Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and beyond

By Steven L. Davis | Go to book overview

14.
THE
ONE-EYED
MAN

In the spring of 1966 Larry and Rosemarie King returned to Washington, DC, Flush with his acceptance at the writer’s colony in Florida, King continued to make contacts with other writers. His transformation from a one-time congressional aide to real writer was becoming complete. At a “Southern Dogwood Party” held at Willie and Celia Morris’s house, King met Robert Penn Warren, a leading southern intellectual and author of All the King’s Men—widely regarded as the most important American political novel of the twentieth century. In the hope of soliciting praise for King’s forthcoming novel, his publisher had earlier sent Warren an advance copy of The One-Eyed Man. Warren’s response—“It seems your author has been writing in my sleep”—would not be quoted on the dust jacket. Despite the put-down, Warren remained a literary hero to Larry King.1

At the Southern Dogwood Party, Warren did not realize that King was the author of the novel he had recently dismissed, and King certainly wasn’t about to tell him. Instead, he carefully opened up conversation on other fronts. At one point Warren asked King about his own literary ambitions. King, defensive in the face of the older man’s scholarly and literary accomplishments, blurted out, “I have little formal education and feel so goddamned ignorant! There’s so much that I just don’t understand.”2

-166-

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Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Texas Literary Outlaws 1
  • Part One - Coming of Age in Texas 7
  • 1 - A Rebel in West Texas 9
  • 2 - A Texas Oasis 25
  • 3 - The Gay Place 39
  • 4 - Fort Worth’s New Journalism 55
  • 5 - The Texas Beats 72
  • 6 - Big D Meets the Flying Punzars 84
  • 7 - A Gathering Force 96
  • 8 - A Long Way from Beaumont 109
  • 9 - Dallas, 1963 118
  • Part Two - Too Much Ain’t Enough 127
  • 10 - A New Beginning 129
  • 11 - The Doors of Perception 140
  • 12 - Literary Comanches 152
  • 13 - These Happy Occasions 157
  • 14 - The One-Eyed Man 166
  • 15 - Cowboys and Indians 172
  • 16 - Harper’s on the Rise 183
  • 17 - Obscure Famous Arthurs 188
  • 18 - Absurdism in the Southwest 198
  • 19 - Busted in the Oasis 207
  • 20 - Harvard’s "White Racist" 215
  • 21 - Land of the Permanent Wave 220
  • 22 - Mad Dog, Texas 228
  • 23 - King’s Road 239
  • 24 - Outlaws 250
  • 25 - Hack Observations and Literary Feuds 259
  • 26 - Redneck Hippies 268
  • 27 - Strange Peaches 275
  • 28 - Semi-Tough 281
  • Part Three - Texas… Chic? 287
  • 29 - A New View of Texas 289
  • 30 - The Cowboy Professor 294
  • 31 - Live Music Capital 298
  • 32 - North Dallas Forty 302
  • 33 - The Regenerator Erection Laboratory 309
  • 34 - Challenging Texas 315
  • 35 - Changes at Sports Illustrated 320
  • 36 - Texas’s Gonzo Journalist 325
  • 37 - Texas Brain Fry 334
  • 38 - LBJ, Speed, and Paranoia 341
  • 39 - Hollywood vs. Sports Illustrated 349
  • 40 - Whorehouse 355
  • 41 - A Fraction of His Talent 362
  • 42 - Measures of Success 367
  • 43 - Hitting the Wall 374
  • 44 - A Recovery 381
  • 45 - "Ever a Bridegroom" 385
  • 46 - Third Coast 394
  • 47 - Faces in the Fire 397
  • Part Four - How Time Slips Away 401
  • 48 - Jenkins 403
  • 49 - King 417
  • 50 - Cartwright 433
  • 51 - Shrake 441
  • 52 - "Doing Indefinable Services to Mankind" 451
  • Notes 460
  • Bibliography 492
  • Index 502
  • About the Author 512
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