Ideas for Group Discussions
Busby, Mark, and Tom Pilkington. Larry McMurtry and the West: An Ambivalent Relationship. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1995. Offers a comprehensive overview of McMurtry’s fiction, including insights on the film version of The Last Picture Show. Also includes bibliographical references and an index.
Cawelti, John G. “What Rough Beast—New Westerns?” ANQ 9 (Summer, 1996): 4-15. Cawelti addresses the revival of the Western in print, film, and on television. He notes that the new genre reflects the loss of the mythic West of the past and shows how the contemporary Western, instead of glorifying the American spirit, now criticizes America’s shortcomings. Offers a brief assessment of The Last Picture Show.
Crawford, Iain. “Intertextuality in Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show.” Journal of Popular Culture 27 (Summer, 1993): 43-52. Crawford explores what he sees as the major themes of The Last Picture Show: the popular fiction of the 1940’s; the movies, including Westerns; and the mainstream literature and television of the 1950’s. He particularly focuses on the common theme of the consequences of living in the moral vacuum of contemporary society.
Jones, Roger Walton. Larry McMurtry and the Victorian Novel. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1994. Jones explores McMurtry’s lifelong love of Victorian authors and explores three Victorian themes that are prominent in all of McMurtry’s fiction: the individual’s importance in society, the conflict between society and nature, and the search for a coherent spirituality in an age that does not believe in God. He particularly focuses on The Last Picture Show.