5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars


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"Christine E. Kephart" <[log in to unmask]>
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5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars
Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:25:25 -0600
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I'm reminded of "The Garden Lodge," beginning with the lengthy 
description of Caroline Noble's miserably talented, dysfunctional family 
and ending with this paragraph summarizing the lesson(s) she learned 
from them about art and life:

When she came into the control of herself and the house she refused to 
proceed any further with her musical education. Her father, who had 
intended to make a concert pianist of her, set this down as another 
item in his long list of disappointments and his grievances against the 
world. She was young and pretty, and she had worn turned gowns and 
soiled gloves and improvised hats all her life. She wanted the luxury of 
being like other people, of being honest from her hat to her boots, of 
having nothing to hide, not even in the matter of stockings, and she 
was willing to work for it. She rented a little studio away from that 
house of misfortune and began to give lessons. She managed well and 
was the sort of girl people liked to help. The bills were paid and 
Auguste went on composing, growing indignant only when she refused 
to insist that her pupils should study his compositions for the piano. 
She began to get engagements in New York to play accompaniments at 
song recitals. She dressed well, made herself agreeable, and gave 
herself a chance. She never permitted herself to look further than a 
step ahead, and set herself with all the strength of her will to see 
things as they are and meet them squarely in the broad day. There 
were two things she feared even more than poverty: the part of one 
that sets up an idol and the part of one that bows down and worships