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O Pioneers! (Vintage Classics) de Willa…
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O Pioneers! (Vintage Classics) (1913 original; edició 1992)

de Willa Cather (Autor)

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5,4381471,492 (3.88)1 / 481
Cather presents the story of the Nebraska prairie. Alexandra Bergson, daughter of Swedish immigrant farmers, is devoted to the land and suffers the hardships of prairie life.
Membre:golson17g
Títol:O Pioneers! (Vintage Classics)
Autors:Willa Cather (Autor)
Informació:Vintage (1992), Edition: Reissue, 176 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read

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O Pioneers! de Willa Cather (1913)

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Anglès (142)  Castellà (2)  Italià (1)  Suec (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (147)
Es mostren 1-5 de 147 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Grit and Determination on the Plains

Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! encapsulates in one brief novel the epic story of America’s breadbasket, the immigrants who settled and transformed it into the vast productive land we know today, the challenges they confronted and overcame, the importance of and strength they derived from shared heritage and community, and the vision of some to see past their present difficulties to a brighter future. And it features as a prime mover, the one with the greatest vision, a woman of strong will, of inner fortitude, possessing the strength to set aside societal convention as she tamed the wild land as her brothers never could, Alexandra Bergson.

In the 1880s, when the novel opens, Nebraska was still a wild land, given to cattle raising. But the U.S. government wanted to spur agricultural development and to that end passed the Homestead Acts (1882), whereby Americans could receive land free with the proviso they had to live on it and cultivate it within five years. Land was also sold to immigrants who poured into the country, particularly from Scandinavia and Germany. John Bergson, the patriarch in the novel, settled near the fictional town of Hanover. John worked himself to death, literary, farming his land and upon his death left the homestead to Alexandra, going against the grain of both the times and old world tradition. He saw that she, not her brothers Lou and Oscar, had the vision and intelligence to build what he had begun into something big and prosperous. By the second part of the novel, which jumps ahead sixteen years, we see that she has accomplished just that, resisting the brothers’ fears of taking on risk and doing things differently than many around them.

Alexandra, apart from running the farm, leads a lonely life. She has recurring dreams of being carried in the arms of a strong man, but keeps her closest male friend, Carl, at a distance, until the end of the novel. She establishes a close relationship with Marie Tovesky Shabata, whom both she and her youngest brother, Emil, have known since childhood. Emil and Marie are near the same ages and Alexandra encourages Emil to help out on the Shabata farm often. Marie is married to a very difficult man, a man at odds with the world, a man who dislikes his neighbors and is disliked my them in return. Emil, of course, falls in love with Marie, who is vivacious and happy, even, and perhaps in spite, of her marital plight. Her husband, among other things, is jealous of Marie and always suspicious of her. In the end, this leads to tragedy, with him killing both Emil and Marie as they talk to each other in an apple orchard. Interestingly, and a reflection of attitudes toward woman, Alexandra not only blames herself for the murders but also Emil and Marie for engaging in an affair (though emotional not conjugal). In short, Marie bears responsibility for her husbands reaction. As a result, Alexandra visits Frank, the husband, in prison in Lincoln and promises to help him secure an earlier release. This aspect of the novel might have modern readers raising their eyebrows.

In the end, Carl returns from Alaska, where he has gone to stake his claim to adventure and riches, to console her, and the two, though unsaid, marry.

Cather writes with a simplicity that will appeal to most readers. Reminding oneself of American origins, in particular how immigrant groups clung together before blending into the American landscape, is a strength, especially given current times. The portrayal of a strong woman able to succeed to the world of business is another strength. However, some readers may be less accepting of certain ideas more in line with traditional expectations for women, especially as they relate to emotional spousal abuse and finger pointing for a crime of a passion. The Signet Classic mass paperback edition contains a fine introduction by Elizabeth Janeway, and for this reason is the recommended edition. ( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
Grit and Determination on the Plains

Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! encapsulates in one brief novel the epic story of America’s breadbasket, the immigrants who settled and transformed it into the vast productive land we know today, the challenges they confronted and overcame, the importance of and strength they derived from shared heritage and community, and the vision of some to see past their present difficulties to a brighter future. And it features as a prime mover, the one with the greatest vision, a woman of strong will, of inner fortitude, possessing the strength to set aside societal convention as she tamed the wild land as her brothers never could, Alexandra Bergson.

