Bibliography of Willa Cather's Reading

This bibliography was created by Sharon Hoover and Melissa Ryan. They know that the existing work, though large, is incomplete, and they invite interested scholars, readers, and students to submit new works to the bibliography. To do so, please contact the editor of the Willa Cather Archive at . Any resource that attempts to be comprehensive depends upon a community of scholars, readers, and other interested parties.

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Total Number of Entries in Reading Bibliography: 1056

    Balzac, Honore de

  1. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Title: A Distinguished Provincial in Paris
    Date: 1839
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In The Song of the Lark, as Dr. Archie is reading A Distinguished Provincial in Paris, he explains to Thea that "A Frenchman undertook to write about a whole cityful of people, all the kinds he knew. And he got them nearly all in, I guess. Yes, it's very interesting. You'll like to read it some day, when you're grown up."
    Note Source: Song of the Lark Part I, Chap. 6

  2. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Title: Cousin Pons
    Date: 1847
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In an 1898 article in the Courier, Cather writes: "[Alphonse Daudet] left no novel which, in days to come, will carry the conviction and power of Notre Coeur or Madame Bovary or Cousin Pons." In an 1894 article in the Journal, in comments on University's staging of Plautus' Captivi, Cather writes: "Mr. Tucker's Ergasilus was nearer like Balzac's Cousin Pons than anything else, and his conception is the conception of Plautus himself. It is a type of gastronomic idealization which could only have existed in the Rome of Plautus and the Paris of Balzac, where artificial tastes had reached undisputed exaltation."
    Note Source: Courier 1/22/1898; Journal 2/17/1894

  3. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Title: La Comedie humaine
    Date: 1842
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In "A Resurrection" the narrator is probably alluding to this series of novels when he refers to life as "this little comedie humaine."
    Note Source: Collected Short Fiction 1892-1912 426

  4. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Title: La Duchesse de Langeais
    Date: 1833-34
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In The Song of the Lark, Dr. Archie prefers Sir Walter Scott's Constance de Beverley and the minstrel girl in "The Maid of Perth" to Balzac's Duchess de Langeais.
    Note Source: The Song of the Lark Book I Chap. 12

  5. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Title: Pere Goriot
    Date: 1835
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In a Nebraska State Journal piece on artists' private lives, Cather writes, "It is better that we do not know what the last chapter of the Pere Goriot cost Balzac, what the third chapter [act?] of Phaedra cost Rachel." In Collected Short Fiction 1892-1912, the roomers speculate about Count de Koch as the roomers do about Balzac's Goriot in "The Count of Crow's Nest."
    Note Source: Journal 6/16/1895; Collected Short Fiction 1892-1912 451

  6. Author: Balzac, Honore de
    Note Relating to Cather: In a letter, Cather tells Sergeant that she has been reading Balzac. In another letter, Cather claims that she read all of Balzac before she was twenty. She also discusses Balzac at some length at the end of "A Chance Meeting," the essay that describes her evening with Madame Franklin Grout, Flaubert's niece. Cather also described one of the "Townsfolk" in a 1893 Journal piece: "He was a little legal gentleman who read a great deal of Balzac and took himself as seriously as most of Balzac's characters do." Cather commented in a 1902 Journal article: "Balzac's monument is conspiciously ugly and deserted, but Balzac seems more a living fact than a dead man of letters."
    Note Source: A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather #242; A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather #988; Not Under Forty 23-25, 46-47-48; Journal 12/17/1893; Journal 9/14/1902