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Elmer Kelton

Essays and Memories

Judy Alter and James Ward Lee

Publication Year: 2011

Elmer Kelton was a modest, kind man, always willing to advise a struggling writer or write a blurb for a first time published author, or assign publishing rights to his six masterpieces to a small university press. TCU Press is grateful for Kelton's work, and this volume attempts to explore what it is that made Elmer Kelton its leading author.

Published by: TCU Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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p. VI

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1 Two Careers in One

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pp. 1-10

...redundant. Those of us who knew and loved him and listened spell-bound to speech after speech, often hearing the same stories repeated, feel that we already know about his life and career. But it seems im-and asked him, “Elmer, did you know there’s some fellow out there writing novels and using your name?” The story perfectly illustrates ...

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2 My Friend Elmer Kelton

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pp. 11-12

...with Elmer. I had stopped for a visit with him at the care center where he’d been undergoing rehab for about two months. He was propped up in his hospital bed and as he shook my hand, he admit-ted to being “a little tired” from his exercise workout that day. His family was present, and after a while our conversation turned to the ...

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3 A Eulogy

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pp. 13-18

America on April 29, 1926, at Horse Camp on the Five Wells Ranch a few miles east of Andrews, Texas. His mother often told him that it was a wet, stormy day, and the first few weeks were equally stormy for Elmer and his parents. Elmer was born prematurely, and his mother kept him in a shoebox, often in the oven, in order to keep him warm ...

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4 Journalism’s Influence on Elmer Kelton’s Fiction

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pp. 19-32

...shy of fifty-eight, to be precise, though the first few of those years are a little sketchy. He was my dad, so with your indulgence, that’s how I will refer to him here. It would feel a bit awkward to call him Elmer, and he always insisted that Mr. Kelton was his father, my As far back as I can recall, he worked at a newspaper during the ...

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5 “Hang and Rattle”: Change and Endurance inThe Time It Never Rained

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pp. 33-56

...he knows best during the famous drought that burned up West Texas from 1950 to 1957. Those were seven remarkable years, but there is no doubt that Kelton’s part of Texas has always been dry country. As he says in Living and Writing in West Texas, drought is “a steady boarder who may stray for a little while but always comes home for ...

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6 Convergence: Race and Ethnicity in the Work of Elmer Kelton

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pp. 57-74

...ful Land suggests the theme that runs through the novels of Elmer Kelton. Miller calls the region of Kelton’s works, “The bleached bone laid on the huge heart of the continent.” The 1972 book, edited by Al Lowman, the great Texas bibliophile, contains essays, rec-ollections, and descriptions of a land that is indeed bitterly beautiful. ...

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7 The Hewey Calloway Trilogy

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pp. 75-92

The Time it Never Rained, but his favorite character is Hewey Calloway. Hewey, he says, reminded him of all the old “fiddle-footed” cowboys he he writes in the introduction to the TCU Press reprint of The Good to the ranch looking for a job. In the 1930s they were likely to be driving a battered old coupe, but in outlook and spirit they ...

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8 Reading Instead of Roping, Writing Instead of Ranching, and Qualifying for Walrus Hunter: Humor in Elmer Kelton

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pp. 93-122

ELMER KELTON HAS CERTAINLY come a long way. From being totally ignored in Larry McMurty’s influential essay “Ever a Bridegroom: Reflections on the Failure of Texas Literature” in the Texas Observer in 1981, to being voted the greatest Western writer of all time by Western Writers of America

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9 Elmer Kelton Speaks Out . . . On the History of the Western Novel

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pp. 123-128

THE WESTERN HAD ITS BEGINNINGS with the “penny dreadfuls” of Ned Buntline and others in the actual frontier period. It could be said to go back even to David Crockett and his almanac and the frontier tradition of the tall tale. But it really began to take on form with the Buntline period. These...

10 A Basic Bibliography of Books by Elmer Kelton

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pp. 129-132

About the Contributors

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p. 133

E-ISBN-13: 9780875654492
E-ISBN-10: 0875654495
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875654263
Print-ISBN-10: 0875654266

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 794700264
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Elmer Kelton

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Subject Headings

  • Kelton, Elmer -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Western stories -- History and criticism.
  • Texas -- In literature.
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