Willa Cather and Dutch Golden Age Painting
journal contributionposted on 30.03.2017, 14:34 by Catherine Morley
This essay argues that the American regionalist writer Willa Cather was deeply influenced by Dutch Golden Age painters in the compositional strategies of her short stories. Looking at Cather's ‘Coming, Aphrodite!’ (1920), the essay examines the geometric composition of the work, the orthogonal planes used throughout it, and the symbolism of the story to argue that it offers a self-conscious visual experience. The essay makes the case that Cather's transcultural and trans-generic experimentation lifts her literary reputation from the ‘local colour’ or regionalist demarcation and sets her firmly among her modernist peers.