The Troll Garden by Willa Cather (1905)
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From the 1983 University of Nebraska edition of The Troll Garden by Willa Cather: Willa Cather’s first book of fiction, The Troll Garden (1905) is a collection of her earliest mature short stories. Well-crafted tales in their own right, they are important harbingers of her future novels and stories.
The precise language, profound psychological study, and finely honed plots that characterize her later work are prominent.
Some important themes are apparent here even more than in her later work: the conflict between East and West, art and the artistic temperament in America, the accommodations that the woman (or man) of sensibility must of does make with society and with idealism. The handling of these themes is as sophisticated and relevant today as ever.
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Read The Troll Garden online at Willa Cather Archives
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Willa Cather was a perfectionist tin language and form, and she reworked these stories from printing to printing and elsewhere suggested further changes, both major and minor.
… This edition will be essential to all students and scholars of Willa Cather. The general reader and students and scholars of American literature, western literature, and women’s studies will find here a fascinating and notable document in its fines and useful form.
The seven stories included in this collection are:
- “Flavia and Her Artists“
- “The Sculptor’s Funeral“
- “A Death in the Desert“
- “The Garden Lodge“
- “The Marriage of Phaedra“
- “A Wagner Matinee“
- “Paul’s Case“
“The Sculptor’s Funeral,” “A Death in the Desert,” “A Wagner Matinee,” and “Paul’s Case” were revised and reprinted in Willa Cather’s next collection of short fiction, Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920).
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