03 August 2012

My Ántonia

The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is. For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.

I am profoundly moved every time I experience the sublime way an artist can portray the deepest truths of the human condition, as Willa Cather does in this book. If you ever wish to understand something of chivalrous love without looking to medieval times, read this book.

Thoroughly true and beautiful; in other words, Catholic.


Hootiecootie said...

I have not read this book but you make me want to do so.


Chivalrous love.

Timeless and beautiful.

PS: I guess there are no tomatoes in this piece of literature. Sigh. I love tomatoes. They willingly lay down their lives for those of us who love them.

Peggy R said...

I can't remember whether I've read My Antonia. It must have been years ago. I have enjoyed many Willa Cather novels.

I cried as the archbishop was dying. I had thought while reading the book that she was glossing over too much and I didn't have a close sense of the man. But her writing was magnificent and "got me" in spite of myself.

Alison said...

Great book. I read it the first time in college and my roommate and dear friend from those days named her oldest daughter Antonia. I read it for the fourth time this summer because my book club read it. So happy to be associated with a good book club. And yes, the plow is really in the sun. Willa Cather is the finest female author of prose in American literature. You can even make a pilgramage to her house in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

amsjJ said...

I've not read this one, but am reading "Death Comes for the Archbishop" in English and Spanish to see how the latter's translation was done (weird hobby of mine). To me it seems too much influenced by Fr. Howlett's biography, but I appreciate how she put events in the fictionised settings, and while I'm not partial to too much scene description, she does catch me once in a while with her words.