By Dorothy Van Ghent
Willa Cather - American Writers 36 was once first released in 1964. Minnesota Archive versions makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more obtainable, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press variants.
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They were the only living things. Such silence and stillness and repose — immortal repose. " It was not only the discovery of the ancient people that gave that summer its intensity in Tom Outland's life; living alone on the high mesa, he experienced the freshness of a land that seemed newly emerged from creation. "And the air, my God, 30 Willa Gather what air! — Soft, tingling, gold, hot with an edge of chill on it, full of the smell of pifions — it was like breathing the sun, breathing the colour of the sky.
He was sitting on the edge of a narrow bed, wrapped in a blanket, in the light of a blazing fire. He had just been washed in warm water; the basin was still on the floor. Beside it knelt a very large old man with big eyes and a great drooping nose and a little black cap on his head, and he was rubbing Jacques's feet and legs very softly with a towel. . " The bishop is told by his servant that die child is the son of the woman called La Grenouille, and the old man nods thoughtfully, "Ah! " He sits through the night with his swollen legs on a stool, covered in his cloak and sunk in meditation — he has given the child his bed.
Between this book and Shadows on the Rock (1931), Willa Gather's father died, a death from which she suffered severe shock, and she had tended her mother through a long paralytic illness; from the personal point of view, there can be no question of the immediate emotional provenience of the central relationship in 38 Willa Gather Shadows on the Rock, that between father and child (Euclide Auclair, apothecary of Quebec, and his small daughter Ce'cile) — the essential image of human continuity. But the "child" had appeared frequently before, as a psychological symbol, in Willa Gather's writings — the "divine child" of myth and of dreams, making its clamor at the limen of consciousness, requiring entrance.