Splendor in the Short Grass : The Grover Lewis Reader

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-04-30
  • Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
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"Grover was, after all, the most stone wonderful writer that nobody ever heard of. . . . His job was to hammer the detritus of fugitive cultural encounters into elegant sentences, lapidary paragraphs, and knowable truth; and, in truth, the loveliness and lucidity of Grover's writing always rose to the triviality of the occasion."--Dave Hickey, from the forewordGrover Lewis was one of the defining voices of the New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s. His wry, acutely observed, fluently written essays for Rolling Stone and the Village Voice set a standard for other writers of the time, including Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Eszterhas, Timothy Ferris, Chet Flippo, and Tim Cahill, who said of Lewis, "He was the best of us." Pioneering the "on location" reportage that has become a fixture of features about moviemaking and live music, Lewis cut through the celebrity hype and captured the real spirit of the counterculture, including its artificiality and surprising banality. Even today, his articles on Woody Guthrie, the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont, directors Sam Peckinpah and Sam Houston, and the filming of The Last Picture Show and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest remain some of the finest writing ever done on popular culture. To introduce Grover Lewis to a new generation of readers and collect his best work under one cover, this anthology contains articles he wrote for Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Playboy, Texas Monthly, and New West, as well as excerpts from his unfinished novel The Code of the West and his incomplete memoir Goodbye If You Call That Gone and poems from the volume I'll Be There in the Morning If I Live. Jan Reid and W. K. Stratton have selected and arranged the material around themes that preoccupied Lewis throughout his life--movies, music, and loss. The editors' biographical introduction, the foreword by Dave Hickey, and a remembrance by Robert Draper discuss how Lewis's early struggles to escape his working-class, anti-intellectual Texas roots for the world of ideas in books and movies made him a natural proponent of the counterculture that he chronicled so brilliantly. They also pay tribute to Lewis's groundbreaking talent as a stylist, whose unique voice deserves to be more widely known by today's readers.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Magazine Writer, by Dave Hickey ix
Star-Crossed: A Biographical Sketch of Grover Lewis, by Jan Reid and W.K. Stratton 1(12)
Splendor in the Short Grass: The Making of The Last Picture Show
Peckinpah in Mexico: Overlearning with El Jefe
Up in Fat City: On the Set with Keach and Huston
One Step Over the Fucked-Up Line with Robert Mitchum
Who's the Bull Goose Loony Here?
Excerpt from The Code of the West (unfinished novel)
Cowboy Movie in Black and White (poem)
Old Movies in My Mind
Dirge fora Bird
The Hard Traveling of Woody Guthrie
Looking for Lightnin'
Hitting the Note with the Allman Brothers Band
Stones Concert
The Wreckage Children (poem)
Goodbye If You Call That Gone
The Legacy of Huckleberry Finn
Cracker Eden: Oak Cliff-a Report, a Memoir
Hillbilly Song (poem)
A Cracker's Farewell: A Remembrance, by Robert Draper
Thanks for the Use of the Hall (poem)

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