Sowell, and O. Henry's story are just three samples of southwestern literature that bring in prickly pear. No active- minded person who reads any one of these three samples will ever again look at prickly pear in the same light that he looked at it before he read. Yet prickly pear is just one of hundreds of manifestations of life in the Southwest that writers have commented on, told stories about, dignified with significance. Cotton no longer has the economic importance to Texas that it once had.
Still, it is mighty important. In the minds of millions of farm people of the South, cotton and the boll weevil are associated. The boll weevil was once a curse; then it came to be somewhat regarded as a disguised blessing--in limiting production.
De first time I seen de boll weevil, He was a-settin' on de square. Next time I seen him, he had all his family dere-- Jest a-lookin' foh a home, jest a-lookin' foh a home. A man dependent on cotton for a living and having that living threatened by the boll weevil will not be much interested in ballads, but for the generality of people this boll weevil ballad--the entirety of which is a kind of life history of the insect--is, while delightful in itself, a veritable story- book on the weevil.
Without the ballad, the weevil's effect on economic history would be unchanged; but as respects mind and imagination, the ballad gives the weevil all sorts of significances. The ballad is a part of the literature of the Southwest. But I am assigning too many motives of self-improvement to reading.
People read for fun, for pleasure. The literature of the Southwest affords bully reading. A student in the presence of Bishop E.
Mouzon was telling about the scores and scores of books he had read. At a pause the bishop shook his long, wise head and remarked, "My son, when DO you get time to think? They were extraordinary observers. But here are the books.
I list them not so much to give knowledge as to direct people with intellectual curiosity and with interest in their own land to the sources of knowledge; not to create life directly, but to point out where it has been created or copied. On some of the books I have made brief observations. Those observations can never be nearly so important to a reader as the development of his own powers of observation. With something of an apologetic feeling I confess that I have read, in my way, most of the books.
I should probably have been a wiser and better informed man had I spent more time out with the grasshoppers, horned toads, and coyotes. November 5, J. A rooster in a pen of hens has an idea. Thought has never been so popular with mankind as horse opera, horse play, the main idea behind sheep's eyes. Far be it from me to feel contempt for people who cannot and do not want to think. The human species has not yet evolved to the stage at which thought is natural.
I am far more at ease lying in grass and gazing without thought process at clouds than in sitting in a chair trying to be logical. Just the same, free play of mind upon life is the essence of good writing, and intellectual activity is synonymous with critical interpretations.
To the constant disregard of thought, Americans of the mid-twentieth century have added positive opposition. Critical ideas are apt to make any critic suspected of being subversive. The Southwest, Texas especially, is more articulately aware of its land spaces than of any other feature pertaining to itself. Yet in the realm of government, the Southwest has not produced a single spacious thinker.
So far as the cultural ancestry of the region goes, the South has been arid of thought since the time of Thomas Jefferson, the much talked- of mind of John C. Calhoun being principally casuistic; on another side, derivatives from the Spanish Inquisition could contribute to thought little more than tribal medicine men have contributed.
Among historians of the Southwest the general rule has been to be careful with facts and equally careful in avoiding thought-provoking interpretations. In the multitudinous studies on Spanish-American history all padres are "good" and all conquistadores are "intrepid," and that is about as far as interpretation goes. Essayical in form, it treats only of the consequential.
It evaluates from the point of view of good taste, good sense, and an urbane comprehension of democracy. The subject is provincial, but the historian transcends all provincialism.
Her sympathy does not stifle conclusions unusable in church or chamber of commerce propaganda. In brief, a cultivated mind can take pleasure in this interpretation of New Mexico --and that marks it as a solitary among the histories of neighboring states.
Webb uses facts to get at meanings. He fulfils Emerson's definition of Scholar: "Man Thinking. But the tools of this humanistic historian are of delicate finish rather than of horsepower.
To him, thinking is a joyful process and lucidity out of complexity is natural. Excepting the powerful books by Walter Prescott Webb, not since Frederick Jackson Turner, inpresented his famous thesis on "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" has such a revealing evaluation of frontier movements appeared As a matter of fact, Henry Nash Smith leaves Turner's ideas on the dependence of democracy upon farmers without more than one leg to stand upon.
