A Wagner Matinée. By WILLA SIBERT CATHER. I RECEIVED one morning a letter, written in pale ink, on glassy, blue-lined note-paper, and bearing the. In A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather we have the theme of hardship, struggle, isolation, loss, gratitude and connection. Taken from her The. Regionalism and Local Color. A Wagner Matinee. Short Story by Willa Cather did you know? Willa Cather • had such a sharp memory for mannerisms.
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Cather revised the story slightly between its magazine publication in and its appearance in The Troll Garden in ; for example, she eliminated some of the harsher details about Georgiana’s appearance in the later version, changing a description of her figure as misshapen to one of mstinee being stooped in posture.
A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather
In the first paragraphs Clark, the narrator, awaits the arrival of his Aunt Georgiana, a woman whose early life as a music teacher in Boston had been drastically changed by her elopement with Howard Carpenter and their subsequent life on the Nebraska frontier. Baker, “Nebraska’s Cultural Desert: To his eyes, she appears to be sleepwalking, unable to understand that she now has returned mztinee the wills where she had lived when she was much younger, “the place longed for hungrily half a lifetime.
This one packed a lot of emotion into a very short piece. He requested me to meet her at the station, and render her whatever services might prove necessary. While Daiches contends that the structure of the story “is simple and the point rather obvious,” he nevertheless identifies in the work the development of Cather’s original style and emotional tone.
The home pasture is not just a matter of setting, but of attitude and cathwr as well.
He has also lived both lifestyles she had but she chose one that she is hesitant to return to after visiting Clark and seeing this matinee that leaves her in tears. Mildred Bennett calls “Eric Hermannson’s Soul,” which appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine for AprilCather’s “first important story.
By the end of section one, however, Cather succeeds in suggesting through these established symbols much more than is merely said. She was an “angular, spectacled woman of thirty,” a teacher of music employed by the Boston Conservatory, he explains.
During the intermission, Clark questions his aunt about one of the songs they heard, and she informs him wilal she has actually heard it before, as sung by a German immigrant back in Red Willow County. Magee treats some of the controversial aspects of Wagner’s life but focuses more intently on the form, wwagner, and influence of Wagner’s music.
She wrote about pioneers before she wrote about artists, and about artists before she turned to lost ladies. A reading of the total body of her work will not sustain such an wagjer. Peter and his violin are one, both are broken, and the music which they have made together is now over.
Many critics have located that pervasive opposition in the two epigraphs to the volume. Clark interprets his aunt’s response as an indication not simply of her unwillingness to leave the music behind but also of her extreme reluctance to return to the harshness of her life in Nebraska.
Return to Book Page. She had hovered about him until she had prevailed upon him to join the country church, though his sole fitness for this step, so far as I could gather, lay in his boyish face and his possession of this divine melody. They built a dugout in the red hillside, one of those cave dwellings whose inmates usually reverted to the conditions of primitive savagery.
This communication, worn and rubbed, looking as though it had been carried for some days in a coat-pocket that was none too clean, was from my Uncle Howard.
No doubt accident was on occasion responsible for the omission of a story from the canon. Cather also appears to be exploring the theme of gratitude. This hesitation between the “kitsch” and serious forms of fiction can hardly be paralleled in the careers of other good writers. For a school-teacher trying to write fiction in her spare time, that was probably a reassuring conclusion.
A Wagner Matinee
Because of this, she changed her major and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. But they make their way to catyer first balcony, and as the orchestra plays the Tannhauser overture, “Aunt Georgiana clutched my coat sleeve. One’s first assumption would be that Miss Cather rejected so much of her short fiction from her collected work on aesthetic grounds alone, including the good stories and excluding the poorer ones.
Nevertheless, she appears to ascertain enough about the music to feel moved by it, for she weeps during much of the second half of the concert.
Since she is already well established in this career when she marries, the choice catuer O’Brien willla to her of an “orderly controlled marriage rather than an artistic career” is actually never posed. In recalling how Georgiana came to reside in Nebraska, Clark recounts the meeting between Georgiana and Howard.
It never really dies, then, the soul?
Story of the Week: A Wagner Matinée
Her interference was actually beneficial to the volume, however, since the substitution of “Flavia and Her Artists” provided its strongest structuring element. Jessica rated it it was amazing Nov 02, But if the desire for art can become a feeding frenzy, the opposite, an indifference to art, is even more deadening—as shown in the contrasting “The Sculptor’s Funeral.
It withers to the outward eye only, like that strange moss which can lie on a dusty shelf half a century and yet, if placed in water, grows green again. Georgiana’s response to the music is muted. Cather’s style in “A Wagner Matinee” is characterized by the realism with which she describes the events of the story and the narrator’s recollections of Nebraska.
WCA: “A Wagner Matinée”
The first with ellipses as shown here is from Charles Kingley’s introduction to The Roman and the Teuton: This dual opposition is customarily seen as the central structuring theme of The Troll Garden. He observes that the wind and alkaline water have yellowed her skin so that it is like that of a “Mongolian’s.
Clark then conveys an anecdote in which Georgiana expresses her fear that if he loves music too well, it will be taken from him, and that this is the worst type of sacrifice one can make—losing something that one loves so dearly.
She taught me my scales and exercises, too, on the little parlor cxther which her husband had bought her after fifteen years, during which she had not so much as seen any instrument except an accordion, that belonged to one of the Norwegian farm-hands.
Anna Hardy rated it really liked it. From behind it she murmured, “And you have been hearing this ever since you left matimee, Clark? It is generally acknowledged that the husband in “Flavia and Her Artists” was modeled on Flavia Canfield’s husband, Dorothy’s father, but he is not presented as being only the husband of a foolish wife, as commentary on the story usually insists.