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Carnival in the Novels of Willa Cather: When the World Becomes Grotesque

Mary C. Chinery

ISBN 10: 0773415505 / ISBN 13: 9780773415508
Published by Edwin Mellen Pr, 2011
Used Condition: Good
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2011 - Hardcover - Used - Good - - Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks. - .-. Bookseller Inventory # NE-04-5-0019

Bibliographic Details

Title: Carnival in the Novels of Willa Cather: When...

Publisher: Edwin Mellen Pr

Publication Date: 2011

Book Condition:Good

About this title


This work analyzes Willa Cather's fiction using images of laughter, feasting and dancing. The study employs Bakhtin's theory of the carnival and demonstrates that for Cather, festivals are transformative events. Willa Cather possesses a keen awareness of the power of festive life; in her fiction, celebrations, dancing and parties are notably important occasions. Many notable moments are set in June, during the time of Midsummer festivals, and nearly every novel includes scenes from the Christmas season. From a literal depiction of a festive event such as a French church fair during midsummer, Cather moves to metaphoric treatment of it as the world-turned-upside down or the grotesque. Such events unbury the dead, lift out the transgressive, or turn the usual order of the world upside down. These occasions celebrate excesses, revel in the underbelly, question authority and give voice to persons without status, such as immigrants and hired girls. This book explores Cather's adoption of these occasions, the meaning and traditions surrounding them, and the ways in which they take on greater importance in her fiction.


"[The author's] writing is so intelligent, her thoughts so clear that it is difficult to imagine how this element of Cather's craft has hitherto gone unstudied." -Prof. Margaret Doane California State University "... a significant addition to Cather Studies in its exploration of what Cather knew and understood about the carnival tradition in European classical literature and in the experiences of celebration in her own life." -Prof. Laura Winters College of Saint Elizabeth"

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