Not being a King Canute, he does not take sides for or against social evolution. With the clearest eyes imaginable, he looks into it. Boatright Macmillan, New York, goes into the human and social significances of humor. Of boastings, anecdotal exaggerations, hide-and-hair metaphors, stump and pulpit parables, tenderfoot baitings, and the like there is plenty, but thought plays upon them and arranges them into patterns of social history.
Mary Austin is an interpreter of nature, which for her includes naturally placed human beings as much as naturally placed antelopes and cacti. Rhythm is experience passed into the subconscious and is "distinct from our intellectual perception of it. But Mary Austin's primary importance is not as a theorist. Her spiritual depth is greater than her intellectual. She is a translator of nature through concrete observations.
She interprets through character sketches, folk tales, novels. She infuses fact with understanding and imagination. She sees "with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony. Pearce Caxton, Caldwell, Idaho,is an understanding biography. Here, the contest is not so much of plant against plant as of plant against inanimate nature. The limiting factor is not the neighbor but water; and I wonder if this is, perhaps, one of the things which makes this country seem to enjoy a kind of peace one does not find elsewhere.
The struggle of living thing against living thing can be distressing in a way that a mere battle with the elements is not. If some great clump of cactus dies this summer it will be because the cactus has grown beyond the capacity of its roots to get water, not because one green fellow creature has bested it in some limb-to-limb struggle. In my more familiar East the crowding of the countryside seems almost to parallel the crowding of the cities. Out here there is, even in nature, no congestion.
It says something beautiful. This Oxford scholar of Osage blood built his ranch house around a fireplace, flanked by shelves of books. His observations are of the outside, but they are informed by reflections made beside a fire. They are not bookish at all, but the spirits of great writers mingle with echoes of coyote wailing and wood-thrush singing.
The introductory words suggest the essence of the book: In New Mexico whatever is both old and peculiar appears upon examination to have a connection with the arid climate.
Peculiarities range from the striking adaptations of the flora onward to those of fauna, and on up to those of the human animal. Sky determines. And the writer once having LP) up the trail followed it with certainty, and indeed almost inevitably, as it led from ecology to anthropology and economics.
Cultivated intellect is the highest form of civilization. It is inseparable from the arts, literature, architecture. In any civilized land, birds, trees, flowers, animals, places, human contributors to life out of the past, all are richer and more significant because of representations through literature and art.
No literate person can listen to a skylark over an English meadow without hearing in its notes the melodies of Chaucer and Shelley. As the Southwest advances in maturity of mind and civilization, the features of the land take on accretions from varied interpreters. It is not necessary for an interpreter to write a whole book about a feature to bring out its significance.
An attempt to put it all into an alphabetically arranged encyclopedia would be futile. All guides to knowledge are too long or too short. This one at the outset adds to its length-- perhaps to its usefulness--by citing other general reference works and a few anthologies. Smith, and T. Pearce, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque,revisedtakes up the written material under the time- established heads of Fiction, Poetry, Drama, etc. Botkin and both published by Crown, New York, are so liberal in the extensions of folklore and so voluminous that they amount to literary anthologies.
Davidson and P. Boynton, Chicago, Anyone interested in vitality in any phase of American writing will find Vernon L. Becker, New York, Pearce and A. Wimberly, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, For the southern tradition that has flowed into the Southwest Franklin J. It is the best anthology of any kind that I know of. Anthologies of poetry are listed under the heading of "Poetry and Drama. Raines, Austin, Since this is half a century behind the times, its usefulness is limited.
Rader, Norman, Oklahoma, Henry R. Camp and reprinted in Now published by Long's College Book Co. Mary G. Agatha, Dallas,OP, is a meaty, critical survey. In the lists that follow, the symbol LP) indicates that the book is out of print. Many old books obviously out of print are not so tagged. The average old-timer has for generations regarded Indian scares and fights as the most important theme for reminiscences. County-minded historians have taken the same point of view. The Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution has buried records of Indian beliefs, ceremonies, mythology, and other folklore in hundreds of tomes; laborious, literal-minded scholars of other institutions have been as assiduous.
