Our 10th story for The Willa Cather Short Story Project is “The Sculptor’s Funeral.”
This story was first published in McClure’s Magazine in January 1905. You can read that version here, courtesy of the Willa Cather Archive (WCA). Cather also included this story in her 1920 collection, Youth and the Bright Medusa.
A neat feature when reading Cather’s works on the WCA website is that in the upper righthand corner you can click an option that will let you see scans of the original publication, when available. To do this, click on “page breaks & image links on/off” and a thumbnail image will appear. Click on that and it will open a larger image that you can read. The red arrows on the image below point out these steps.
It’s almost like time traveling back to the past but with some helpful tools of today. This sure beats hours spent hunched over a microfilm or microfiche reader, earning a stiff neck and a numb butt (although I do sometimes wax nostalgic over those “good old days”).
But I digress.
The plan is to read “The Sculptor’s Funeral” sometime this month. I’ll have my reaction post up here on November 27 and invite others to join in with their reactions and thoughts.
Spring Conference 2020
If you noticed the publication date of Youth and the Bright Medusa above (1920), Cather fans will be celebrating the book’s 100th anniversary in 2020. Not surprisingly, the National Willa Cather Center has chosen this short story collection as the focus of next year’s Spring Conference. This gathering of Cather scholars and enthusiasts is held in Red Cloud, Nebraska.
The title of the 2020 Spring Conference is Un/Tethered: Cather on the Cusp of the 1920s. The dates are June 4-6. Of course I’d love to go, but don’t know yet if I’ll be able to swing it. Click here for more information, including a call for papers.