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Reviews 373 What delights, then, is not so much the subject of Foote’s art as it is the artistry of his depiction. “Since the early 1940s,” Wood says, “the plays of Horton Foote have been praised for the truthfulness of their language and characterization, for their realistic portrait of the Coastal Southeast Texas he knows so well. They have been favorably compared with the dramas of Strindberg, Ibsen and Chekhov . . .” (xiii). Amen! JAMES H. MAGUIRE Boise State University Frederic Remington— Selected Letters. Edited by Allen P. Splete and Marilyn D. Splete. (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988. 487 pages, $29.95.) The title of one of Remington’s own books, Men With the Bark On (1900), is better suited to this collection of letters to and from the artist-author than the accurate but unimaginative title it bears. The more than five hundred letters included in the volume give a vivid sense of the man in his times, from his boyhood to his death in 1909. Even as a youth, Remington was a prolific correspondent, and the letters selected, ranging from business letters and pro forma notes to relatives to others uproariously personal and uninhibited, do, indeed, show him with the bark on. Making their choices from over a thousand extant letters, the Spletes organize the materials into seven chapters: “The Formative Years 1861-1884,” “Visions of the West 1884-1889,” “The Recognized Illustrator and Beyond 1889-1894,” “Getting to See a War 1894-1899,” “Visible at Last 1894-1902,” “Fame 1900-1907,” and “A Brief Last Hurrah 1907-1909.” Each chapter opens with a historical narrative placing the letters in context, while footnotes gloss allusions or references; letters themselves occur more or less chronologic­ ally, but are clustered in groups when a particular development (e.g., Rem­ ington’s exchanges with Owen Wister as they work on “The Evolution of the Cowpuncher” [1895]) merits following in sequence. In the letters we see the self-consciously professional artist-illustrator at work, roaming the West in cold-blooded search of materials and imploring his correspondents to send him details and photographs. We see the political and military figure discussing frontier tactics with Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, exchanging views with Theodore Roosevelt and blithely suggesting improve­ ments in military materiel to General Nelson A. Miles. And, more than any­ thing else, we see the living person in his element, wrestling constantly with problems of drink and his waistline (his wife endearingly refers to the threehundred -pound Remington as “Darlin” ), relishing the good things that fame brings, and dashing off unbuttoned, ill-spelled, irreverent letters to friends everywhere. Frederic Remington— Selected Letters, in short, is not a book to read at a sitting, but it is one worth repeated sampling. With all it reveals about Remington in his times, it belongs in the library of every student of western art and letters. FRED ERISMAN Texas Christian University ...


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