In the 1880s, when the novel opens, Nebraska was still a wild land, given to cattle raising. But the U.S. government wanted to spur agricultural development and to that end passed the Homestead Acts (1882), whereby Americans could receive land free with the proviso they had to live on it and cultivate it within five years. Land was also sold to immigrants who poured into the country, particularly from Scandinavia and Germany. John Bergson, the patriarch in the novel, settled near the fictional town of Hanover. John worked himself to death, literary, farming his land and upon his death left the homestead to Alexandra, going against the grain of both the times and old world tradition. He saw that she, not her brothers Lou and Oscar, had the vision and intelligence to build what he had begun into something big and prosperous. By the second part of the novel, which jumps ahead sixteen years, we see that she has accomplished just that, resisting the brothers’ fears of taking on risk and doing things differently than many around them.

Alexandra, apart from running the farm, leads a lonely life. She has recurring dreams of being carried in the arms of a strong man, but keeps her closest male friend, Carl, at a distance, until the end of the novel. She establishes a close relationship with Marie Tovesky Shabata, whom both she and her youngest brother, Emil, have known since childhood. Emil and Marie are near the same ages and Alexandra encourages Emil to help out on the Shabata farm often. Marie is married to a very difficult man, a man at odds with the world, a man who dislikes his neighbors and is disliked my them in return. Emil, of course, falls in love with Marie, who is vivacious and happy, even, and perhaps in spite, of her marital plight. Her husband, among other things, is jealous of Marie and always suspicious of her. In the end, this leads to tragedy, with him killing both Emil and Marie as they talk to each other in an apple orchard. Interestingly, and a reflection of attitudes toward woman, Alexandra not only blames herself for the murders but also Emil and Marie for engaging in an affair (though emotional not conjugal). In short, Marie bears responsibility for her husbands reaction. As a result, Alexandra visits Frank, the husband, in prison in Lincoln and promises to help him secure an earlier release. This aspect of the novel might have modern readers raising their eyebrows.

In the end, Carl returns from Alaska, where he has gone to stake his claim to adventure and riches, to console her, and the two, though unsaid, marry.

