Reader's Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather

Reader's Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather

by John March, Debra Lynn Thornton
     
 

In correspondence, Willa Cather confessed to planting some of her allusions deep. This reader's companion contains thousands of lively and informative entries on persons, places, and events, fictional and real, and on quotations, works of art, and other items to reveal meanings or provide background for understanding Cather's fictional world. At the same time, it

Overview

In correspondence, Willa Cather confessed to planting some of her allusions deep. This reader's companion contains thousands of lively and informative entries on persons, places, and events, fictional and real, and on quotations, works of art, and other items to reveal meanings or provide background for understanding Cather's fictional world. At the same time, it offers insights into her real world and time, her interests, and her astonishingly broad frame of reference. A lifetime project of encyclopedist John March, the once unwieldy manuscript and notes have been verified, clarified, amplified, and organized by literary scholar Marilyn Arnold, with the assistance of Debra Lynn Thornton. The goal was to develop a work that would be useful to the reader while preserving March's authorial presence has resulted in a dictionary that will both enlighten and delight.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]he Companion is impressive both for the knowledge of literature, art, and music Cather possessed, apparent in her many allusions, and for the detail of March's effort. The Companion makes one want to reread Cather's works more closely, or read those not yet read. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduates students, and researchers." - Choice

"Thousands of entries contained in this delightful literary reference work range from A (a French town visited by Claude Wheeler and David Gerhardt in One of Ours) to Zuni (the Sothwestern Indian pueblo and site of a tale of mission revolt told in Death Comes for the Archbishop)…the Companion feels somewhat more like a lively dialogue, a complex conversation involving innumerable interconnections between Cather's short stories and novels and the continuing curiosities and concerns of her committed readership, than an alphabetically ordered dictionary." - Western American Literature

"Literary archaeologists of the future may be able to reconstruct the outlines and many of the details of Cather's fiction just from this comprehensive and readable guide. This volume will deservedly become a standard reference. March assumed readers would move from the fiction to his handbook; the editors believe, rightly, that this companion will be read on its own. It serves admirably to illuminate the range of Cather's allusions, to increase the reader's understanding of the cultures of which she writes, and to bring the reader back to the text with a deeper understanding." - Great Plains Quarterly

Booknews
Originally titled by March, who spent 40-50 years working on it, as Handbook of Willa Cather, this fascinating work was edited for publication by Marilyn Arnold, with Debra Lynn Thornton. In the first instance a unique, idiosyncratic, astonishingly intricate guide to the allusions, persons, and quotations in Cather's (1873-1947) fiction (March included the essays and poems, which are omitted here) that was published in books and magazines after her graduation from the U. of Nebraska in 1895. In the second instance the remarkable product of a keen mind in the lifetime labor of pursuing perfect identification of, and with, his subject. Less a reference, perhaps, than an estimable literary adjunct to Cather's own writings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313287671
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/28/1993
Pages:
880
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.95(d)
Lexile:
1090L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

John March earned degrees in Chemistry and in Library Science. After teaching mathematics and chemistry, he became Assistant Librarian in Bibliographic Research at the University of Oklahoma and later became Senior Bibliographic Researcher at Collier's Encyclopedia. He began collecting Cather material in the late 1940s.

Marilyn Arnold is Professor Emeritus of English and was formerly Dean of Graduate Studies at Brigham Young University. She has published two books on Willa Cather and numerous articles on Cather and other American writers. She also lectures widely on Cather at national conferences.

Debra Lynn Thornton is a PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. She has written on Eudora Welty and has presented papers on Willa Cather.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >