440 Western American Literature Winter 2013 a feeling of incompleteness and regret and just a faint touch of uneasiness which one might experience if one had been a slacker" (22728). These moments of joy and disappointment exemplify a life that was full of adventure but also of intense frustration at unrealized dreams. Twenty Thousand Mornings is two recovery projects in one. In her introduction, Kalter draws on Mathews's diaries, which are also in the Western History Collection at the University of Oklahoma, to reveal parts of his life not covered in the autobiography. She takes as one primary focus his struggle to become a successful writer. The financial difficulties he had in the late 1940s were discouraging, as were the three rejections of the autobiography. Mathews also rants about the state of publishing in the late 1960s in a passage that reveals the lingering influence of reserved Victorian-era values on his social views. Yet in the autobiography, he speaks frankly about his sexual desire for individual young women, University of Texas coeds, and "Wing-Wacks," a term he uses to describe young women who like pilots. He also has romantic aspirations to chivalry, gallantry, or knight-errantry. A careful study
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Feb 20, 2013
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