Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

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Suggested Readings

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Bloom, Edward A., and Lillian D. Bloom. Willa Cather’s Gift of Sympathy. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. Includes a discussion of the sources of Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Daiches, David. Willa Cather: A Critical Introduction. New York: Collier Books, 1951. A sophisticated survey, with a book-by-book treatment of Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Fryer, Judith. Felicitous Space: The Imaginative Structures of Edith Wharton and Willa Cather. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. An important inquiry into the meaning of actual and imagined spaces in the works of the two writers. Explores Cather’s unfurnished rooms and landscapes and gives particular attention to her use of color and light in Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Gerber, Philip. Willa Cather. Boston: Twayne, 1975. A brief but solid introduction to Cather’s life and literary career. Death Comes for the Archbishop is seen as a retreat into the past and as an implicit comparison to an inferior present, which accounts for its elegiac tone. Contains a select annotated bibliography of criticism.

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. Sexchanges. Vol. 2 in No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989.

Lee, Hermione. Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up. London: Virago, 1989. A feminist analysis of Cather as a writer of split identities, sexual conflicts, and stoical fatalism.

Lewis, Edith. Willa Cather Living: A Personal Record. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953. Personal reminiscences by Cather’s friend and companion for more than forty years.

March, John. A Reader’s Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993. An excellent source for any reader of Cather. Contains, alphabetically listed, often lengthy explanations of place names, proper names, and other objects of importance in Cather’s fiction.

Murphy, John J. “Willa Cather’s Archbishop: A Western and Classical Perspective.” Western American Literature 13 (Summer, 1978): 141-150. Argues that the novel reflects Cather’s cyclical view of history and her belief that American experience repeats the European. In this reading, Latour becomes a variation of the Western hero.

Nelson, Robert J. Willa Cather and France: In Search of the Lost Language. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988. Places aspects of Death Comes for the Archbishop in the...

(The entire section is 552 words.)