Cather Studies, Volume 11


Cather Studies, Volume 11

Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux

Edited by Ann Moseley, John J. Murphy, and Robert Thacker

Cather Studies Series

384 pages
18 photographs, 1 index


August 2017


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eBook (PDF)
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August 2017


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2017


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux examines Willa Cather’s position in time, in aesthetics, and in the world. Born a Victorian in 1873, Cather made herself a modernist through the poems, stories, and novels she wrote and published into the twentieth century. Beginning with a prologue locating Cather’s position, this volume of Cather Studies offers three sets of related essays.

The first section takes up Cather’s beginnings with her late nineteenth-century cultural influences. The second section explores a range of discernible direct connections with contemporary artists (Howard Pyle, Frederic Remington, and Ernest Blumenschein) and others who figured in the making of her texts. The third section focuses on The Song of the Lark, a novel that confirms Cather’s shift westward and elaborates her emergent modernism. An epilogue by the editors of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather addresses how the recent availability of these letters has transformed Cather studies. Altogether, these essays detail Cather’s shaping of the world of the early twentieth century and later into a singular modernism born of both inherited and newer cultural traditions.

Author Bio

Ann Moseley is the William L. Mayo Professor and professor emerita of literature and languages at Texas A&M University–Commerce. John J. Murphy is professor emeritus at Brigham Young University. Robert Thacker is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Canadian Studies and English at St. Lawrence University.


"The essays that comprise Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux are a welcome addition to the ongoing assessment of the author's career and her contributions to modern US literature."—Susan Naramore Maher, American Literary History

“The essays selected for the volume—in all cases substantial and thoughtful, in some cases exhilarating in their intellectual richness and scope—valuably deepen, complicate, and extend the account of the precise nature of Cather’s modernism.”—Richard Millington, coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Essential reading in the field. . . . These essays point the way toward a new generation of Cather scholarship.”—Daryl Palmer, author of Writing Russia in the Age of Shakespeare

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux
Ann Moseley, John J. Murphy, and Robert Thacker
Prologue: Gifts from the Museum: Catherian Epiphanies in Context
John J. Murphy
Part 1. Beginnings
1. The Compatibility of Art and Religion for Willa Cather: From the Beginning
Steven B. Shively
2. Thea in Wonderland: Willa Cather’s Revision of the Alice Novels and the Gender Codes of the Western Frontier
Michelle E. Moore
3. Ántonia and Hiawatha: Spectacles of the Nation
Joseph C. Murphy
Part 2. Presences
4. Willa Cather, Howard Pyle, and “The Precious Message of Romance”
Richard C. Harris
5. “Then a Great Man in American Art”: Willa Cather’s Frederic Remington
Robert Thacker
6. Willa Cather, Ernest L. Blumenschein, and "The Painting of Tomorrow"
James A. Jaap
7. From The Song of the Lark to Lucy Gayheart, and Die Walküre to Die Winterreise
David Porter
8. The Trafficking of Mrs. Forrester: Prostitution and Willa Cather's A Lost Lady
Charmion Gustke
9. The Outlandish Hands of Fred Demmler: Pittsburgh Prototypes in The Professor’s House
Timothy W. Bintrim
10. Translating the Southwest: The 1940 French Edition of Death Comes for the Archbishop
Mark J. Madigan
Part 3. Articulation: The Song of the Lark
11. Elements of Modernism in The Song of the Lark
Ann Moseley
12. “The Earliest Sources of Gladness”: Reading the Deep Map of Cather’s Southwest
Diane Prenatt
13. Re(con)ceiving Experience: Cognitive Science and Creativity in The Song of the Lark
 Joshua Doležal
14. Women and Vessels in The Song of the Lark and Shadows on the Rock
Angela Conrad
Epilogue: The Difference That Letters Make: A Meditation on The Selected Letters of Willa Cather
Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout

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