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The Professor's House (Vintage Classics) Paperback – October 31, 1990
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A study in emotional dislocation and renewal--Professor Godfrey St. Peter, a man in his 50's, has achieved what would seem to be remarkable success. When called on to move to a more comfortable home, something in him rebels.
About the Author
WILLA CATHER, author of twelve novels, including O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop, was born in Virginia in 1873 but grew up in Nebraska, where many of her novels are set. She died in 1947 in New York City.
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But her manner of writing I enjoyed. She is very detailed. You'll get a glimpse of the color of the lamp shade behind the desk. Things like that; and her detailed descriptions of people's faces and human shape. She was truly a gifted writer. I "think" (?) I'll try her book on the Pioneer days in the Midwest, and maybe feel more satisfaction.
Cather starts out slowly, building scene and character, with her signature sparse and interesting descriptions and phrases--always thought-provoking. The Professor is a particularly sympathetic character, wise and kindly. But the end of the book puts this work into a special category. The writing transforms, mirroring the transformation which occurs within the Professor at that point in his life. He rereads the diary of Tom Outland, an exceptional former student and colleague (the choice of name had to be deliberate.) In Outland's diary of his days in the Southwest, the book attains truly poetic prose and is very moving. This is followed by a remarkably deep understanding on the part of Cather of a usually later-life (if attained at all) state which the Professor undergoes. I've reread this last section several times.
Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. As to this edition, there are a few typos. Those shouldn't be too distracting, at the price.
I loved the effect of the professor's way of being. PerhapsI was ready for a story about affect and resolution.