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covered in two serious novels: Bainbridge, to write about “wheelerdealer” millionaires at work and play. \(But for the record, in my opinion Bainbridge’s account was amazingly Then there’s the matter of guides. As Bainbridge pointed out, a great many Texansdespite their protests that this is not the “real” Texasinvariably will escort any visiting writer directly. and as immediately as possible, to the nearest house that has a swimming pool in the living room. BAINBRIDGE did not see writers in their stale rooms’ in Austin, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Denton, and Houston, trying to translate what they have seen and lived as native Texans. They are there, trying to put it down a little at a time. Some of us know one or two of them personally and maybe know about one or two others. No one can say yet that they are actually getting it all down “like it is.” But we do know they are trying to do it the only way it can be done, alone. If a Republican state representative from Dallas has his way this session, the Texas legislature will ratify a constitutional amendment passed by the U.S. congress a month before the civil war prohibiting interference with the states’ domestic institutions, specifically including slavery. On March 2, 1961, the 36th congress adopted a joint resolution to amend the constitution prohibiting other amendments to the constitution giving congress the power “to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said state.” Ratification by three-fourths of the states is required to put such an amendment into effect ; just three states ratified this one, Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois. The civil war started on April 12, 1861. Rep. Henry Stollenwerck, one of the seven Republicans in the Texas House, has introduced a joint resolution by which Texas would ratify this 1861 amendment and ask the other states, except the three that have 8 The Te. -eas Observer Without intending to imply or maintain that it is so now about these writing Texans, we can legitimately ask this: Would Bainbridge. in the late twenties, have been told that a man named William Faulkner was putting it all down in a room somewhere in the tiny hamlet of Oxford, Mississippi? And how many New Yorker writers, and readers, would have giggled if a proud Mississippian \(say a country lawyer by the name Nobel Prize winner was writing in his town? Such as this is way too far out, of course, and too easily answered, “What does that have to do with Texas?” One signal that something is brewing in Texas comes from executives of some of the major publishing firms. Ken McCormick, editor-in-chief of Doubleday, spent a week or two in Texas last summer talking with young writers. Since then other editors have made personal talent scouting trips down this way. McCormick’s visit was followed by the announcement that McMurray’s bookstore of Dallas had been purchased by the Doubleday chain. Two already ratified it, to do likewise. “I’m opposed to slavery!” Stollenwerck assured the Observer. He explained that the difficult thing nowadays about amending the U.S. constitution is getting the congress to get the thing going. He contended in dead seriousness that despite the intervening 102 years, the 1861 amendment is still alive and should be ratified. Slavery is not lawful in any state now, so the amendment obviously would not protect it, he said. “I almost didn’t introduce it,” Stollenwerck said, “because I thought it might be subject to an amused reaction.” In 1861, he ‘said, the northern Republicans’ intent in passing it was to hold the union together, not to preserve slavery, since, he said, slaves had become “an economic liability” by that time. The name of Rep. Bob Johnson, Democrat from Dallas, appears on the resolution as a co-sponsor. Asked about it, Johnson’s first reaction was, “What does it do?” Reminded, or advised, whichever the case may have been, Johnson could hardly disguise his chagrin. “I’m not for slavery!” he, also, said. years ago, New York publishers were calling Texas “the fastest growing book market in the country,” according to an article by the Dallas News’ Lon Tinkle in the New York Herald Tribune. Tinkle revealed that nonfiction books about Texans often were sold to enough Texans alone to pay the publishing costs, leaving all other sales’ profits as gravy. One editor said recently that if Texans are buying that many non-fiction books about Texas now, “they’re sure to start buying novels soon.” Some of the wildest flurries in critical circles in the last several years were caused by first novels by Texans. Among these were Brammer’s The Gay Place and Alma’ Stone’s delightful Bible Salesman. I was living in New York when Brammer’s book came out, and the reviewers in the Times and Tribune were so reckless with their praise for it, I promised myself I would never read the damned “thang.” \(I weakened only when a There are other books to illustrate the point, but it would not be my purpose to list all the players, even if I knew them. One never knows where the next good book might come from. Bud Shrake, for instance, is known around the state primarily as a sports columnist for the Dallas News \(although a paperback “original” westlong ago, however, it was published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Shrake’s editor had told newsmen that Shrake “might well be the next voice of this generation,” an opinion formed, apparently, after the editor had read about 200 pages of an unfinished Shrake novel Doubleday bought a few months ago. There must be work of many kindsto bring a region into flower, of course. The translations and interpretations by William Arrowsmith, Roger Shattuck, John Sullivan, and others at the University of Texas national respect. AND J. FRANK DOBIE is hard at work on more books. He might span the entire development of this “Texas renaissance.” If such a thing is really about to blossom, its roots have to be in the history and folklore put down by Mr. Dobie, Walter Prescott Webb,. John and Alan Lomax, and others. If they had not preserved the stuff of our sources, serious writers in Texas today would have nothing to stand on. An Obsolete Detail