Friday, April 14, 2017

“This is the truth”

Willa Cather, My Ántonia (1918).

There’s a similar but much bleaker passage in the third part of Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925). There, Godfrey St. Peter is the voice of the darkest, deepest truth: ”Desire under all desires, Truth under all truths.“ As St. Peter observes the setting sun or a tree root or the changing leaves, he says, “merely,” “That is right” or “That is it” or “That is true; it is time.”

Related reading
All OCA Cather posts (Pinboard)

comments: 2

The Arthurian said...

The excerpt reminds me of the comparison of the seasons to the economy (summer is good times; winter is hard times) and that economics is not a morality play:

"It’s not a happy story in which virtue is rewarded and vice punished. The market economy is a system for organizing activity — a pretty good system most of the time, though not always — with no special moral significance. The rich don’t necessarily deserve their wealth, and the poor certainly don’t deserve their poverty..."

Krugman's observation is not helpful, though, unless one realizes that economics brings winter not by necessity, but only because we fail to prevent it.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s real food for thought, both Krugman’s observation and yours. Thanks for that, Art.