20 The Texas Observer MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 r……….u……s. …II.B……I I We are interested in publishing I I books on Texas, etc. If you have I i a manuscript, please write a short : I we will advise you at once if we I are interested in looking at the I I manuscript. I I I I .1 Phone 512/442-7836 I F:TURA 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS PRESS ipc I I II I i P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS I ION MI 111111111111111111 MB =MB III MI Sal= 11I IMMO III4 CLASSIFIED Classified advertising is 20/ per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12-month period; 26 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 10%. BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. Box 28-1, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. TYPING & PRINTING SERVICE. Reasonable, artistic typing of reports, manuscripts, theses, dissertations; mimeographing, multilithing; open weekends. M. A. Delafield, 442-7008, Austin. PLAYING THE RECORDER IS EASY. Free catalog, best recorders, recorder music. Beginner’s Pearwood Soprano Book, $11.95. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. THE TEXAN WOMAN. $5112 issues. P. 0. Box 1267, Austin, Texas 78767 GUITAR PICKERS. Buy your guitar strings from us and save 20%. Mail orders accepted. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. YOUR BOOK PRINTED from well-typed manuscript. Any quantity economical. BIOGRAPHY PRESS, Rt. 1, Box 745, Aransas Pass, Texas 78336. .Mays used to play for Commentary, didn’t they? While there is merit in the idea that a piece on Gardner enlightens one side about the other, there is a considerable amount of titillating going on as well, and the concept of “sides” is not really very healthy. And giving all those for whom “Norman Podhoretz” is a household word someone to fear and feel superior to is less than useful. King strays over the line between enlightening and titillating often enough to deserve criticism. There is, further, an uncomfortable opportunism throughout the collection. We sophisticated folk love to read about the hard-drinking men and iron-willed women down there in the provinces. All those poor slobs who don’t know about FUrstenbergs and Beaujolais. Southern writers too often go East and spend a career catering to this kind of middle-brow sophistication. It is not totally absent \(except in the essay on It may knock them out in the East Village, but from down here it looks a little silly, not to say cheap. I mean, I sympathize with the sophisticated after you spend your life learning that Welsh rarebit doesn’t hop around, you want to use it on someone. But catering to the pretense that such knowledge makes one somehow superior to someone who knows for instance that monkey wrenches aren’t used for adjusting monkeys well, that’s wrong, in my view. Our Texas boys ought’n to do that. thought about growing my own tomatoes, but how do you get the chlorine out of the water? The galop \(an really wasn’t any better than the Weimaraner, regardless of which of your enemies espouses the Weimaraner. Deification of the old is not really an adequate response to deification of the new. It is the process and not its object which needs attention. THERE ARE, of course, a lot of .holes before a Southerner writing about Larry King steps at least briefly into each of them. When he does not, as in his piece on his father, the work gains radically. Speaking generally about his new collection, the Frontier, Oxford, The Love Machine, a fluff piece about watching the ’68 Nixon nomination on TV, a labored satire with King playing Clifford Irving to Jesus Christ’s Howard Hughes, and the essay on Midland junior high football could have been left out. And some judicious editing of the author’s attempts to prove himself a good fellow would have helped. Larry King is more or less aware of these problems and points many of them out himself in the general introduction and in notes and on individual pieces \(“In many of these articles . . . I intrude with personal experiences or recollections or otherwise get in the way. So be it: I am of the school of personal journalism and can’t seem to problems unfortunately does little to alleviate them. In his Introduction King remarks on requirements for writers, mentioning “enough thinking to cleverly restate the philosophies of others should the writer be blessed with none of his own.” While the deprecation is graceful, the result often is not. If philosophy can be considered making order from disorder, or coming to terms with ambivalence and ambiguity, Larry King’s own philosophy is what makes his best pieces while his repetition of second rate contemporary wisdom ruins too many of the others. As a reader one is interested in watching a subtle and capable mind work his own order out of disorder, and not interested at all in watching the same writer twist data and experience to fit into fashionable but facile interpretations of our culture supplied him from somewhere else. oAAAAAMMAAMA The Farmworker Strike is not over. We still need your help. Please do not buy California grapes or wine or head lettuce. Any donation you can afford even $1 will help. Mail to 3109 Grandview, Austin, Texas. Of course, all the rarebit types don’t live in Manhattan. We have a lot of aspirants down the block. What is curious is the way the whole charade infects people. Converts. It is in those instances and those articles where Larry King falls back on literary ideology \(the “small pinched lives” of down. An example, although it trades in regional literary myth rather than national ones, is “The Lost Frontier.” Two sentences illustrate: “The men who shaped and settled this desolate waste relied on a fierce, near-savage independence coupled with a vision that made them feel captains of their own fate. That vigor, that vision, is gone now, as exhausted as the frontier itself.” A pair of eloquent statements, each well open to question. Like, Who did the work? Or, Isn’t that the same vision and vigor that moves Roy Hofheinz and Glenn McCarthy? On somewhat similar grounds an essay lamenting the takeover of Oxford, Miss., U’Totems falls apart. It seems inadequate mostly because the U’Totems of yesteryear don’t have any intrinsic value over today’s. It is a little odd to be confronted at every turn by people whoring after the icons of earlier days and spitting on the icons of their own, although it’s the form and the fashion and all our best people do it. I realize that it’s in reaction to the deification of the “new” and so on, but it’s being carried to extremes. I mean, I VVYVVYVVY%A^A0V
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