Critical Essays On Willa Cather

Critical Essays On Willa Cather-70
Katherine Mansfield, she remarks, has ‘a powerful slightness.’ How excellent the phrase!When Miss Cather says that a second rate writer can be defined, but one first-rate can only be experienced, she codifies a law of universal criticism.Queer refers to both the specific sexuality of Cather; it is also used as a transitive verb to describe the writer’s interrogation and disruption of the broader culture, as in “Queering America.” It has a very specific literary-historical import when Lindemann says of “Tom Outland’s story” that it represents “Cather’s queering in the sense of critique and revision of the American classic as the tale of a free boy’s adventures” (103).

Katherine Mansfield, she remarks, has ‘a powerful slightness.’ How excellent the phrase!When Miss Cather says that a second rate writer can be defined, but one first-rate can only be experienced, she codifies a law of universal criticism.Queer refers to both the specific sexuality of Cather; it is also used as a transitive verb to describe the writer’s interrogation and disruption of the broader culture, as in “Queering America.” It has a very specific literary-historical import when Lindemann says of “Tom Outland’s story” that it represents “Cather’s queering in the sense of critique and revision of the American classic as the tale of a free boy’s adventures” (103).

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There are slippages of meaning, moments when argumentative logic is lost, elided or blurred.

Lindemann is fond of oppositions wh ere the queer is said to resist or critique the straight; but the rhetorical force of these oppositions sometimes masks a lack of specificity.

To Miss Cather we are already indebted for a distillation of Miss Jewett’s stories, wrought with a precision unknown elsewhere in American Letters. How handsome Miss Jewett looked in those days, the epitome of New England inheritance, a little formal, not free from self-consciousness, but a work of art quite as truly as her stories are a work of nature.

Slighter papers make up the volume, illuminated by flashed of intuitive understanding.

During the post-war period, Cather scholarship became a case study in academic trends.

Critical Essays On Willa Cather

Mythic Cather, New Critical Cather, Christian Cather, psychoanalytical Cather, feminist Cather: her oeuvre is at best a testing-ground and at worst a battleground for new readings.

Along with Faulkner, Cather has become one of the most contested twentieth-century novelists.

Current debate lies in the intersection of ideology and feminism, with a specific focus on how “progressive” a writer Cather was.

The country of her allegiance is far from the land of her inheritance, and for its past she feels an alien nostalgia which those ‘under forty’ can never know.

It is in praise of this past that she has written this slender volume in reverence and love.

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