Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections on Sixty and Beyond

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
In a lucid, brilliant work of nonfiction -- as close to an autobiography as his readers are likely to get -- Larry McMurtry has written a family portrait that also serves as a larger portrait of Texas itself, as it was and as it has become.

Using as a springboard an essay by the German literary critic Walter Benjamin that he first read in Archer City's Dairy Queen, McMurtry examines the small-town way of life that big oil and big ranching have nearly destroyed. He praises the virtues of everything from a lime Dr. Pepper to the lost art of oral storytelling, and describes the brutal effect of the sheer vastness and emptiness of the Texas landscape on Texans, the decline of the cowboy, and the reality and the myth of the frontier.

McMurtry writes frankly and with deep feeling about his own experiences as a writer, a parent, and a heart patient, and he deftly lays bare the raw material that helped shape his life's work: the creation of a vast, ambitious, fictional panorama of Texas in the past and the present. Throughout, McMurtry leaves his readers with constant reminders of his all-encompassing, boundless love of literature and books.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bensdad00 - LibraryThing

You forget just how excellent some authors are - I'll be reading more McMurtry soon. With a precise vocabulary to rival anything by George Will or William F Buckley, McMurtry explores his personal ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Larry McMurtry is one of my favorite living novelists, and this set of reflections on literature, the American West, history and his own life is a book I have been recommending since I first read it a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
13
Section 2
17
Section 3
19
Section 4
29
Section 5
34
Section 6
37
Section 7
41
Section 8
59
Section 14
79
Section 15
88
Section 16
89
Section 17
90
Section 18
97
Section 19
118
Section 20
121
Section 21
125

Section 9
64
Section 10
67
Section 11
71
Section 12
73
Section 13
77
Section 22
137
Section 23
140
Section 24
155
Section 25
183
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

Bibliographic information