Willa Cather

(3703 words)
  • Susie Thomas (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Willa Cather was an exceptionally private person, who believed that a writer's life was irrelevant to an understanding of the work. She destroyed personal letters and manuscript drafts in her possession, refused increasingly to give interviews, and her will forbade the publication of her correspondence. Cather was equally adamant that literature should not be ideologically motivated or raided for its sociological content: “An artist should have no moral purpose in mind other than just his art” (Cather, 1966, 406). Nonetheless, the two major currents in Cather criticism have been political and biographical. She was claimed by Christian conservatives in the 1930s and after her death by lesbian feminists in the 1990s. As these …

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Thomas, Susie. "Willa Cather". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 September 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=785, accessed 08 July 2015.]

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