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By James Ward Lee

For the 1st half the 20 th century, Texas literature, tradition, and folklore have been ruled through J. Frank Dobie, the guy Lon Tinkle referred to as "Mr. Texas." Dobie's Texas used to be a land of exuberance and romance, a time while Texas was once happy with itself and now not loath to allow the area understand it. however the tradition of the kingdom replaced within the Sixties, and the determine who changed Dobie because the dominant Texas author and literary icon was once Larry McMurtry. The Texas of Larry McMurtry is a miles various panorama. The outdated certainties have been changed through irony and cultural revolution. The excessive, large, and good-looking posture of Texans used to be muted through politics, scholar unrest, and conflict. within the first essays during this volume--"The Age of Dobie" and "The Age of McMurtry"--James Ward Lee locations the writers, the politicians, and the cultural leaders within the context of every age. next chapters speak about writers and tendencies in Texas literature. Lee discusses long-standing arguments approximately Texas literature and surveys our bodies of labor that experience had an influence on it. one other a part of the publication appears at Texas folklore and tradition. "The makes use of of Folklore," "The Folkways of the Arklatex," "Texas: Land of Legends and Myths," and "The Texas Sidekick" all examine the best way Texans stay and paintings and spot the area. the ultimate element of the publication is made from a few own essays via a guy whose rules and attitudes are often atypical yet continuously funny. Lee writes of the existence he has led in Texas as a faculty professor and takes a backward examine his lifestyles from boyhood to carrier within the U.S. army.

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These stories, collected as Hackberry Cavalier, are typical of American humor of the times and of the storytelling that Dobie favored. Perry was an acolyte of Dobie’s, and his 1942 book Texas: A World in Itself, pays homage to the great man in producing much folklore and popular history about the state. The Dobie storytelling tradition exists today in scores of writers and storytellers who either studied with Dobie or one of his successors at UT Austin or fully absorbed the Dobie myth. Most of the state’s Texana newspaper columnists are still writing in the Dobie manner.

The days of great deeds were not over. In the past, Sam Houston and a ragtag army had defeated “the Napoleon of the West” as Santa Anna called himself. The heroes of San Jacinto established a republic, the only state ever to proclaim itself a nation. ) True, Texas’s republic was a stepping stone to annexation, but for the years between 1836 and 1845, Texas had 8 t h e ag e o f d o b i e a series of presidents and legislators and ran its business as a nation. The idea that Texas was once a nation gave Texans a kind of pride—some say chauvinism—that lingered all through the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth.

D. and despaired of ever being promoted, he left to take a job as head of the English department at Oklahoma State University (then Oklahoma A&M). That interlude lasted only two years, and he was back at Austin where he was finally promoted—in 1933—to full professor despite the lack of a doctorate. D. Between 1930 and 1947, Dobie taught hundreds of students in the UT English department’s Life and Literature of the Southwest course. It was that course that allowed Dobie to populate English and history departments throughout the state with his adherents, with students who became teachers and who taught the Dobie line—that Texas was the real West, that Texas was a world of cattle and cowmen, that the life in the brush country and the deserts of West Texas represented the true and authentic Texas.

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