Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I'm still reeling having finished Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop only this morning.
And this is a statue of the real Bishop of New Mexico whom she barely disguised in the novel. Is it a novel? ... Cather called it a 'narrative' and it unfolds slowly, as time does in real life, the little events carrying as much weight as more dramatic ones.
I'm glad that I've only recently discovered Willa Cather; I don't think I would have appreciated books like this and The Professor's House when I was younger. All I can say is that they are masterpieces. She writes with the force of a man and the sensitivity of a woman. And now I want to visit New Mexico. As I was reading, I was picturing Georgia O'Keeffe's landscapes, carnelian-red hills and parched bones.

'Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was far away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!'

3 comments:

Thomas at My Porch said...

Cather also does a wonderful job describing the southwest in her novel The Professor's House. Which, although not one of her better known books, is my personal favorite. In fact one of my favorite books of all time.

Thomas at My Porch said...

Sheesh, I obviously missed your sentence referring to The Professor's House. Oops. I am glad you liked that one as well.

mary said...

Thanks for commenting, Thomas. (I'm really excited that people are beginning to stop by!) The Professor's House is my favourite, too. It's such a completely beautiful book (and I don't say that lightly) that I wanted to force it into the hands of everybody I know. I suppose that's why we blog, so as not to bore our friends!