Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Last Picture Show Imitates The Last Picture Show

Rural communities that prospered in the 1950s are now falling on hard times. The latest copy of the Texas Observer has an off-line story on Archer City, Texas, which is author Larry McMurtry's home town and the inspiration for his novel, The Last Picture Show. Ironically, the story of a deteriorating rural community set in 1951 referred a town that was in fact robust and healthy. Maybe it was just a metaphor for culture or people when McMurtry wrote it, but now the Observer reports that Archer City looks literally like the boarded-up, scantily populated ghost town McMurtry wrote into the national consciousness in 1966 (motion picture followed in 1971). Is Archer City now a metaphor for most rural townships?

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