Antonia, Willa Cather, Jim It discussed on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

To one of their meetings and it was really quite endurable horrible except a great deal of singing by a young lady who could not sing. You See. The meeting was at the fair damsels house so it was her great and only chance to go on the program as often as she wished and she sang. Twelve times not counting encores the Twelfth Quilt Song. How to refrain beginning? Pray does this music charm thy heart which considering the universal disgust was a somewhat delicate question. A lot of people remarked on her conversational ability and her One interviewer pointed out that she was a sort of woman who would call somebody a mutton. Head Oh and just like. She was very frank and very explicit with people and didn't really suffer fools Cather's sometimes signed her letters William she she lived with her partner. Edith Lewis for forty years. Is it safe to say or accurate to say that Caterpillar was a lesbian. Yes I certainly think so. Some of the biographies that are now quite old like from the eighties and some newer works to made claim which seems to me ridiculous. Okay they would say Cather's emotional. Attachments were to women but she probably lived a celibate life. In nineteen eighteen. My Antonia was published. It was the last of a trilogy. Three Books Cata wrote about the prairie and it's considered one of her best works. The wagon jolted on carrying me. I knew not whither. I don't think I was homesick. If we never arrived anywhere it did not matter between that Earth and that Sky I felt erased blotted out but did not say my prayers bears that night. Here I felt what would be would be this book. There are parents deaths. There are wolves there's suicide rape murder. How did it end up with this? Like fusty dusty reputation. I don't know I sometimes think it was bad marketing It might have been the sort of cultural expressions of the pioneer experience that that kind of followed cather. You know whether it was Laura Ingalls Wilder or Western TV shows. How a got the reputation? Probably some bad book covers with A high necked addresses and and ingrained blowing in the wind. I think that's why I didn't want to read caverns young person I thought it'd be Ho- how boring and it's all about When meals and cows you know and then I read it and realize no? It's about like a emotion and danger and love and and sex and all these other things which is where the books covers fail. Because when Jim and Antonia the main characters I arrive in Nebraska as little children. They find the life. There is a far grimmer darker than an illustrated windmill or a cow. The year before my Antonia was published Congress began for the first time time really tightening immigration laws the US they have the same Jimmy he kept saying in a hurt tone. These foreigners ain't the same. You can't trust them to be fair. It's dirty to kick a feller you heard out of the women turned on you and after all we went through on account of last winter. They ain't to be trusted. I don't WanNa see you get too thick with any of them. Julia Olin Amateur Berta Book About Willa Cather and Edith Wharton. She says because the Shamir does were immigrants they were viewed with suspicion suspicion by almost everyone even when Antonia's mother tries to give Jim's family a gift. Yeah it's dried mushrooms. That they have gathered. In the forests of Bohemia Oh he mia and brought all the way into the new world and Antonia even tells Jim it's very good. It makes things very good but when they get home. Jim's grandmother is just like weird foreign food and dumps it in the garbage but you know it seems almost like a threw away. But it's it's a little message about Zena Phobia in you lose something you lose out on something. When using a phobic remember reading that part and thinking Oh my God what would we pay today for an ounce of dried mushrooms from Czechoslovakia? Exactly two hundred twelve dollars a pound for truffles or something so yeah. It's something like that and they throw it away. Cather's wild west is far are from the West. We know from Hollywood cowboy boots in covered wagons Austin Graham teaches English at Columbia. You can imagine a version of the novel Kabir could have written. That would have been entirely sentimental and it would have been about the you know the virtues of country living but Antonia's father is also an immigrant story. You you know. A man whose life is significantly worse when it comes to the United States who's utterly isolated who takes his life and is buried alone in the middle of nowhere because the region's won't allow his body and metairie and there's nowhere else for him to go because Antonia's father has committed suicide his body this shunned by the church so the Shamir's are forced to bury him on their own property? Jim's family are also immigrants their Norwegian but the Perry has a caste system immigrants from western. Europe are okay. Immigrants from other places like the Americas who are not very very memorably right in gyms grandfather's grandfather's funeral speech for Antonio's father say we failed to these people we weren't as welcoming to these strangers in the land as we ought to have have been. I thought his prayer remarkable. I still remember it. Oh great and just God. No Man among us knows what the sleeper knows does nor is it for us to judge what lies between him and the prayed that if any man there had been remissed toward the stranger come to a far country God God would forgive him and soften his heart recently. Bret Stephens an OP ED writer. At The New York Times wrote about my Antonia. He says the novel is a story of a country that can can overcome prejudice. He wrote about how the narrators grandfather helped the Merida's forgave them their debts and put petty quarrels aside here. He is reading from his column. It's an such moments that my Antonia becomes an education and what it means to be American to have come from elsewhere with very little to be mindful amid every retracting of prosperity of how little we once had and were to protect and nurture those newly arrived wherever from as if they were our own immigrant. GRIMM ancestors equally scared equally humble and equally determined gather has packed my intimate with female characters. But as you read about what happens to them it can be hard to understand. The book could have been written by a feminist author like Lena lingard another young immigrant. Who's accused of putting a farmer? Only Benzion who was is married out of his head. After the last Tim had been son and the congregation was dismissed. Ole slipped out to the hitch bar and lifted Lena on on her horse. That in itself was shocking. A married man was not expected to do such things. Giulio an amateur describes Lena as Marilyn Alan Monroe figure sexy and naive but not really. It seemed like she was being penalized for doing nothing but existing. She just happened to be really really gorgeous. Yeah kind of her. Crime is being too sexy inside. All of those wore. No clothes like she couldn't tell Canada's really interesting things with I think the way people really are. Everybody thinks that you know only and Lena must be having a sexual relationship and you know later. Lena says he just liked to talk to me. He was lonely out there. I was lonely out there. 'cause she's out all day in the fields like taking care of the sheep goats or whatever it is just like we're just hanging out maybe you lose the steer and learn not to make some things with your. Is it married men. Mrs Shamir told her hectoring. -Ly Lena only smiled author. Sleepy smile I never made anything to him with my eyes. I can't help it if he hangs around and I can order him off. It ain't my prairie. It's not the cancer other is beating women up instead of each story. She showing a different example of how a woman's life could turn out. Unfortunately Antonia gets thrown every obstacle in the book. She falls for a loser. Guy Named Larry Donovan who works on the Railroad. Larry promised her a ring but then he leaves her without the ring. But expecting thing a baby Antonia decides to have the Child on her own Juliane Amitav says if you think this is a woman being weak. You are so wrong. This is about being resilient and human oftentimes when people are both good and bad like Antonia falling for that. Do she guy. His his name is blocked out That gray area. That murky Nasdaq complexity. Makes things more fascinating in I mean and that's how we are. You know we all make a bad choices being shurmur making good choices. There's another puzzling aspect to the book..

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