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pleasant young man who looks good in his clothes. As you can see, I am bending over backwards to be fair about this. \(Though reluctant to toot my own horn, I admit that Mama always said I reminded her a little One issue after Critic Hickey had in the words of Editor Ronnie Dugger run me through from “ample gullet to backbone,” Dugger himself saw fit to review my novel. The tone of that piece was \(some of than the one that preceded it but then Dugger is an ancient fossil nearing forty, for God’s sakes, and compassion has a way of sneaking up on The Aged just like hardening of the arteries. To further disqualify Dugger as a critic to be taken seriously, he has gone and written his own book and we all know how that will spoil a man’s highest literary standards .. . As I interpreted Critic Dugger’s review as a political hack turned writer” than I with caution because I am, after all, a mere Texan. Sorry about that, Chief. ALL OF THIS has, of course, The fact is that I am a mature man whose serious artistic efforts shall be in no way influenced by the slings and arrows of certain ..mudbog critics \(what’s good enough for J. K. Galbraith and Literary Guild Book Club is certainly good enough Believe me when I say that I have lost not one wink of sleep over reviewers who were artfully caustic, or who missed the point of my novel. This bothers me not at all. Like almost every writer that I have met, I could not care less what the critics say about me and in point of fact, I seldom trouble to read their reviews. Certainly I shall never stoop to answering them in mean, side ways. I shall go my own way, mindful that Faulkner got his due recognition late in life, too, and shall never once be guilty of shoddy practices such as carping at my critics, posing for gimmicky photographs, or otherwise trying to attract public attention. I am simply too busy with my Art to be bothered with such trifles. LI A Lit’ry Footnote Sometimes novelists tell what they have been up to. In a tape-recorded interview with Arnold Rosenfeld, book editor of the Houston ‘Post, published July 24, Larry King was asked what Cullie Blanton meant to him, and he replied: “What I tried to [do] with him, I think, was to show a Populist governor in the South, of course, along the lines of the Longs, to some extent the Talmadges, even Faubus and Wallace have been pretty much Populist from the standpoint of their social reforms and doing physical things for the folkshighways, schools, roads, textbooks: I tried to show what a man like that would do if a racial incident came up, and he did not react like a Faubus or a Wallace. In other words, if he tried to take a position of moderation, more consistent with the Populist views and liberalism than their actions have been, just exactly what would happen to him. “And I think he’d just get chewed up. I tried to show how he misjudged . . . how potent this thing was in his state, that he had assumed ‘the arrogance of power’ for so long that he couldn’t come to grips with reality. He just couldn’t conceive of himself running into something that he couldn’t overcome in his state. . . . “And also what I tried to do, which I think is a fairly unique point of view, was to tell an integration story from the stand No to the World Senator John Tower’s vote against the 1966 foreign economic aid bill was another of a long series of votes by which he misrepresents the enlightened sentiments of Texans. His present attempts to disguise his reactionary values pale in the light of these votes. His floor statement seeking to justify this vote against foreign aid is a study in trickery. He had voted no on the entire bill, as he has done before. His vote meant to hell with the world, except we’ll give weapons to anybody who’ll use them against people we think are, or might be, or might not sufficiently hate, communists and socialists. While the forward-looking statesmen of the country were debating how much foreign aid we should give, how to make this aid more effective, and how to prevent it from being used by the President to justify military intervention on which the Senate has not been sufficiently consulted, Tower was trying to figure out how to sound moderate in voting against foreign economic aid altogether. But read carefully! Tower spoke well of the bill’s “more realistic” approach this year. He was “particularly pleased” that the Senate would exercise an annual review over the program. He slipped in an Alice-in-Wonderland dig at the Alliance for Progress: “In the past, the Alliance has suffered severely from a proliferation of socialistic programs in areas where private enterprise might better have served.” He approved our foreign aid, military and economic, in Southeast Asia, which, he said, can become “a showplace of how foreign aid may best be used to further American foreign policy and national security.” And then he said: “Perhaps the most important improvement in this year’s foreign aid bill . . is the $400 million cut. . . . I have argued on many occasions that our foreign aid funds should be used on a more selective basis; that we should not contribute to the build point of a couple of Southern moderates. Generally, an integration story is written either from the standpoint of the visiting Yankee or the federal forces, or from the standpoint strictly of the old Faubus or Wallace type of hoot and holler. I tried to tell it from the standpoint of two men who were realists enough to know about the conflicts of state and federal power, and realists enough to know that the federal view was bound to prevail. They were not bigots, personally. At the same time I wanted to show that even though they understood a certain amount of it, the governor was so wrapped up in his own power and his own personality and had had things his way so long that he would not change. So he is involved in the part of the South that will not change. He would not change himself enough to win the race.” LI ing of socialistic governments or socialistic schemes abroad. “Yes, this year’s foreign aid bill is an improvement, a step in the right direction. But it is not a large enough step. . . . I look forward to the day when we will start with a very minimal amount of money in our plan and add to it when proposed projects are worthy. . . . My duty to my constituents . . . forced me to say ‘no’ to this bill . . .” And to the modern world. Senator Robert Kennedy reminded the Senate that his brother, the late President, had said, “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich,” and that President Johnson said food, clothing, and shelter for all mankind “is our Christian duty.” But, said Senator Kennedy, “I am particularly distressed to note that the gap between promise and performance, between hope and fulfillment, seems to be growing wider rather than narrower…. We are increasingly an island of affluence and privilege in a world of desperate povertya world in revolution.” Governor _ General Governor John Connally has been so hard-pressed by his duties as governor, he implored the voters in 1965 to give governors a four-year term. There’s so much to do !running for office, cutting ribbons, planning legislation, talking politics. And now, we see, there’s even more than that. Stories emanating from San Antonio, the new state capital, do not skillfully mask reporters’ confusion whether to call Connally “Governor” or “Commissioner-General.” When he tours Latin-America for HemisFair, is he governor, or commissioner, or Governor-General? A thicket for the diplomats. Perhaps if we gave our governors six-year terms they could keep up their big business connections, too. There’s no use taking being governor too seriously. Or Commissioner-General, for that matter. R.D. Observations