In all this lore and tabulation of facts, the Indian folk themselves have generally been dried out. The Anglo-American's policy toward the Indian was to kill him and take his land, perhaps make a razor-strop out of his hide.
The Spaniard's policy was to baptize him, take his land, enslave him, and appropriate his women. Any English-speaking frontiersman who took up with the Indians was dubbed "squaw man"--a term of sinister connotations. Despite pride in descending from Pocahontas and in the vaunted Indian blood of such individuals as Will Rogers, crossbreeding between Anglo- Americans and Indians has been restricted, as compared, for instance, with the interdicted crosses between white men and black women.
As a result, the English-speaking occupiers of the land have in general absorbed directly only a minimum of Indian culture--nothing at all comparable to the Uncle Remus stories and characters and the spiritual songs and the blues music from the Negroes.
Grandpa still tells how his own grandpa saved or lost his scalp during a Comanche horse-stealing raid in the light of the moon; Boy Scouts hunt for Indian arrowheads; every section of the country has a bluff called Lovers' Leap, where, according to legend, a pair of forlorn Indian lovers, or perhaps only one of the LP), dived to death; the maps all show Caddo Lake, Kiowa Peak, Squaw Creek, Tehuacana Hills, Nacogdoches town, Cherokee County, Indian Gap, and many another place name derived from Indian days.
All such contacts with Indian life are exterior. Three forms of Indian culture are, however, weaving into the life patterns of America. Through the Mexican medium, with which he is becoming more sympathetic, the gringo is getting the ages-old Indian culture. The special groups incline to be arty and worshipful, but they express a salutary revolt against machined existence and they have done much to revive dignity in Indian life.
Offsetting dilettantism, the Museum of New Mexico and associated institutions and artists and other individuals have fostered Indian pottery, weaving, silversmithing, dancing, painting, and other arts and crafts. Superior craftsmanship can now depend upon a fairly reliable market; the taste of American buyers has been somewhat elevated. O mountains, pure and holy, give me a song, a strong and holy song to bless my flock and bring the rain! It expresses a spiritual content in Indian life far removed from the We and God, Incorporated form of religion ordained by the National Association of Manufacturers.
There is no romance in Indian fights east of the Mississippi. Little boys still climb into their seats and cry out when red horsemen of the Plains ride across the screen. An anthology of prose and poetry by American Indians. Here are singular expressions of beauty and dignity. Delightful folk tales, each leading to a vista. Historical fiction on ancient pueblo life. Readable; bibliography. This thorough treatment of the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico contains an excellent account of the Hopi snake ceremony for bringing rain.
During any severe drought numbers of Christians in the Southwest pray without snakes. It always rains eventually--and the prayer-makers naturally take the credit. The Hopis put on a more spectacular show. See Dr.
Cushing had rare imagination and sympathy. His retellings of tales are far superior to verbatim recordings. All OP. Erna Fergusson is always illuminating. Grant Foreman is prime authority on the so-called "Civilized Tribes.
An account not only of the trading post Wetherills but of the Navajos as human beings, with emphasis on their spiritual qualities. Excellent outline of exterior facts. An anthology of writings by Indians containing many interesting leads. A master work in both archeology and Indian nature. With Bertha P. Indispensable encyclopedia, by a very great scholar and a very fine gentleman.
The Navajo in fiction. Lummis, though self-vaunting and opinionated, opens windows. Outstanding writing. Based on ten years spent with the Hopi Indians, this study of their life is a moving story of humanity. Eloquent, liberating to the human mind; something rare for Texas scholarship. Pearce was professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, an emancipator from prejudices and ignorance.
It is a pity that all the college students who are forced by the bureaucrats of Education-- Education spelled with a capital E--"the unctuous elaboration of the obvious"--do not take anthropology instead. Collegians would then stand a chance of becoming educated. The use of peyote has now spread northwest into Canada. Both honest, both OP. The clearest view into the mind and living ways, including sex life, of an Indian that has been published.
Few autobiographers have been clearer; not one has been franker. A singular human document. They knew some phases of nature with an intimacy that few civilized naturalists ever attain to. It is unfortunate that most of the literature about them is from their enemies.
