By Merrill Maguire Skaggs
Axes strains the intimate dating among the texts released by means of Willa Cather and William Faulkner among 1922 and 1962. whilst these texts are juxtaposed and tested conscientiously, the 2 writers look intensely aware of, and attentive to, every one other’s paintings. actually, either sooner or later seem to have caricatured or parodied the opposite in print. Judging by means of the texts they left at the back of, they titillated, indignant, exhilarated, and—especially—energized one another. a few readers may possibly finish that for 40 years they helped create every one other—the rival geniuses and axes of yankee fiction within the 20th century. At the tip in their lives, Cather deliberate a narrative to seem posthumously as suggestion to Faulkner approximately existence and literary type; he deliberate his final novel to respond to her in spirit and released it a month sooner than his dying. This groundbreaking examine is provocative and certain to ignite the imaginations of literary critics and committed readers of every writer.
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Additional info for Axes: Willa Cather and William Faulkner
And if it were not education, it would be something else just as bad, and perhaps worse. Man must fill his time some way, you know. (m 41–42) Cather’s Professor St. Peter quarreled with science first and later objected to “the aim to ‘show results’ that was undermining and vulgarizing education” (ph 140). He said science competed inadequately with art and religion because it offered only ingenious toys, while art or religion provided a sense of human importance, human centrality in life’s drama.
He takes an arch view of “her stealthy advance in estimation” (24), though it seems less surprising to him because the “decade of Muck, the calamitous ten years from 1900 to 1910, represent the flimsiest period in modern literary history” (24). He observes that her stories such as “A Wagner Matinée” and “The Sculptor’s Funeral” counteract Roosevelt’s sentimentality about the west. And this, he points out, is a dangerous gambit. But he explains not only that “Miss Cather has had the courage to stroll on eggshells” (27), but also that “She walks a good deal in Washington Square where ashcans are prevalent” (30).
They were in their bunks and almost asleep, when the missing man came in and unceremoniously turned on the light. They were astonished to see that he wore the uni14 | a starting p oint form of the Royal Flying Corps and carried a cane. He seemed very young, but the three who peeped out at him felt that he must be a person of consequence. He took off his coat with the spread wings on the collar, wound his watch, and brushed his teeth with an air of special personal importance. Soon after he had turned out the light and climbed into the berth over Lieutenant Bird, a heavy smell of rum spread in the close air.