Benjamin Capps and the South Plains: A Literary Relationship by Lawrence Clayton

By Lawrence Clayton

Benjamin Capps has been known as the Texas writer whose paintings might be learn a hundred years from now, yet Clayton notes that Caps has now not been the common topic of nationally disseminated severe interpretation, possibly simply because he's an anomaly—a author of significant, literary fiction set within the West. impressive are Capps's perceptive characterizations and his use of old historical past and folklore.

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Extra info for Benjamin Capps and the South Plains: A Literary Relationship (Texas Writers Series)

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Ruth Rice had taught school for three years at Uz in Montague County and at Holliday in Archer County before she married. After her husband died, she took her three young sons to pick cotton south of Wichita Falls. One son, six years old at the time, put his cotton in a burlap bag; Ben, four, put his in a flour sack; and the baby rode on his mother's long cotton sack. Mrs. Capps was enterprising. As Capps remembers: "Besides all the money she made when she weighed [her cotton], momma got ten cents a day from men and women she carried to the cotton patch in our good Model T, whether they rode inside or had to hang onto the running board" ("Lifetime of Lessons" 44A).

Cultivated the ability to see both cows and cowboys as characters, individuals both functioning together, equally independent on one another to make the drive. The tension, for example, Page 45 of a stampede is thus more meaningful because of the tension of the novel, a tension between two sets of characters playing each other against a hair-fine balance called going up the trail" (60). In his seminal piece of criticism in Southwest Review, Don Graham notes that the principal difference between Andy Adams's treatment and Capps's is in the development of characterization and the stock solutions to problems normally depicted in popular western fiction.

Capps's West is as real as we in this day will ever see it because Capps has researched, thought about, and recorded life as he has come to understand it from the fairly primitive existence and experience of his childhood in rural Texas. According to William T. Pilkington, one of the most productive and perceptive scholars of Southwestern life and literature, Capps has proved "that it is still possible to take a fresh and interesting view of some well-worn subjects" (12). Page 24 2 The Anglo Novels Capps wrote six novels dealing primarily with the experience of Anglos at various periods in the settlement of the West, principally in Texas: Hanging at Comanche Wells (1962), The True Memoirs of Charley Blankenship (1972), The Trail to Ogallala (1964), Sam Chance (1965), The Brothers of Uterica (1967), and The Heirs of Franklin Woodstock (1989).

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