Yet an enemy often teaches a man more than his friends and makes him work harder. See "Indian Culture," "Texas Rangers. Reprinted by Long's College Book Co. A truly great book, on both Apaches and Arizona frontier. Bourke had amplitude, and he knew. Homely and realistic.
Despite many strictures, Catlin's two volumes remain standard. Worthy autobiography of a noble understander of the Apache people. Noble; vivid; semifiction. Davis helped run Geronimo down.
Louis, ; reprinted Good narrative of noted woman captive. The opening chapters of this book distil a great deal of research by scholars on Plains Indian acquisition of horses, riding, and raiding. It is noble, ample, among the most select books on Plains Indians. Grinnell's knowledge and power as a writer on Indians and animals has not been sufficiently recognized.
He combined in a rare manner scholarship, plainsmanship, and the worldliness of publishing. Mainly a history of military activities against Comanches and other tribes, laced with homilies on the free enterprise virtues of the conquerors. Best captive narrative of the Southwest. Factual history. Long Lance was a Blackfoot only by adoption, but his imagination incorporated him into tribal life more powerfully than blood could have.
He is said to have been a North Carolina mixture of Negro and Croatan Indian; he was a magnificent specimen of manhood with swart Indian complexion. No matter what the facts of his life, he wrote a vivid and moving autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian in whom the spirit of the tribe and the natural life of the Plains during buffalo days were incorporated. In in the California home of Anita Baldwin, daughter of the spectacular "Lucky" Baldwin, he absented himself from this harsh world by a pistol shot.
This scholar and anthropologist lived with the Crow Indians to obtain intimate knowledge and then wrote this authoritative book. Wise in exposition; true-to-humanity and delightful in narrative. Valentine T. McGillicuddy, Scotch in stubbornness, honesty, efficiency, and indi- vidualism, was U. Indian agent to the Sioux and knew them to the bottom. In the end he was defeated by the army mind and the bloodsuckers known as the "Indian Ring. McLaughlin was U. Indian agent and inspector for half a century.
Despite priggishness, he had genuine sympathy for the Indians; he knew the Sioux, Nez Perces, and Cheyennes intimately, and few books on Indian plainsmen reveal so much as his. Alice Marriott, author of other books on Indians, combines ethnological science with the art of writing. This book of essays on the character of and certain noble characters among the Great Osages, including their upright agent Leban J.
Miles, has profound spiritual qualities. Black Elk was a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux. The story of his life as he told it to understanding John G. Neihardt is more of mysteries and spiritual matters than of mundane affairs. Vivid on Comanche raids. See Ruxton in "Surge of Life in the West. In this autobiographical narrative of the life of a white man with a Blackfoot woman, facts have probably been arranged, incidents added. Whatever his method, the author achieved a remarkable human document.
It is true not only to Indian life in general but in particular to the life of a "squaw man" and his loved and loving mate. A kind of classic in homeliness. Excellent biography. A wide-compassing and interesting book on a powerful and interesting people.
Graphic history, mostly in narrative, of the struggle of Plains and Apache Indians to hold their homelands against the whites. Its stirring narratives made this a household book among Texans of the late nineteenth century. The native culture is closer to the Mexican earth and to the indigenes than to Spain, notwithstanding modern insistence on the Latin in Latin-American culture. The Spaniards, through Mexico, have had an abiding influence on the architecture and language of the Southwest.
They gave us our most distinctive occupation, ranching on the open range. They influenced mining greatly, and our land titles and irrigation laws still go back to Spanish and Mexican sources. After more than a hundred years of occupation of Texas and almost that length of time in other parts of the Southwest, the English-speaking Americans still have the rich accumulations of lore pertaining to coyotes, mesquites, prickly pear, and many other plants and animals to learn from the Mexicans, who got their lore partly from intimate living with nature but largely through Indian ancestry.
Charming rhymes in both Spanish and English in charming form. Delicious; the real thing. Romance of Mexican California. Short tales of Spanish-speaking New Mexicans, also of Indians. The dream of El Dorado. Among books on Mexican life to be ranked first both in readability and revealing qualities. A golden treasury of anecdotes.
