Friday, March 22, 2013

Willa Cather’s letters

“For scholars it’s a major literary event, a chance at last to flesh out the understanding of a writer often seen as a remote bluestocking in big skirts and old-fashioned hats”: Willa Cather Letters to be Published as an Anthology (New York Times).

In a piece I wrote some years ago (now online), I characterized Cather as “a crypto-modernist, a modernist in nineteenth-century clothing.” I think that description still fits.

comments: 4

Adair said...

This is exciting. She is one of my touchstone authors.

Pete said...

I've never read Cather. Which book is her best?

Michael Leddy said...

I’d say The Professor’s House, a strange and beautiful novel.

Adair, or someone else?

Adair said...

My favorite is My Antonia, which captivates me from the first sentence to the last word. The unleashed flow of memory in that novel mesmerizes me, the sheer language of remembering, as if the whole novel were told in one great breath. But I also love My Mortal Enemy---a piercing, devastating work told in an economical manner---as well as the longer novel of artistic ambition, Song of the Lark. The short story, "Paul's Case," I think is one of the finest in American literature.
Those are my favorites but all of her works are rewarding. (Sorry, I cannot do italics for titles when posting a comment.)