Death Comes for the Archbishop

Death Comes for the Archbishop

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by Willa Cather
     
 

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Death Comes for the Archbishop sprang from Willa Cather's love for the land and cultures of the American Southwest. Published in 1927 to both praise and perplexity, it has since claimed for itself a major place in twentieth-century literature. The narrative follows Bishop Jean Latour and Father Joseph Vaillant, friends since their childhood in France, as they organize… See more details below

Overview

Death Comes for the Archbishop sprang from Willa Cather's love for the land and cultures of the American Southwest. Published in 1927 to both praise and perplexity, it has since claimed for itself a major place in twentieth-century literature. The narrative follows Bishop Jean Latour and Father Joseph Vaillant, friends since their childhood in France, as they organize the new Roman Catholic diocese of Santa Fe subsequent to the Mexican War. While seeking to revive the church and build a cathedral in the desert, the clerics, like their historical prototypes, Bishop Jean Laury and Father Joseph Machebeuf, face religious corruption, natural adversity, and the loneliness of living in a strange and unforgiving land. The historical essay traces the artistic and spiritual development that led to its writing. The broad-ranging explanatory notes illuminate the elements of French, Mexican, Hispanic, and Native American cultures that meet in the course of the narrative, they also explain the part played by the land and its people - their history, religion, art, and languages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A truly remarkable book . . . Soaked through and through with atmosphere . . . From the riches of her imagination and sympathy Miss Cather has distilled a very rare piece of literature. It stands out, from the very resistance it opposes to classification.”—NEW YORK TIMES“The most sensuous of writers, Willa Cather builds her imagined world as solidly as our five senses build the universe around us.”—Rebecca West“[Cather’s] descriptions of the Indian mesa towns on the rock are as beautiful, as unjudging, as lucid, as her descriptions of the Bishop’s cathedral. It is an art of ‘making,’ of clear depiction—of separate objects, whose whole effect works slowly and mysteriously in the reader, and cannot be summed up . . . Cather’s composed acceptance of mystery is a major, and rare, artistic achievement.”—from the Introduction by A. S. Byatt

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307805225
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/24/2011
Series:
Vintage Classics
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
102,683
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

A. S. Byatt
What intrigues me about [Cather] is the intelligence with which she combines her formidable learning in European art and literature with her 'new' uniformed or formless American subjects, the settlers and pioneers with their unrecorded lives and their diverse heritages.

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