Cather Studies: Willa Cather as Culturali Icon

By Guy Reynolds | Go to book overview

“Two or Three Human Stories”
O Pioneers! and the Old Testament

JESSICA G. RABIN


INTRODUCTION: BECOMING A GIVEN

Scholarship on canon construction suggests that texts become literary icons in much the same way that symbols accrue meanings, that is, through association. If a canonical work is “authoritative in our culture” (Bloom 1), then an iconic work might be emblematic or representative of certain ideas in a generally recognized way. In the case of both canon formation and iconography, intertextuality, or the ability to tap into a recognized tradition while still making a unique contribution, would seem essential. Sometimes canonicity and iconography collapse into one, rendering a literary text (or an author) both an icon and the cornerstone of a canon. The Old Testament, for example, occupies such a place in our culture and literature. Harold Bloom establishes this centrality of the Old Testament to the canon of Western literature by describing it as “such a given that we are blinded to its idiosyncrasies” (4). Many writers since have both adopted and adapted the biblical tradition as part of their own journey to canonical and iconic status. While Willa Cather’s literary corpus has by now earned an indisputable place in the canon of American literature, her status as an icon is only beginning to be systematically investigated. One step toward understanding Cather as cultural icon might involve beginning to explicate an iconography of Cather. Therefore it would seem that the powerful undercurrent of the Old Testament in Cather’s texts,

-86-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cather Studies: Willa Cather as Culturali Icon
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 356

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.