Thursday, October 4, 2007

Literary Rivals Too?

Michael Merschel, Books Editor at the Dallas Morning News, runs one of the best literary blogs in the nation. If you are not frequenting this interesting blog, you should be.

This week he piqued my interest with an intriguing discussion on the eve of the Red River Rivalry about which state has more literary prowess: Texas or Oklahoma. Here is what he says:

"It may not be the annual paddy-wagon-filling riot that it used to be, and perhaps someday the big, new football stadium to the east will lure it away, but it still remains a big deal. As in: Thousands of cars will be backed up along I-35 Friday afternoon -- burnt-orange decals on the ones coming from the south, Sooner red stickers on the ones flowing down from the north. All of them colliding into Dallas.

Shamelessly trying to grab a piece of that action for the books blog, today's question is: Literary Texas vs. Literary Oklahoma: Who wins?

Let's take a quick look at the stats:

Oklahoma claims Tony Hillerman, S. E. Hinton and Ralph Ellison.

Texas gets Sandra Cisneros, Larry McMurtry and, even though he lives in Santa Fe, Cormac McCarthy.

Oklahoma claims prolific Western writer Louis L'Amour. Texas gets pulp master Robert E. Howard ("Conan the Barbarian.")

The image of Oklahoma was fixed in "The Grapes of Wrath." The image of Texas was set in "Lonesome Dove."

Texas has "Texas Pages," but I'm not sure which side that benefits or shames.

So you tell me (and the rest of the world): Which state deserves braggin' rights?"

I am certainly biased, but doesn’t Texas win this contest? From the Texas Book Festival to the Ransom Center Archives to a capital city that often bills itself as the “little big apple” of publishing, Texas is often thought of as a literary bastion in the South.

As for the rivalry on the football field...I think we know who wins that one, as UT leads the series with OU 57-39-5.

Disagree? Head over to the DMN blog or post your thoughts here…


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