas made Bigfoot Wallace a figure of legend like Paul Bunyan. And Josiah Wilbarger, the man who was scalped and lived to tell about it, has moved into legend so that people who don’t even remember the story know that some famous Texan of eons ago lost his scalp to the Indians and survived to have a county named after him.
Adventures With a Texas Humanist by James Ward Lee