Review Of "State Of Mind: Texas Literature And Culture" By T. Pikington

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Published In



Although this book is principally about literature, Pilkington (Tarleton State Univ.) admits he finds himself analyzing cultural identity, traditions, and geographies as well as products of the human imagination. Although he considers neither the oral literature of Native Americans nor the area's ethnic folk literature, the author does see the roots of Texas writing in Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's chronicle La relación (1542). For Pilkington, the "Texas literary tradition" is a recent development, dating from the 1920s with the writings of J. Frank Dobie. To answer the question of what makes one group of people, in this case Texans, distinct from other groups, Pilkington approaches the literature from a thematic perspective that includes among its topics Texans' ties to the land, the South, the frontier, the military experience, the family romance, violence, and football. But Pilkington offers the reader more than articulate and profound textual analysis of novels by such authors as J. Frank Dobie, Katherine Ann Porter, George Sessions Perry, Larry McMurtry, et al. He explains the cultural context in which these works emerged. Unfortunately, space restrictions limit attention to important Texas Mexicans, an ethic group whose roots run deep in the Texas soil. All academic and public collections.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

This document is currently not available here.