CCTE Breakfast: Reading McMurtry at the Dairy Queen

Cliff Hudder MFA, Texas A&M U working on PhD,
“Reading McMurtry at the Dairy Queen”

This is a live blogging of the session.

Texas sees itself as Texas.
What happens when you try to tinker with special effects.

Urban Cowboy
how quickly small town values can erode when removed from itself
8 minutes
family homestead in Spur
arrive at bed with floozies
sinful megalopolis was Pasadena

waitresses are keepers of the flame.

What happens if change comes and comes fast?

fictional town where this happens, is a destruction.

Horesman Pass By– diaspora advance, exile

Last Picture Show

escape, ambivalence, and return

similar to Hawthorne’s “Wakefield” which ends with “individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system… by stepping aside, a man is at risk for losing his place”

Maybe Texas has created a chip on its shoulder.
Maybe it’s only because I came up in Pasadena.
Living so close to Houston, one can’t help but feel marginalized.
radio regularly gave diatribes on KILT against Pasadena

population has little to do with “small country town”

Pasadena is the birthplace of Texas, along with five or six other cities.

Hawthorne warns that dead have as much chance as visiting homes as Wakefield. That doesn’t stop me or McMurtry from trying to go home.

all the categories in a novel are scrambled
Texasville by McMurtry

hard to see the return…

McMurtry’s take on small towns might be different.
Denny’s is cowboy hats, Middle Eastern oil guys, …

angel of history, linear
frontier settlement

where we perceive one change after another
angel sees one continuing pile of disasters.

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan on the roof of some building on Red Bluff Road in Pasadena.

for most of the 1990s the Klan building has said “Hernandez Upholstery”

3 wks ago there again
The building is undergoing renovation, what is going to pile on next?

Audience response:

Contact Zone – article? book? contact zone of cultures

irony that the stereotype is true and not true
a lot of scholarly characterizations of small town just don’t quite fit

students may resent the narrative about them…

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