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Author Topic: Larry McMurtry  (Read 59398 times)

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Larry McMurtry
« Reply #120 on: March 30, 2021, 04:52:44 PM »
The Underappreciated Genius of Larry McMurtry

By Kyle Smith March 28, 2021


Larry McMurtry’s great subject was Texas and its environs, which sometimes earned him the designation of “regional writer,” but Texas is larger than France. Is France a “region”? McMurtry’s novels bridged the West and its men and women from the days of Billy the Kid (Anything for Billy, 1989) all the way to the cheating/charming English professor Flap in modern-day Houston in Terms of Endearment. Taken as a whole, McMurtry’s work constitutes one of the greatest achievements of any American novelist — rich, vivid, soulful, as disarmingly beautiful as the sere landscape and always narratively potent. McMurtry’s novels keep moving and developing as restlessly as Texas itself.   

McMurtry died at 84 on Thursday in Archer City, Texas, a short drive from where he was born a rancher’s son in a place where “the only bookstore I had was the paperback rack at the drugstore.” He filled that void by building one of the world’s greatest used bookstores, Booked Up, a monument to the man who was an unprepossessing repository of deep wisdom. This seemingly nondescript little town (population 1,834), fictionalized as Thalia in his writing, proved as rich to him as Chicago was to Saul Bellow or Newark to Philip Roth. Understanding the importance of location, the New York–born filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich filmed the 1971 movie version of McMurtry’s 1966 novel The Last Picture Show in Archer City, in poignant black and white.

Like John Steinbeck and Stephen King, McMurtry was a writing machine. And like them he was unfairly reduced to a mere spinner of yarns within the academic-literary establishment. He produced more than 30 novels, many of them hundreds of thousands of words long (though all were easy reads), plus more than a dozen works of nonfiction and many screenplays, both credited and not. In one of his memoirs, Hollywood (2011), he said he had worked on nearly 70 movies, though his name is on only a few of them. Like most novelists, he grumbled about what screen panjandrums did to his scenarios, shaping his distaste into the 1987 memoir Film Flam.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/03/the-underappreciated-genius-of-larry-mcmurtry/

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Larry McMurtry
« Reply #121 on: March 30, 2021, 04:56:07 PM »
Larry McMurtry carved out a legend from the moment his teenage uncle gave him his books

By Michael Granberry  -  Mar 28, 2021


In December 1971, I was staying with a friend in New York City. On a chilly Friday night, a new movie was making its Manhattan debut. We sat mesmerized as the black-and-white classic The Last Picture Show flickered on the screen. It later won two Oscars, and most of all, it introduced a wide audience to the writing of Larry McMurtry. Before long, I read everything I could get my hands on that McMurtry had written. I read his first novel, Horseman, Pass By, which became Hud, another Oscar-winning movie starring Paul Newman. I marveled that McMurtry was only 25 when his debut book was published.

My mentor at Southern Methodist University, the late, great Jay Milner, told me that he and McMurtry were friends. Milner’s most memorable insight into McMurtry was how gifted he was at writing about women. As a fellow novelist, Milner called it a talent he envied — most male writers, he said, didn’t have a clue how to write about women. But McMurtry did. That was evident in his book Terms of Endearment, the last in an incredible trilogy peopled by women, whose emotions McMurtry understood better than any male writer I’ve ever read. Terms also became an Oscar-winning movie, for which Shirley MacLaine won best actress.

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/books/2021/03/28/larry-mcmurtry-carved-out-a-legend-from-the-moment-his-teenage-uncle-gave-him-some-books/