The Professor's House

The Professor's House

The Professor's House

The Professor's House

Synopsis

The Professor's House -- Willa Cather's seventh novel -- was published in 1925, when she was fifty-two. At the time she was an author with a worldwide reputation, having won the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for One of Ours. Reaching the top of her profession had produced a letdown, and she later wrote that around the time she won the Pulitzer she had felt that for her the world had broken in two. The situation of the professor in this novel reflects the troubled time in Cather's own life. Behind this story of Godfrey St. Peter, a man who, despite his successes, has at mid-career experienced a profound disappointment with life, is the fierce story of how he decides to continue living despite his disappointment. And sandwiched between St. Peter's stories is the thrilling tale of his one brilliant student, Tom Outland, who discovers the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. Profound and disturbing, The Professor's House has taken its place as one of its author's most important works.

Excerpt

The objective of the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition is to provide to readers—present and future—various kinds of information relevant to Willa Cather's writing, obtained and presented according to the highest scholarly standards: a critical text faithful to her intention as she prepared it for the first edition, a historical essay providing relevant biographical and historical facts, explanatory notes identifying allusions and references, a textual commentary tracing the work through its lifetime and describing Cather's involvement with it, and a record of changes in the text's various editions. This edition is distinctive in the comprehensiveness of its apparatus, especially in its inclusion of extensive explanatory information that illuminates the fiction of a writer who drew so extensively upon actual experience, as well as the full textual information we have come to expect in a modern critical edition. It thus connects activities that are too often separate—literary scholarship and textual editing.

Editing Cather's writing means recognizing that Cather . . .

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