In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

468Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril of the state, longtime friends or students, teachers of environmental or Texas literature, or admirers. Following Busby's introduction to Graves, transcripts of a symposium and an interview with Graves at Texas State University in 2002 give the reader a personal sense of both man and work, providing a background for what others have to say about Graves. The next section contains essays written especially for this volume by friends of Graves, some of them fellow writers, each a tribute to man and author . The last and longest section is a collection of nine critical essays looking at style, theme, and technique in the works ofJohn Graves. These range from editor Dixon's essay situating Goodbye to a Riverwithin the tradition of environmental literature extending back to Thoreau to Cory Lock's consideration of Graves's long relationship widi Texas Monthly and the incongruity ofthe "fast-paced, progressive, urban" magazine publishing the "reflective, traditional, and rural" essays Graves contributed (p. 207). As a former English teacher, I was especially drawn to Dickie Maurice Heaberlin 's witty "Of Dachshunds and Dashes" which compares John Graves and E. B. White. Heaberlin finds similarities in the paths they followed in life (writing for top Eastern magazines including The New Yorker, and then leaving die city for farms) and in their selection of topics (rural landscapes and dieir animals, especially the beloved dachshunds each owned), and unifies the essay by discussing both writers as "dash-hounds," frequendy employing the dash in their writing. According to the author, each man was a "maverick, seeking to and succeeding in writing clear, highly textured prose" who announced his independence from tradition, in part through the extensive use of dashes (p. 167). Heaberlin includes appendices of examples of each man's prose and the way he used the dash. Busby and Dixon obviously intend the work to be a tribute to John Graves, but the result is an honest appraisal of a life's work. Contributors do not ignore the precarious position Graves has as an environmentalist who is not political, the problem ofgender in Graves's work, and the thorny relationships Graves had with editors, especially those at The Texas Monthly. The volume also includes comprehensive bibliographies of the works of Graves and of articles about him, making this an invaluable resource for any Graves scholar. Ifyou are an admirer ofJohn Graves, this volume will be a pleasure; ifyou aren't familiar with him, you will discover he is someone you want to get to know. For as Busbywrites, while Graves is a regional Texas writer, "his work reveals his strong sense of the integral relationship between the particular and the universal" (p. 2). East Tennessee State UniversityJean Shepherd Hamm Literary Austin. Edited by Don Graham. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 2007. Pp. 478. Selected bibliography, index. ISBN 978-0-87565-342-6. $29.50, cloth.) The emergence of a literary culture in twentieth-century Texas has given us more than bestselling novelists. It has also provided "eyewitness literature" that helps document our social history. Such writing is the focus oĆ­Literary Austin, a new 2??8Book Reviews469 andiology published by TCU Press, which has previously issued Literary Fort Worth and plans future volumes on Dallas, El Paso, and West Texas. Literary Austin is edited by Don Graham, who is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor at the University of Austin and knows the state's literature better dian anyone. In Literary Austin, Graham seeks to define the city through its "three dominant features": government, education, and natural beauty (p. xiii). The selections are arranged in a roughly chronological order, and along the way, readers become immersed in such Austin institutions as die Scholz Garten, Whole Foods, and Barton Springs, the natural swimming hole that "soothes die soul ofman and becomes the soul of die city eternal" (p. 29). Yet it is die University ofTexas diat comes to cast the largestshadowover the book. Numerous writers are given ample space in which to recall theirfavorite professors, their favorite classes, and keymoments atwhich theybecame introduced to ideas. Numerous otherselections are contributed by Graham's colleagues in die university's English and Creative Writing departments. Meanwhile...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 468-469
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.