Advertisement for myself: specifically, for an upcoming book discussion I’m leading

March 15, 2008 at 6:40 pm (Book clubs, books)

professor.jpg willa-cather-portrait.jpg Back in June, I wrote about The Professor’s House by Willa Cather. This was my first foray back into classic literature after many years of devotion to new books. Of late, I’ve gotten hooked on new books all over again and neglected the back-to-the-classics resolution that I made upon retiring.

But now, here I am, set to lead a discussion of The Professor’s House next month. I only agree to lead a book discussion if I feel that I would profit by revisiting the book in question. Sure enough, as I re-read Cather’s small gem of a novel, I am feeling enriched by it all over again. In the June post, I quoted her lyrical description of Lake Michigan. Here are some other memorable quotes:

“As [the Professor] left the house he was reflecting that people who are intensely in love when they marry, and who go on being in love, always meet with something which suddenly or gradually makes a difference. Sometimes it is the children, or the grubbiness of being poor, sometimes a second infatuation.”

(And yes, I can’t help thinking right now that you have to hope and pray that the “difference” is something bearable, that it in no way resembles the kind of catastrophe currently confronting Silda Wall Spitzer…)

“I don’t think you help people by making their conduct of no importance–you impoverish them. As long as every man and woman who crowded into the cathedrals on Easter Sunday was a principal in a gorgeous drama with God, glittering angels on one side and the shadows of evil coming and going on the other, life was a rich thing. The king and the beggar had the same chance at miracles and great temptations and revelations.”

And finally, and most provocatively –

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.”

If you are local, please consider joining me for a discussion of The Professor’s House at the Howard County Central Library at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 5. Copies of the book are currently available at the Fiction/Audiovisual Desk.

1 Comment

  1. Two in twenty-four hours! Book discussions, that is… « Books to the Ceiling said,

    […] morning, at the library, I led a discussion of The Professor’s House by Willa Cather. (Run, Roberta, run!) I’ve already posted twice on the subject of this […]

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