When Larry McMurtry began writing his memoirs, the first volume of which was published in 2008, he saw it necessary to divide his life into three distinct sections: Books, Literary Life, and Hollywood.
|One of McMurtry's Archer City storefronts.|
It is no coincidence that Books, the recounting of his life as a "rare bookman," came first, though that might surprise fans of the writer's fiction. Not only did he write an autobiography of the 41-year love affair he's shared with his collection -- and the pursuit of it -- but also Cadillac Jack in 1982, a semi-autobiographical tale of a flea market cowboy, inspired by McMurtry's own experiences digging through the heaps of other men's junk for rare jewels.
McMurtry is one of us, the last few dinosaurs who still line our walls in bound pages and endless shelves. In fact, we might even call him the king dinosaur, Ex Libris Rex. For people like us, the way you stack them and shelve them, the ways the colors match or clash and the fonts juxtapose, is as close to creating "visual art" as we may ever come. But don't think for a moment that it doesn't come from a similarly romantic place. Don't think we have installed them without forethought or intentionality, without hoping new lovers or old friends will notice and thereby notice something significant about us.More »