We’re taking a big leap in time with “Coming, Aphrodite!” We’re moving from stories included in Cather’s 1905 short story collection, The Troll Garden, and into her second collection published in 1920, Youth and the Bright Medusa. It’ll be interesting to see what changes we notice in her style.
Cather wrote to her editor Ferris Greenslet on January 7, 1920,
I’ve just finished a really fine 15,000 word story that I did for a Christmas treat and to rest my hand from the long book. New York ‘studio episode’, and it’s turned out very well; and it’s opened up a mine of untouched material, a long account in another bank,–on which I can draw pretty heavily when I want to (287).
This quote is from The Selected Letters of Willa Cather. An editor’s note states the story mentioned is “Coming, Aphrodite!”, which first appeared in the August 1920 issue of Smart Set magazine.
Cather ends this letter with the news about her new story. In the first part of the letter, she rips into Greenslet for yet another critical typo in an advertising piece. He apparently failed to uphold had an agreement they had that she would proof advertising copy.
The reading plan
Read “Coming, Aphrodite!” before next Wednesday. I’ll share a discussion post about my reading experience on Wednesday, May 22nd and look forward to your thoughts on the story.
If you don’t have a copy, click here to read it, courtesy of the Willa Cather Archive.
Click here for information about the Willa Cather Short Story Project.
P.S. I apologize for posting this reminder on the third Wednesday of the month rather than the second. May 1st landing on a Wednesday threw me off.