I don't feel like I did the McMurtry essays justice with the anemic paragraph below. There is a lot more worthy of mention, and there are some really annoying typos. In fact the whole section could really use a rewrite. But instead, since I'm at work, I'll just drop a few more observations into an equally ill-structured paragraph and move on.
In A Narrow Grave by Larry McMurtry Part II
I think that Professor Stout's ideas about the use of nostalgia by writers in the service of identity formation really resonate in this book. Her focus is on Irish Drama, specifically Yates' tenure at the Abby Theater, and she wouldn't be caught dead reading anything about Texas, but her theories are still pretty applicable.
It is worth mentioning that the essays cover a lot more fertile ground that just that mentioned below. LMM talks about the fliming of HUD, about a fiddler's jamboree in East Texas, about high plains whorehouses, about the dangerous bar-rooms of Houston, about the promiscious liberalism of Austin, and the violent injustice of the Texas border patrol (R. Cog Sr. for example).
There are a few good critical dissections of this novel. I read through them last night, and really wanted to carry on a dialog with the authors. These can be found in Taking Stock: A Larry McMurtry Casebook, editor Clay Reynolds. These essays give LMM a great deal of credit. They also do so much more quoting from the gems in this work that I feel really slipshod about the job I did below. But, they got paid, or at least, accrued debts in the observance of their duties as observers.
Okay, gotta get back to work on BF2 now.
Last night late and over lunch I continued the downward spiral into the insanity that is Pynchon. The Crying of Lot 49 is nearly concluded. What a cool, wild ride. Expect a post on it soon.
PS: It is so much easier to type here at work than it is at home... God my desk setup there sucks.