The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Doughty finds a rich vein of geographic references in the memoirs of
Texas pioneers, early travel narratives, reports of explorers, and the
prolific writings of proponents and detractors of Texas. These sources
permit Doughty to trace the burgeoning sense of Texas as both a spatial
geographic "place" as well as a "historic" locale based upon the shared
pioneering experience.
At Home in Texas touches upon the relationship that exists between
the regional imagery and identity that can be gleaned from original
documents and the perpetuation of these images by some of Texas's
finest contemporary writers. Doughty notes how A. C. Greene, Elmer
Kelton, Dorothy Scarborough, and others successfully incorporate the
accepted currency of these geographic symbols into their writing, and
how those symbols give these writers such a special resonance with their
readers. Perhaps no contemporary Texas fiction does this better than
Robert Flynn's masterful Wanderer Springs (published after At Home in
Texas in 1987) where historical experience and locale combine to pro-
vide an overwhelming sense of belonging to a specific cultural and geo-
graphic setting.
At Home in Texas is a provocative work that will prompt further such
studies. I hope that Doughty or other scholars will extend this type of
analysis to more areas of the Southwest and to the Great Plains. Also
Doughty's evaluation of geographic imagery in literature could be ex-
tended fruitfully to depictions of regions in art and in cinema.
Center for Western Studies JOSEPH C. PORTER
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha
Lost zn West Texas. By Jim W. Corder. (College Station, Tex.: Texas
A&M University Press, 1988. Pp. 116. Illustrations. $14.95.)
More Tales of the Bag Bend. By Elton Miles. (College Station, Tex.: Texas
A&M University Press, 1988. Pp. 288. Preface, illustrations, notes,
index. $12.95, paper.)
Jim Corder's Lost in West Texas is a "growing-up-in-Texas" book that
emphasizes the impact of time and place on a childhood. The time was
the 1930s, the place the area in and around the Croton Breaks in
Dickens, Kent, King, and Stonewall counties. This lonely, arid, rugged
(and some might say God-forsaken) country is lovingly described and
mentally re-created by Corder, who grew up there but who has spent
much of his adult life in Fort Worth, where he is on the English faculty
at Texas Christian University.
Born on a farm outside Jayton, Corder admits to having listed his
birthplace over the years as either Spur, Jayton, or Aspermont. How

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed September 21, 2014.