The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

find trenchant expression in vintage McMurtry. It is, nevertheless, a
pity that he is included in the collection only by indirection. The
Texas Literary Tradition is not a good read in the way that Mc-
Murtry's In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas is a good read.
The collection does have instructional value for those outside Texas.
It is significant that the fiction of Texas, not its poetry or drama, was
the focus of the gathering. The choice of fiction follows from the in-
fluence on Texas literature of the old guard-J. Frank Dobie, Webb,
and Roy Bedichek-who made Texans think western, at least when
they wrote. Bill Moyers's recent portrayal of Marshall, Texas, his
hometown, as the inaugural segment in his television series about twen-
tieth-century America, reminded the rest of the nation how southern
Texas can be. The popular symbols of the state are so decidedly
western that the essays on the old southern order provide a good cor-
rective. While the Texas of the western frontier is passing, too, its spe-
cial genre, the Western, gets a sympathetic analysis from Elmer Kelton
in his essay "The Western and the Literary Ghetto." The health of
the Western testifies to the fondness of many Texans for the frontier,
but more of them are now paying attention to their Mexican connec-
tions and to their burgeoning cities, as the essayists declare.
The present collection will, however, have the most point for Texans.
It exists foremost as a challenge to the writers and literary critics of the
state. In its second century, the University of Texas will play an im-
portant role in shaping Texans' views of themselves and their litera-
ture. A look back at this book when the University of Texas at Austin
celebrates its bicentennial will likely provide participants of that fu-
ture symposium with a sense of wonder, but one of satisfaction too, for
they will applaud the efforts of those who, among the contradictions
and complexities of the Texas of the 198os, thought it worthwhile to
say that in Texas writing matters.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill JOSEPH M. FLORA
Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas. Volume X, March
21 through July 25, 1835: The Ranger Rendezvous. Compiled
and edited by Malcolm D. McLean. (Arlington, Tex.: University
of Texas at Arlington Press, 1983. Pp. 6o0. Preface, introduction,
illustrations, bibliography, index, colophon. $30.)
Volume X of Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas
covers March 21, 1835, through July 25, 1835, a critical and exciting
period on the eve of the Texas Revolution. Although a few docu-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed July 22, 2014.