Tuesday, March 1, 2005

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

I’m listening to O Pioneers! by Willa Cather now. More on that later, but I heard something the other day I don’t want to lose. These audiobooks are tough for this kind of thing. Guess that’s why I’ll want to read my favorite ones in print some day. It went something like this. “There are only two or three human stories, and we all just live them over and over again. We’re like the birds in the meadow, who have been singing the same five notes for thousands of years.”

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I passed over this audiobook a number of times at the library because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to My Antonia. It didn’t, but I still liked it. This one, like My Antonia, is partly about the spaces that separate people and the fact that people do what they do because of who they are and not because of what they plan for. Oddly, although this book has real tragedy in it, I think My Antonia is in the end more tragic and sad because it is about ordinary life and the normal things that might have been, things that are universal and that we can all relate to.

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