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for business or vacation Spacious rooms, air-conditioning, large swimming pool and lounging area … 24 hour Waffle House; Dining room for steaks or complete meals … $8.00-$10.00 -single $10.00-$14.00 double FAMILY OF FOUR “SPECIAL” AT $15.00; Executive Suites from $15.00-$19.00 daily. Siesta LAitoteP Mobil American Express Carte Blanche Accepted 4441 Fredericksburg Road \(U.S. 87 N. Business, Between Loop IM EMBE F1 SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS himself of that audience which so happily plunked down ten bucks to chart with William Manchester the stations of the cross on ,a Humble map of downtown Dallas. Moreover, he writes this book without once treading wittily on this state’s most prominent and well-trod feet of clay. In short, McMurtry is no Uncle Clem \(the local equivalent of an Uncle cloisters of the Time-Life Building. Such gallantry approaches foolishness. Granted, some of the book is unfair and none of it is scandalous, but none of it is dull either, and even the gratuitous portions serve a certain cathartic function. Everyone, for instance, knows that Frank Dobie and Walter P. Webb were pedestrian writers, however equestrian their subject, and the neither of themin that great string band in the skywill ever even qualify to carry Gibson’s harp, but it’s nice to see it documented. Especially here in Austin, hub of the Pancho industry, where beef jerky is transubstantiated into sacred cow and served in boxed editions. But what is most delightful about this book is McMurtry’s voice, educated, indirect and full of surprising turns and modulations that are simply not in his novels. Looking back from In a Narrow Grave to the novels and reading a few passages here and there, the innocent bumpkins who narrate the McMurtry novels seem terribly stagy and posed. It makes you wonder about the novelistic convention which reqUires a writer to divest himself of half of his vocabulary and a proportionate amount of brains when he approaches a character less learned than himself. Certainly it is a feat of skill to approximate primitive speech, whether it is worth doing or not is another question. \(I’m reminded of Raquel Welch’s recent impersonation of Katherine Hepburn, which, assuming the corn CLASSIFIED ANNE’S TYPING SERVICE: Duplicating \(multiNotary. Specialize in rush jobs, including Sundays. Formerly known as Marjorie Delafield Typing and Duplicating Service. Call HI 2-7008, Austin. BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOK-PLATES, Yellow Springs 8, Ohio. YAMAHA: For the best soundpianos–organs guitars available at Amster Music & Art Center. 17th & Lavaca, Austin. 478-7331. MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each Thursday noon for lunch the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome. AUSTIN WOMEN FOR PEACE /WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE meet twice monthly. Call 477-1282 for more information. SIERRA CLUB meeting. February 19. 7:30 p.m. Armstrong-Johnson Ford. Airport at Koenig in Austin. Glen Canyon film. Election of officers and discussion of conservation projects. All interested people welcome. mon man has better taste than do literary critics, will hopefully not become book, by speaking, in his own voice, he gains access to levels of irony which enable him to ‘engage subjects charged with sentiment without collapsing, or rismentality. It has often been noted, and. McMurtry notes it himself, that Texas is hell on women and horses. What hasn’t been noted, probably since it isn’t very important, is that there is some retribution, since women and horses are hell on Texas writers. Confronted with subjects equine or feminine or both, your average Texas writer’s mind is turned to cream-ofwheat, his heart to tapioca; his wit abandons him as he enters and his prose falls back on that earliest of models: the radio evangelist, and women and horses, those two despotic servants of the frontier, are bathed . more often than not in the rhetorical blood of the lamb. This is a general characteristic. It is avoidable only by keeping Old Ralph in the pasture and Dolly Sue out of the stock tank. Even Terry Southern can get smarmy about a horse, though he keeps safe distance. McMURTRY DOESN’T completely avoid the problem, nor should he. There is a tremendous amount of emotional energy surrounding the “bold horseman and gallant lady” myth, and the sentiment, if not the myth, is authentic. It is interesting to note, though, that only on the subject of women and horses does the prose in this book begin to sound like “fiction” and not like McMurtry; but in this book McMurtry triumphs and laconically assures us that the gallant ladies turn brackish and bitter on occasion, and that bold horsemen have been known to get their heads squashed. And finally, if there is anything in this book which reveals the quirks and cadences of this culture, it is McMurtry’s voice. You could learn as much about Texas if the book were about Indianapolis, because McMurtry would find the same faces there, lined with contemplation of their defeat, the same droll embarrassing innocence; he would record, I believe, the same laconic conversations since his voice is half of them. As lovely as the evocation of the flat-country is in this book, the real truth of it, or so it seems to me, is in the selectivity of McMurtry’s eye and, most basically, in the nature of his humor. Like all good cowboy humor it is based of self-deprecation and baroque similitude, and it is a terribly decorous form of amusement. The self-deprecation inevitably reflects a sublime and non-assertive confidence in the self, and the far-fetched similitudes rious desire to please rather than instruct. But the very tact and decorum of ‘this voice leaves McMurtry open for that most terrible of literary disasters. Having February 7, 1969 15