In a special way this book reveals the Spanish-Mexican influence on life in the Southwest; it also guides to books in English that reflect this influence. Better written than Cabeza de Vaca's own narrative. Bully and flavorsome; the Californias. The cream of explorer narratives, well edited. By his own work and by directing other scholars, Dr, The Mexcla Man - J. Frank Dobie - An Informal Hour With J. Frank Dobie (Vinyl. Bolton has surpassed all other American historians of his time in output on Spanish-American history.
Its fault is being too worshipful of everything Spanish and too uncritical. The pagan worship that endures among Mexican Indians. No writer on modern Mexico has a clearer eye or clearer intellect than Anita Brenner; she maintains good humor in her realism and never lapses into phony romance.
Any translation procurable. Hodge and T. The most dramatic and important aftermath of Cabeza de Vaca's twisted walk across the continent was Coronado's search for the Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado's precursor was Fray Marcos de Niza. Winship's translation is preferred. Classical historical fiction on New Mexico. To know Mexico and Mexicans without knowing anything about Mexican revolutions is like knowing the United States in ignorance of frontiers, constitutions, and corporations.
The Madero revolution that began in is still going on. Cumberland's solid book, independent in itself, is to be followed by two other volumes. Hernando de Soto made his expedition from Florida north and west at the time Coronado was exploring north and east. There are several translations. A book of gusto and humanity as enduring as the results of the Conquest itself. Legendary tales of the Southwest, many of them derived from Mexican sources. A pattern of the soil of northern Mexico and its folk.
Lost mines and money in Mexico and New Mexico. Last two books published by Little, Brown, Boston. Delightful folklore, though Domenech would not have so designated his accounts. Best interpretations yet written of upper Mexican class. Delicious autobiographic narrative of life in Mexico.
Selections from writers about the New Mexico scene. Bully reading. When the book was published inthe author was named Ruth Laughlin Barker; after she discarded the Barker part, it was reissued, inby Caxton, Caldwell, Idaho. See under "Fiction. Humanistic essays on Spanish contributions to southwestern civilization. Folk tales and sketches. A collection of skilfully told stories that reveal Mexican life. Books of passion and power and high literary merit, interpretative of revolutionary Mexico.
History that is literature. Includes sketches of Mexican ranch life. Picturesquely and instructively illustrated by Carlos Merida. Tannenbaum dodges nothing, not even the church.
It has everything. Texas Folklore Society. Its publications are a storehouse of Mexican folklore in the Southwest and in Mexico also. An anthology of life. Obscurely published but one of the best books on Mexican life. Despite the fact that the French flag-- tied to a pole in Louisiana--once waved over Texas, French influence on it and other parts of the Southwest has been minor.
Any of his work on Louisiana. A lovely story. The plantation owner came too, but the go-ahead Crockett kind of backwoodsman was typical. Nevertheless, the fact glares out that the code of conduct--the riding and shooting tradition, the eagerness to stand up and fight for one's rights, the readiness to back one's judgment with a gun, a bowie knife, money, life itself--that characterized the whole West as well as the Southwest was southern, hardly at all New England. The very qualities that made many of the Texas pioneers rebels to society and forced not a few of them to quit it between sun and sun without leaving new addresses fitted them to conquer the wilderness--qualities of daring, bravery, reckless abandon, heavy self-assertiveness.
A lot of them were hell- raisers, for they had a lust for life and were maddened by tame respectability. Nobody but obsequious politicians and priggish "Daughters" wants to make them out as models LP) virtue and conformity. A smooth and settled society--a society shockingly tame--may accept Cardinal Newman's definition, "A gentleman is one who never gives offense.
Collected miscellany of Texas and Mexican folklore, including stories about the Mayo Indians, Mexican folk plays, folk songs, information about Texas cacti and other folklore. The index begins on page Dobie, J. Frank James Frank It has been viewed times, with 10 The Mexcla Man - J. Frank Dobie - An Informal Hour With J. Frank Dobie (Vinyl the last month. More information about this book can be viewed below.
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Showing of pages in this book. Description Collected miscellany of Texas and Mexican folklore, including stories about the Mayo Indians, Mexican folk plays, folk songs, information about Texas cacti and other folklore.
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