AuthorTopic: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature  (Read 2066 times)

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14960
    • View Profile
A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« on: October 03, 2014, 06:59:17 PM »
Just some ramblings of mine. Thought maybe GO might relate to this one.

I've never really been much of a writer, but for much of my life, except when school was overwhelming, I've been an avid reader. My wife doesn't let me hoard books though. For a long time, she has recycled most of what I read to places like Half-Price Books and gives some away. This is for the best.Otherwise, they would soon take over.  As it is, I usually have maybe fifty books in my room, many of them started and not finished (I'll get a round tuit, maybe someday).

There are certain books, and certain authors, though, that are particularly special to me, and I have a few signed firsts by my favorites. I have a nice copy of John Graves Goodbye to a River that I treasure because I got him to sign it myself before he died, although the book came out when I was a little boy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_to_a_River

Another book which is special to me is a children's book by Fred Gipson (of Old Yeller fame) called Recollection Creek. When I was a boy that book fascinated me. It's about growing up in Texas in my grandfather's day, the reminisces of a man recalling a little slice of frontier life that has long passed. When I was a boy, one story from this book, "The China Ball Grove" was in the public school literature books here in Texas, so we all read it in school. I have recently picked up a signed copy of that one too.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/uthrc/00045/hrc-00045.html

These are not books that are highly sought after by collectors, although they are rarities. They're just special to me, because they influenced my thinking, shaped who I am...and because I admire the authors, who are all Texas guys.

Amazon, of course, is a paradise for book collectors, and I've been thinking of other books lately that I'd like to have for keepsakes, and I found one by a guy not too well known, who is from my native East Texas (although like most good Texas writers, he moved to New York when he got his fifteen minutes of fame, and never came back. That seems to happen a lot to writers, from what I've seen.)

His name was William Humphrey, and he wrote a book they made into a movie with Robert Mitchum in 1960, called Home From the Hill. I remember that movie from watching on late night TV as a kid, and I always thought it was good. Here's a link to the trailer:

http://youtu.be/75M4P-ljDJQ

So, I found what was supposed to be a signed first edition of Home From the Hill, from some online seller, and ordered it. It was maybe $75, which isn't much more than what an average unsigned hardback would cost new these days. I got it yesterday, and when I opened it, instead of the usual author signature on the flyleaf, the "signature" turned out to be a short handwritten note to J.A.R. Mosely, who was  a well known Texas book collector of my father's generation, from Humphrey. It would have been about the time Humphrey's career as a writer was just about to take off, about 1958.

I'm not sure why, but it's a special treasure to me, to get that book, with the little note by the up and coming young Texas writer (who died in the 1990's after living a good long life). It makes me feel connected to these men of letters somehow, although I never knew any of them personally.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/23/AR2009042304707.html

Not sure what will become of these books when I'm gone. Maybe I'll leave one to each of my kids.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

  • Golden Oxen
  • Contrarian
  • Master Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 11882
    • View Profile
Re: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2014, 07:26:10 AM »
Quote
Just some ramblings of mine. Thought maybe GO might relate to this one.

I sure do Doc, thanks for sharing.

My thoughts ramble often about my collections as well after I'm gone. It's most difficult these days to get kids interested enough where you feel confident in leaving it with them, and not having to worry that the con artist buys it from them 1 cent on the dollar.

My favorites in old books are the old English woodcuts. Was always fascinated by them and have a decent collection, mostly for old Dicken's books, which were art works in the old days rather than what we have today.

George Cruikshank a particular favorite. How interesting I found these kind of illustrations when a child. A favorite is Fagin the Old Jew from Oliver Twist. From WIKI

                                                                 

                                                                     Cruikshank Fagin in His Cell                                   
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 09:25:41 AM by Eddie »

Offline Golden Oxen

  • Golden Oxen
  • Contrarian
  • Master Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 11882
    • View Profile
Re: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 07:37:36 AM »
What care, work and pride went into the old art of Leather bound illustrated classics.
                                                     
                                                   

                                                         
                                                   


                                                       
                                   

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14960
    • View Profile
Re: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 11:54:51 AM »
I never loved Dickens, but the Cruikshank art is amazing. Thank your for sharing those.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Petty Tyrant

  • Cannot be Saved
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 4573
    • View Profile
Re: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 03:00:31 PM »
Who doesnt love the smell of old books... and bookshelves are the best for many reasons. When people come around they look through and its a great way to get talking about interesting topics, even encounters blossom when people borrow books from each other half the reason being as an excuse to see the other again to bring it back, hopefully not in a fit of rage.
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline Golden Oxen

  • Golden Oxen
  • Contrarian
  • Master Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 11882
    • View Profile
Re: A Doomer's Guide to Texas Literature
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 04:28:51 AM »
Who doesnt love the smell of old books... and bookshelves are the best for many reasons. When people come around they look through and its a great way to get talking about interesting topics, even encounters blossom when people borrow books from each other half the reason being as an excuse to see the other again to bring it back, hopefully not in a fit of rage.

Sheer poetry Unc, loved it.  :icon_sunny:

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
611 Views
Last post June 23, 2016, 02:16:52 AM
by Surly1
3 Replies
905 Views
Last post December 19, 2016, 01:39:36 PM
by jdwheeler42
0 Replies
381 Views
Last post December 10, 2017, 06:15:00 AM
by RE