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By James Ward Lee

For the 1st half the 20 th century, Texas literature, tradition, and folklore have been ruled via 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 used to be happy with itself and no longer loath to allow the area are aware of it. however the tradition of the nation replaced within the Nineteen 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 varied panorama. The previous certainties have been changed by means of irony and cultural revolution. The excessive, huge, and good-looking posture of Texans used to be muted via 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 traits in Texas literature. Lee discusses long-standing arguments approximately Texas literature and surveys our bodies of labor that experience had an effect on it. one other a part of the booklet appears 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 research the way in which Texans dwell and paintings and spot the realm. the ultimate component of the e-book is made from a few own essays by way of a guy whose rules and attitudes are often ordinary yet regularly funny. Lee writes of the existence he has led in Texas as a school professor and takes a backward examine his lifestyles from boyhood to carrier within the U.S. army.

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This best-known of all bibliographies on Texas writing has little to say about literature but a great deal to say about Texas life. It points us to books about the heroes and legends of Texas, certainly that part of Texas that was most western. There are lists of books on flora and fauna, nature and naturalists, stagecoaches, pioneers of all sorts, cattle and cowboys, and folktales and songs. Only two of the chapters are devoted to literature. Dobie has about four pages in his chapter called “Fiction, Mostly Modern” and two pages on poetry and drama.

Old students of Dobie still remember his course and praise him as the most influential teacher they ever had at Austin. ” Dobie replied that even if the literature was scant, the region was bursting with life. It was, if you consider that the Texas and Southwest that Dobie loved and taught was the world of cattle drives and javelinas and outlaws. But it was only partly from this academic platform that Dobie began the career that ushered in the Age of Dobie. In 1914, he joined the Texas Folklore Society, which was barely five years old, 14 t h e ag e o f d o b i e and by the early twenties, Dobie was secretary-editor of the organization and had imprinted his particular stamp on it, a stamp that is still part of the mythology of the Texas Folklore Society.

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.

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