The Willa Cather Impasse

I mentioned before that my friend Kim and I started a book blog (Eleven and a Half Years of Books) based on the favorite books recommended by various authors in The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books. The idea was that each of us would take a book from the lists provided and review it, slowly working our way through what some people see as the best books of all time. However, we already have a potential impasse on the horizon.

We both went into this with some conditions, me probably more than Kim. For instance, out of the 544 books recommended by the book, I’d already read about 167 before we’d even started. I read some books over and over again, but I mentioned that I might not be willing to read some of these 167 again. I also refused to read any more Henry James.

Kim informed me of a condition recently. She told me that she had never read Willa Cather’s My Antonia (one of the 544) and had no intention of doing so. If Eleven and a Half Years of Books was to have a My Antonia review, it would have to be done by me.

Frankly, I was suprised that Kim had not already read My Antonia. She does live in Nebraska and Nebraska worships Willa Cather. As one of their most famous authors, Willa can do no wrong in Nebraska. They even make kids read her in the high schools. I was such a kid.

As such, I’ve already read My Antonia. Further, I’m not sure that it is a book that I really want to spend the time to read again. I’m not a Willa Cather hater, but neither am I a Willa Cather fanatic. I read it once and I always thought that was enough.

Thus, we have our potential impasse. If we are to review all 544 then we will need to hit My Antonia eventually. Kim won’t do it and I don’t want to. Neither of us wants to budge on this. Hmmm, what to do? Oh well, given that the estimation in The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books is that all 544 at the rate of a book a week would take eleven and a half years, we can just put My Antonia off for about ten years or so. We can wait to fight about it then.

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About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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6 Responses to The Willa Cather Impasse

  1. Kim says:

    The story on Willa Cather that I didn’t want to type out in text is this. For whatever reason, the Papio-Lavista school district did not have us read My Antonia in grade 9 thru 12, when I moved to Nebraska. Then I trotted off to college at Concordia in Seward NE. My class was the test class, so half of us were divided off into the control group and half into the experimental group. They were trying out “freshman seminar”. So half my friends were in this freshman seminar class. And they had to read My Antonia. I was known for my ability even back then to assist with paper writing. So I would get stuck reading bits and pieces of My Antonia trying to help them write some stupid paper on Cather, Nebraska, and Antonia. The bits I read of it left me unwilling to read any more and having to talk about it so much even though I WASN’T EVEN IN THE CLASS also left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I will read the other Cathers in there if you don’t want to. Just in a decade you will be reading My Antonia. By then it’ll be 30 years since you had to read it last. It won’t be hard 😀

  2. Kim says:

    Ooo. I like that thought. Wonder who we can sucker into reading it?

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