Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry at the KRTS Studios, May 2009.
Author Larry McMurtry – known for such award-winning novels and film screenplays as Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show, and his adaptation of Brokeback Mountain – recounted with some disdain a recent visit to Marfa in the pages of The New York Review of Books, which prompted a local rebuttal in the pages of Marfa’s weekly newspaper, The Big Bend Sentinel.
The kerfuffle was highlighted by journalist Jason Cohen in today’s edition of the TM Daily Post, from Texas Monthly.
Apparently, McMurtry, while reviewing a book about actress Elizabeth Taylor in the latest edition of The New York Review of Books, went into a digression about the small West Texas town, that prompted a response from Marfa resident (and former KRTS DJ BoogieChillen) Ken Whitley in the letters section of the Sentinel.
See the TM Daily Post for a break-down of the brouhaha, in an article entitled Fightin’ Words: Larry McMurtry v. the People of Marfa.
Here at Marfa Public Radio we seem to recall McMurtry’s visit to town in 2009 as a guest of the Marfa Film Festival. He was interviewed on the KRTS weekday program, Talk At Ten, where he made similar comments on how Marfa was already over, was already lost, and that the only remedy was to flee to the city. He spoke about how he many years ago “escaped” from his small town of Archer City, Texas.
It seemed to our radio team, though, that during this May 2009 radio interview, McMurtry, the esteemed curmudgeon, playfully ignored the fact that high-culture and small-towns could co-mingle in the 21st century.