Cather Studies, Volume 9


Cather Studies, Volume 9

Willa Cather and Modern Cultures

Edited by Melissa J. Homestead and Guy J. Reynolds

Cather Studies Series

328 pages
8 illustrations


October 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

October 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Linking Willa Cather to “the modern” or “modernism” still seems an eccentric proposition to some people. Born in 1873, Cather felt tied to the past when she witnessed the emergence of twentieth-century modern culture, and the clean, classical sentences in her fiction contrast starkly with the radically experimental prose of prominent modernists. Nevertheless, her representations of place in the modern world reveal Cather as a writer able to imagine a startling range of different cultures.

Divided into two sections, the essays in Cather Studies, Volume 9 examine Willa Cather as an author with an innovative receptivity to modern cultures and a powerful affinity with the visual and musical arts. From the interplay between modern and antimodern in her representations of native culture to the music and visual arts that animated her imagination, the essays are unified by an understanding of Cather as a writer of transition whose fiction meditates on the cultural movement from Victorianism into the twentieth century. 

Author Bio

Melissa J. Homestead is Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English and program faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the author of American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822–1869. Guy J. Reynolds is a professor of English and the director of the Cather Project at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is the author of Willa Cather in Context: Progress, Race, Empire and Apostles of Modernity: American Writers in the Age of Development (Nebraska 2008).


"The scholarly authority with which the contributors approach their subjects reinforces the notion of Cather as a sophisticated 20th-century artist."—K. P.Ljungquist, CHOICE

"The ninth volume of Cather Studies transcends the usual tendency to classify Cather as modern here and antimodern there, more interestingly highlighting tensions with modernism itself."—Stefanie Heron, Great Plains Quarterly

Table of Contents

Editorial Policy
Melissa J. Homestead and Guy J. Reynolds

1. Willa Cather in and out of Zane Grey's West
John N. Swift
2. Thea's "Indian Play" in The Song of the Lark
Sarah Clere
3. "Jazz Age" Places: Modern Regionalism in Willa Cather's The Professor's House
Kelsey Squire
4. Changing Trains: Metaphors of Transfer in Willa Cather
Mark A. R. Facknitz
5. Chicago's Cliff Dwellers and The Song of the Lark
Michelle E. Moore
6. Willa Cather and Henry Blake Fuller: More Building Blocks for The Professor's House
Richard C. Harris
7. Cather's "Office Wives" Stories and Modern Women's Work
Amber Harris Leichner
8. It's Mr. Reynolds Who Wishes It: Profit and Prestige between Cather and Her Literary Agent
Matthew Lavin
9. Thea at the Art Institute
Julie Olin-Ammentorp
10. Art and the Commercial Object as Ekphrastic Subjects in The Song of the Lark and The Professor's House
Diane Prenatt
11. "The Nude Had Descended the Staircase": Katherine Anne Porter Looks at Willa Cather Looking at Modern Art
Janis P. Stout
12. "The Cruelty of Physical Things": Picture Writing and Violence in Willa Cather's "The Profile"
Joyce Kessler
13. "Before Its Romanzas Have Become Street Music": Cather and Verdi's Falstaff, Chicago, 1895
John H. Flannigan


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