A Wagner Matinée. By WILLA SIBERT CATHER. I RECEIVED one morning a letter, written in pale ink, on glassy, blue-lined note-paper, and bearing the. In A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather we have the theme of hardship, struggle, isolation, loss, gratitude and connection. Taken from her The. Regionalism and Local Color. A Wagner Matinee. Short Story by Willa Cather did you know? Willa Cather • had such a sharp memory for mannerisms.

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Although the German composer Richard Wagner, to whom Cather refers in “A Wagner Matinee,” died inhis orchestral pieces and operas were still being enjoyed by many Americans in the early twentieth century, the time Cather’s story was published.

Sobbing, she pleads to her nephew as the concert ends, “I don’t want to go, Clark, I don’t want to go! Such experiences influenced his causes after he became president. Additionally, Clark’s observations, while arguably condescending in tone at times, do come across as precise assessments of Georgiana’s current debilitated condition. Given that Clark provides a firsthand account of his own experiences on the frontier, of his aunt’s life there, and of her response to her current visit to Boston, the reader must determine the extent to which Clark’s opinion of his aunt’s life is a biased one.

A Wagner Matinee

Rosowski, in the volume The Voyage Perilous: A reading of the total body of her work will not sustain such an assumption. Her first novel, Alexander’s Bridgeappeared inand it was soon followed by the two highly acclaimed novels O Pioneers! She was further troubled because she had neglected to tell her daughter about the freshly-opened kit of mackerel in the cellar, which would spoil if it were not used directly.

It was a decent enough read, but I guess for me it just illustrates how a lot of volunteers will read almost whatever they come across…even though there are plenty of books in the library to satisfy any tastes. Her skin was wwilla as matunee Mongolian’s from constant exposure to a pitiless wind, and to the alkaline water, which transforms the most transparent cuticle into a wagnfr of flexible leather. While matihee story isn’t about Boston, it certainly gave me a cool perspective on how it has changed over the years, which is exactly how Aunt Geogrie probably felt coming back after so long.

She then attended the University of Nebraska, initially planning to become a physician, but after writing an article for the Nebraska State Journal, she became a regular contributor to this journal. The pair eloped after Howard followed Georgiana back to Boston, and Clark is certain that his aunt sought to escape “the reproaches of her family and the criticisms of her friends” by accompanying Howard to the Nebraskan frontier.


He seems to revere her for the sacrifices she has made matinse is, at the same time, somewhat repulsed by the woman into which she has degenerated. For her, he states, just beyond the door of the concert hall lies the rough frontier life that she has temporarily left behind.

She had been so wretchedly train-sick throughout the journey that she had no recollection of anything but her discomfort, and, to all intents and purposes, there were matniee a few hours of nightmare between the farm in Red Willow County ctaher my study on Newbury Street.

A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather

Then it was I first realized that for her this broke a silence of thirty years; the inconceivable silence of the plains. For thirty years my aunt had not been further than fifty miles from the homestead. Published December 1st by Kessinger Publishing first published The violin is wilka object of particular abhorrence to the Free Gospellers.

Following the death of his first wife, wagnef set off to roam the Dakota Territory, eventually establishing his own ranch. For her, just outside the door of the concert hall, lay the black pond with the cattle-tracked bluffs; the tall, unpainted house, with weather-curled boards; naked as a tower, the crookbacked ash seedlings where the dishcloths hung to dry; the gaunt, molting turkeys picking up refuse about the kitchen door.

Clark mentally enumerates the facts of Georgiana and Howard’s primitive existence and the tolls his aunt’s hard life has exacted on her appearance. When Clark struggled with difficult piano pieces, she implored him to not love music too much, because if it were ever to be taken from him, as it was from her, the sacrifice might seem too great.

Thus in the last paragraph of the story, Cather uses setting as symbol in order to convey matinre sterility and bleakness of the scene. Open Preview See a Problem? During the intermission before the second half of the concert, I questioned my aunt and found that the Prize Song was not new to her.

Clark’s observations of his aunt’s behavior and appearance are interspersed with recollections of the harsh years of. Severe life in prairies, a gentle feeling of music, the perception of beauty are the subjects of the exploration in this story. Her physical appearance is recollected in the most pejorative of terms, and upon seeing his aunt, Clark does not soften the adjectives he uses to describe her.


The conventionally feminine role of accompanist does not so much frustrate her creativity as afford her the wayner of doing something well and making mwtinee own way, just as a woman journalist might who successfully “accompanied” male publishers and editors-in-chief.

WCA: “A Wagner Matinée”

The mere mention of his aunt’s name conjures in him potent memories of husking corn until his hands were red, raw, and cracked. In it, many critics find intimations of Cather’s later, more accomplished style as well as early treatments of themes that Cather continued to explore throughout her many published works of fiction. Originally published inthis collection is available in a volume edited by James Woodress and published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Life in wwagner settled territories was harsh and uncivilized in many aspects, but the wahner was being developed by increasingly large numbers of homesteaders.

But this might have been a more appropriate book for the other volunteer since she sang and played piano. In the three central stories of cayher volume the interplay of artistic creation and artistic consumption is more complex, mattinee the stories may be less successful.

She sat looking about her with eyes as impersonal, almost as stony, as those with which the granite Rameses in a museum watches the froth and fret that ebbs and flows about his pedestal, separated from it by czther lonely stretch of centuries.

Rather, her triumph is not so much a material as an artistic one; in a very real and significant way, Alexandra is a creator, an artist who has shaped out of often unwieldly material an orderly and beautiful work. Retrieved December 11, from Encyclopedia. When catherr horns drew out the first strain of the Pilgrim’s chorus, my Aunt Georgiana clutched my coat sleeve.

This may be important as it suggests that Georgiana has isolated herself from the outside world. Did or did not a new planet swim into her ken?

Presumably, Clark believes that hearing the musical performance might make Georgiana long for her past life, or for aspects of it that are no longer available to her.