Telegraph kindred spirits online dating

The problems that the biographer of Cather has to face, however, are more complicated than merely locating the raw materials for the life.

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My book, , appeared in 1970 and was based on much primary material that had not been available to Brown.

I was able to correct errors and add details, but my record was far from complete, and it also contained its own errors.

Although forty years have passed since the death of Willa Cather in 1947, she never has been the subject of a full-length biography. can be more certain than she to capture ultimately the admiration of posterity." The absence of a detailed biography is probably due to the traps, pitfalls, and barricades she placed in the biographer's path, and until now sufficient material has not been available to flesh out more than a medium-length life. Brown's biography of Cather appeared in 1953, Alfred Knopf wrote on the jacket: "Here is all the biographical information anyone is likely ever to gather about Willa Cather." Even though he was understandably interested in promoting the sale of Brown's book, he no doubt also thought Cather had been such a private person that biographical data actually was meager.

When she died, her reputation was firmly established as one of the most significant American novelists, and during the succeeding decades her stature has continued to grow. Donald Adams wrote in the that "no American novelist was more purely an artist," and George Whicher declared four years later that "no American writer . While no biography ever can be definitive, this study contains a great deal more material than any previous one and goes considerably beyond my own earlier biography, as well as the efforts of others, in presenting a life-size portrait of this remarkable woman. He was wrong, of course, and since Cather died there has been a steady accumulation of material to fuel the ever-growing interest in her life and work.

Sir Isaac Newton in a letter to his rival scientist Robert Hooke wrote in 1676 that "if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." I feel somewhat the same in writing Cather's biography four decades after her death.

I have built on the work of many scholars, as my notes will indicate, and without their pioneering this book could not have been written.

During her own lifetime she managed her image rather successfully by writing biographical sketches of herself and telling interviewers what she wanted printed about her.

She changed her birth date; she altered details of her life; she exaggerated many events; she revised her opinions.

Knopf tried his best to preserve Cather's privacy, but it was difficult.

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