Whatever Happened to Jacy Farrow?
University of North Texas Press, 1997 - 321 pages
Ceil Cleveland and Larry McMurtry grew up as friends in the little Texas town of Archer City, fictionalized by McMurtry in The Last Picture Show, which later became a film by Peter Bogdanovich. Among the locals, Cleveland has long been assumed to be the principal model for the novel's iconic character, Jacy Farrow - played in the movie by Cybill Shepherd. Says Cleveland: "In modern American literature, especially Texas literature, Jacy has become an archetype: a beautiful, flirty, teasing, bitchy, blonde in a convertible.... Now this Jacy wants to tell her story ... my story". The boys' world in Thalia - the legitimate one of football, rodeos, learning to cuss, and dreaming about girls - was the world of Texas in that era. Girls had bit parts. We could play if we learned our lines and attempted no ad lib. Some of us were cheerleaders, jumping, squealing, shaking our hips and pom-poms, the rewards of the boys on the field after the game was over.... I projected myself into every picture show I saw. I was there - learning to act, to walk, to dress, to speak, to attract or dismiss men. I had no other way of forecasting my future".
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Page ix - What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
Page vi - that the values of women differ very often from the values which have been made by the other sex
Page vi - Speaking crudely, football and sport are "important"; the worship of fashion, the buying of clothes "trivial." And these values are inevitably transferred from life to fiction. This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room. A scene in a battlefield is more important than a scene in a shop— everywhere and much more subtly the difference of value persists.