Portrait by Carl Van Vechten (1936)
Quotes of the Day for 7 December 2003 – Willa Cather
Willa Silbert Cather was born at Winchester, Virginia on this day in 1873, and was raised on a Nebraska ranch. In 1895 she moved to Pittsburgh where she served as wire editor and drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader while starting to write. She wrote plainly and told stories well, developing honest, dignified characters and strong heroines set against the backdrop of the American plains. She won the Pulitzer in 1923 for One of Ours. Her 1927 book Death Comes for the Archbishop was honored by the American Modern Library as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century.
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On the farm the weather was the great fact, and men's affairs went on underneath it, as the streams creep under the ice.
That is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great.
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand - a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods - or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market.
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
- All from Willa Silbert Cather, 1873 - 1947
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