Cather writes with a simplicity that will appeal to most readers. Reminding oneself of American origins, in particular how immigrant groups clung together before blending into the American landscape, is a strength, especially given current times. The portrayal of a strong woman able to succeed to the world of business is another strength. However, some readers may be less accepting of certain ideas more in line with traditional expectations for women, especially as they relate to emotional spousal abuse and finger pointing for a crime of a passion. The Signet Classic mass paperback edition contains a fine introduction by Elizabeth Janeway, and for this reason is the recommended edition. ( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
Willa Cather semble faire partie des auteurs classiques américains qui n’ont pas traversé l’Atlantique. En France, la plupart de ses romans sont introuvables ou peu s’en faut. C’est donc en anglais que je l’ai lue, grâce au Projet Gutenberg qui met nombre de ses titres à disposition des lecteurs. Cela faisait un moment que je voulais découvrir cette autrice. Je l’ai nominée pour une possible lecture de groupe, et comme elle a remporté le plus de suffrages, je n’avais plus d’excuse pour remettre cette lecture à plus tard, et je suis contente d’avoir enfin franchi le pas !
Ce roman, le premier de la trilogie de la plaine (mais sans lien romanesque avec les deux autres, semble-t-il, c’est plus une unité de lieu assez lâche qui définit cette trilogie), se concentre sur le personnage d’Alexandra Bergson, qui prend la tête de l’exploitation familiale lorsque son père meurt prématurément. Issue d’une immigration suédoise récente, Alexandra se retrouve à devoir gérer une ferme qui croule sous les dettes, dans l’état du Nebraska, lui aussi de colonisation récente. Alexandra est donc de cette première génération de pionniers qui doit apprivoiser la terre, qui doit faire le dos rond quand les plantations ne donnent pas, qui doit trouver un équilibre entre origines et nouveau monde. Il est intéressant de noter que l’histoire commence dans les années 1880 (et s’étendent sur un peu plus d’une quinzaine d’années). 1880, et l’on parle de pionniers, de terre vierge. J’ai pris conscience, je crois, de ce que l’on veut dire que on dit que les Etats-Unis n’ont pas d’histoire. Le Nebraska n’est devenu un état américain (et pas le dernier!) qu’il y a 154 ans, alors que la plupart des pays européens étaient presque dans leurs frontières actuelles. Cela veut dire aussi que ces terres n’ont pas connu d’autre forme d’agriculture que cette agriculture extensive et motorisée, alors qu’elle est chez nous le fruit d’une lente évolution. Lorsque nous parlons de revenir à des pratiques plus intensives en main-d’œuvre et plus respectueuses de la terre, ce retour en arrière n’est juste pas possible dans ces endroits… Je m’éloigne peut-être un peu du roman, mais j’ai trouvé cela vertigineux lorsque j’en ai pris conscience en voyant Alexandra commencer à investir dans des grands silos et des moissonneuses.
Mais ce livre est loin de n’être qu’un précis d’histoire agricole, c’est avant tout un chant d’amour à la terre. Alexandra devient fille de cette terre où elle est arrivée un peu par hasard mais qu’elle a choisi de faire sienne. Elle est cheffe de famille, mais sa vraie famille, au fond, c’est la terre, ce sont ses champs. Un attachement d’ailleurs assez ambigu puisque cette terre est tout pour elle, mais ce dont elle rêve pour son petit frère, c’est d’un métier qui ne le lie pas à cette terre, qui lui permette de voir autre chose. Elle est à la fois reine et esclave de sa terre, un esclavage qui certes semble la rendre heureuse, mais un esclavage quand même.

S’il y a des choses très intéressantes dans ce livre, j’y ai trouvé quelques défauts. Le plus important est le saut de 16 ans qu’il y a entre le début du roman et le reste. Les 16 ans qui établissent la ferme, qui construisent ce lien, cette chaîne entre la terre et Alexandra, les 16 ans de renoncement, de pauvreté, de difficulté, de privations… Je me suis sentie flouée de ne pas voir ces 16 ans, qui auraient été pour moi le plus intéressant, le cœur de ce roman. J’ai eu l’impression d’arriver quand tout était joué, et cela m’a beaucoup déçue. Heureusement, les descriptions des paysages et de l’attachement à la terre sont tout simplement merveilleux, et rien que pour eux, j’ai aimé, et plus qu’aimé, cette lecture.
Une autre chose qui m’a troublée, c’est l’absence totale des autochtones. Willa Cather affirme à plusieurs reprises le caractère vierge de cette terre, le fait que ces pionniers sont les premiers à la fouler. Ils sont peut-être les premiers à la domestiquer, mais ils ne sont pas les premiers à y vivre (le nom même de l’État en atteste). Aujourd’hui, on n’accepterait pas une telle lecture de l’histoire du pays, mais Willa Cather a écrit ce roman au début du XXème siècle, et elle a fait partie, enfant, de ces pionniers, ce qu’elle dit est donc une représentation intéressante de la mentalité de l’époque, et elle n’a pas grand chose de surprenant.

En définitive, voilà une découverte très intéressante d’un classique américain qui mériterait d’être plus connu de notre côté de l’Atlantique. Willa Cather est une autrice que je découvre avec beaucoup de retard, mais maintenant que j’ai commencé, je ne compte pas m’arrêter en si bon chemin.
  raton-liseur | Oct 26, 2021 |
Med tanke på hur många svenskar som utvandrade till USA under senare delen av 1800-talet finns det förvånansvärt få böcker skrivna om dem: förutom Moberg tycks få författare ha getts sig på fenomenet (i alla fall med någotsånär lyckat resultat). Jag känner i alla fall bara till en till som tycks ha nått viss framgång, Willa Cathers O Pioneers! som följer Alexandra Bergson från att nybygget i Nebraska knappt lönar sig till dess att familjen är framgångsrika jordägare.

