This Stubborn Self: Texas Autobiographies

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Oktober 2002



A. C. Greene claimed he wrote his autobiographical A Personal Country "to find out, from one life in one region, if all of us are not gifted from the soil whence we sprang, seeded by the people, and watered by the times."Bert Almon suggests that Texas autobiography reveals as much about the state as it does the writer, recording geography and history; and economic, social, and religious practices. A sense of place distinguishes Texas autobiographical writing, for it springs from a state considered unique by its citizens and the world in general. Texas' history -- migrations, war with Mexico, brief nationhood, slavery, Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Mexican diaspora of the twentieth century -- these all contribute to what Almon calls Texas' "exceptionalism."Early writers in this collection -- Matthews, Lomax, Beasley, Dobie, Stillwell, and others -- recall a traditional Anglo Texas, a world of small towns, farms, and ranches. But these writers record, sometimes with anticipation, the approach of the modern age. Dobie and J. Houghton Allen identify strongly with particular spots of land, their "beloved land." And Greene and McMurtry use region as a means of explaining themselves.The Anglo tradition presents a world of stalwart, independent, hard-working people, but not all the memoirists in this volume recall that kind of family. Beasley, Owens, and Karr speak of dysfunctional families that shaped a stubborn sense of self.Other writers record a Texas outside the Anglo tradition -- an urban, high-tech, multicultural society. Black and Chicano writers are most aware of the Anglo tradition because they recall its prejudices. In seeking to define themselves, and their culturaland racial heritage, their family stories become more important than the landscape.If we read autobiography unconsciously hoping to learn about the land, we read it deliberately to learn about the writer. Autobiography is a storytelling process of self-discovery, a process


BERT ALMON was born in Port Arthur, Texas, and educated at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of New Mexico. Since 1968 he has taught modern literature and creative writing at the University of Alberta. He has published eight collections of poetry and a critical biography of William Humphrey.

EAN: 9780875652665
ISBN: 0875652662
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2002
Seitenanzahl: 420 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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