A New Heartland: Women, Modernity, and the Agrarian Ideal in America

By Janet Galligani Casey | Go to book overview

NOTES

Introduction

1. Two recent and excellent examples are Harding’s Writing the City and Yablon’s “The Metropolitan Life in Ruins.”

2. North offers a superb discussion of gendered responses to Cather’s One of Ours in chapter 5 of Reading 1922; the quotation is from p. 179. See also North’s introduction, p. 3, for Gilbert Seldes’s explanation of the “modern spirit” that was constructed as antithetical to Cather’s work.

3. Discussions of Cather’s oblique relation to modernism include Rose, “Modernism: The Case of Willa Cather,” and Thompson, Influencing America’s Tastes (especially chap. 5, which provides a brief overview of similar critical contexts).

4. The word is Cather’s own. See her Not under Forty, v.

5. Strauss, “Ideas of a Plain Country Woman,” Ladies’ Home Journal 24 (Dec. 1907): 38; 27 (Feb. 1910): 30; and 26 (Dec. 1909): 36. Some of Strauss’s early columns were collected in a 1908 book entitled The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman. For more on Strauss’s life and writings, see Boomhower, The Country Contributor.

6. On Curtis’s efforts to market the Ladies’ Home Journal as a middle-class magazine, see the first chapter of Steinberg’s Reformer in the Marketplace. On the Curtis building in Philadelphia, see A Short History of the Ladies’ Home Journal. When Progressive Farmer polled its readers concerning their favorite magazines, Ladies’ Home Journal was third out of the twelve periodicals most frequently mentioned (14 Jan. 1919). Margaret Jarman Hagood reported that in the late 1930s, Ladies’ Home Journal was one of the very few mainstream magazines occasionally seen in the homes of the poorest tenant farmers (Mothers of the South, 70).

7. Scanlon, Inarticulate Longings, 98-103.

8. On the Ladies’ Home Journal’s efforts to position itself in response to modernity, and especially to the shifting gender paradigms of modern consumer culture, see Scanlon’s introduction.

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