Fadern har tagit med sig familjen och utvandrat, men jorden i Nebraska tycks svårbrukad, speciellt som familjen i likhet med flera grannar egentligen inte är jordbrukare, utan medelklass som på grund av tidigare generationers slöseri utvandrat för att hitta ny utkomst. I början är det slitigt, och det blir inte lättare när fadern dör och Alexandra får ta över som den i familjen med mest förstånd: de något yngre bröderna Oscar och Lou är för inskränkta, och minstingen Emil för liten.

Alexandra lyckas, men snart uppstår slitningar och problem: ekonomiskt tycks det mesta gå dem väl i händer när de väl lyckats hitta grödor som passar jord och klimat, men Oscar och Lou småskurna ovilja att utmana konventioner gör Alexandra ensam, och Emil har trots en fin utbildning och gott huvud egna problem.

Det är inte så mycket en bok om handling som plats och stämning: det händer nog så dramatiska ting, men fokus ligger mer på den på sina sätt mycket starka och självmedvetna och på andra sätt blinda Alexandra och hennes omgivning, inte på en specifik period i hennes liv. ( )
  andejons | Oct 17, 2021 |
The ending and last chapters was to abrupt and the themes not properly explored. V cute and nature writing ( )
  bemijnde | Sep 29, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 147 (següent | mostra-les totes)
There isn't a vestige of 'style' as such: for page after page one is dazed at the ineptness of the medium and the triviality of the incidents...
afegit per danielx | editaDress and Vanity Fair Magazine (Jan 23, 2015)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (20 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Willa Catherautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Byatt, A. S.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lindemann, MarileeEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Perrin, NoelEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weakley, MarkIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Títol original
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Gent/Personatges
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Epígraf
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Prairie Spring

Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.
Dedicatòria
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To the memory of
Sarah Orne Jewett
in whose beautiful and delicate work
there is the perfection
that endures
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One January day, thirty years ago, the little town of Hanover, anchored on a windy Nebraska tableland, was trying not to be blown away. A mist of fine snowflakes was curling and eddying about the cluster of low drab buildings huddled on the gray prairie, under a gray sky. The dwelling-houses were set about haphazard on the tough prairie sod; some of them looked as if they had been moved in overnight, and others as if they were straying off by themselves, headed straight for the open plain. None of them had any appearance of permanence, and the howling wind blew under them as well as over them. The main street was a deeply rutted road, now frozen hard, which ran from the squat red railway station and the grain “elevator” at the north end of the town to the lumber yard and the horse pond at the south end. On either side of this road straggled two uneven rows of wooden buildings; the general merchandise stores, the two banks, the drug store, the feed store, the saloon, the post-office. The board sidewalks were gray with trampled snow, but at two o’clock in the afternoon the shopkeepers, having come back from dinner, were keeping well behind their frosty windows. The children were all in school, and there was nobody abroad in the streets but a few rough-looking countrymen in coarse overcoats, with their long caps pulled down to their noses. Some of them had brought their wives to town, and now and then a red or a plaid shawl flashed out of one store into the shelter of another. At the hitch-bars along the street a few heavy work-horses, harnessed to farm wagons, shivered under their blankets. About the station everything was quiet, for there would not be another train in until night.
Citacions
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The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.
People have to snatch at happiness when they can, in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.
Those fields, colored by various grain! - Mickiewicz
When the road began to climb the first long swells of the Divide, Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.
But that, as Emil himself had more than once reflected, was Alexandra's blind side, and her life had not been of the kind to sharpen her vision. Her training had all been toward the end of making her proficient in what she had undertaken to do. Her personal life, her own realization of herself, was almost a subconscious existence; like an underground river that came to the surface only here and there, at intervals months apart, and then sank again to flow on under her own fields. Nevertheless, the underground stream was there, and it was because she had so much personality to put into her enterprises and succeeded in putting it into them so completely, that her affairs prospered better than those of her neighbors.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

Cather presents the story of the Nebraska prairie. Alexandra Bergson, daughter of Swedish immigrant farmers, is devoted to the land and suffers the hardships of prairie life.

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