Willa Cather

Coming Out of the Closet

It was the late 1990s, and I went up to Rolling Stone on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan to say hello to my old friend Bobby Love who was the longtime managing editor. I had worked at Rolling Stone for a short while many years before and had made many friends and drinking buddies, including Bobby [...]

Finding True Meaning in the Modern World: Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop

To live as an American and as a Catholic is no small challenge, for America is fundamentally a modern project and Catholicism is decidedly not. The driving force of modernity (which began with the Protestant Reformation) can be summarized as “self-discovery”; to be a modern is, essentially, to exist in a constant state of self-awareness—specifically, [...]

The Human Condition in Cather’s My Antonia

Dr. Johnson remarked that a noble purpose of great literature “is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.” Willa Cather’s My Antonia, a novel about immigrants travelling to the Midwest to farm the land as pioneers, provides great wisdom on the art of enduring life better. Portraying the universality [...]

Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop

“Wherever there was a French priest, there should be a garden of fruit trees and vegetables and flowers”—the telltale signs of civilized life. In Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop two French Jesuit missionaries arrive in the American Southwest to revive the Catholic faith and evangelize the Mexicans and Indians, Catholics who were once [...]

All Happy Trails Lead West (II)

 Presently we saw a curious thing: There were no clouds, the sun was going down in a limpid, gold-washed sky.  Just as the lower edge of the red disk rested on the high fields against the horizon, a great black figure suddenly appeared on the face of the sun.  We sprang to our feet, straining [...]

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