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O Pioneers! (1913)

por Willa Cather

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: The Prairie Trilogy (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
6,4411641,531 (3.87)1 / 519
One of America's greatest women writers, Willa Cather established her talent and her reputation with this extraordinary novel -- the first of her books set on the Nebraska frontier. A tale of the prairie land encountered by America's Swedish, Czech, Bohemian, and French immigrants, as well as a story of how the land challenged them, changed them, and, in some cases, defeated them. Cather's novel is a uniquely American epic. Alexandra Bergson, a young Swedish immigrant girl who inherits her father's farm and must transform it from raw prairie into a prosperous enterprise, is the first of Cather's great heroines -- all of them women of strong will and an even stronger desire to overcome adversity and succeed. But the wild land itself is an equally important character in Cather's books, and her descriptions of it are so evocative, lush, and moving that they provoked writer Rebecca West to say of her: "The most sensuous of writers, Willa Cather builds her imagined world almost as solidly as our five senses build the universe around us." Willa Cather, perhaps more than any other American writer, was able to re-create the real drama of the pioneers, capturing for later generations a time, a place, and a spirit that has become part of our national heritage.… (mais)
  1. 31
    The Diary of Mattie Spenser por Sandra Dallas (clif_hiker)
    clif_hiker: pioneer women facing hardship making a home and a life on the prairie...
  2. 10
    My Ántonia por Willa Cather (cometahalley)
  3. 10
    East of Eden por John Steinbeck (DarthFisticuffs)
    DarthFisticuffs: Both are explorations of the lives of people who have dedicated themselves to the land, and are generational sagas of the waves of events and emotions they have to navigate, and the morals that guide them through.
  4. 00
    Plainsong por Kent Haruf (cometahalley)
  5. 00
    Benediction por Kent Haruf (cometahalley)
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» Ver também 519 menções

Inglês (158)  Espanhol (2)  Catalão (1)  Francês (1)  Sueco (1)  Italiano (1)  Todas as línguas (164)
Mostrando 1-5 de 164 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
With complex and memorable characters against clear prose, it's hard not to love this novel. It goes to show that you don't need to be in the middle of bustling Times Square or thrashing about on a ship over the Atlantic Ocean to have an interesting life. The plains of Nebraska can be just as dramatic.

The portrait of Alexandra Bergson showed a compelling young woman who doesn't fit into any stereotypes of a heroine readers are used to seeing. She's not a spoiled princess growing through hardships nor is she a particularly romantic shepherdess you find in old poetry. She's Alexandra with her own flaws and features, and she defies reader expectations the same way she defies her brothers'. She's the driving force of the story, and its heart despite Cather's attempts to make the novel about the land.

Alexandra isn't the only main character in the book. While Emil Bergson (her youngest brother) and Marie Toveksy (her neighbor) are interesting in of themselves, I feel like the story lost a little of something by focusing so much on them later in the novel. Their stories, which were well-written and certainly affected Alexandra, came at the expense of Alexandra's growth earlier in the novel. Personally, I would've loved to see Alexandra grow into the formidable farmer and businesswoman she becomes after the first part. Instead, all readers see is a confident, older woman. It's as if her accomplishments mean nothing, and Alexandra herself often downplays them, instead insisting that everything she's worked for is only worth it so Emil can get work off the farm. It feels demeaning to our heroine.

In reading Willa Cather's Wikipedia page, I learned she faced criticism later in life for her conservative ideas, her disdain of how other women wrote, and her preference for male protagonists. That comes through in this novel, particularly in the ending where Alexandra seems to throw herself at the feet of men for salvation. It's of note that while Cather thought authors like the Brontes and Austen were too sentimental, her story-telling is very similar to theirs. I was strongly reminded of the ending of Jane Eyre when reading this, only switch out Jane Eyre with a young man and Rochester with Alexandra.

In spite of that, Cather's prose is clear and evocative in its simplicity. Her cast is diverse and rich. I highly recommend this Great American Novel. If you didn't like Tom Sawyer, you'll probably like this. ( )
  readerbug2 | Nov 16, 2023 |
Breathtaking and heartbreaking, O Pioneers! has so much more depth and feeling than I anticipated going in. It's easy to see a prototypical Steinbeck here in the way Willa Cather breathes life into her characters, and sees them through the wild paths of joy and sorrow their lives take. Incredible, I can't wait to read more of her work. ( )
  DarthFisticuffs | Nov 7, 2023 |
It took me way too many years to discover this treasure! I am amazed by the author's liberal feminism in the early 1900s! She is also a master of description, imaginative plot, and intriguing character development. Then, with adding the difficult pioneer setting, Cather created a masterpiece.

The copy of Cather's book that I read had a detailed Foreward by Doris Grumbach, that, while probably very good, was a little too much for this beginner to wade through before beginning Cather's books; it nearly kept me from even starting the book. ( )
  mapg.genie | Oct 31, 2023 |
There was something earnest, engaging, and fundamentally optimistic about this book. Like the antithesis of a Cormac McCarthy novel.

I liked the beginning the best and was a little puzzled since I thought the majority of the book was going to be about Alexandra struggling to make her family’s homestead succeed. That was the element of the story I was most invested in. in reality that portion of the book passes relatively quickly and the rest of the novel delves into the family’s personal lives. Not a bad narrative by any means but not quite the one I was expecting / hoping for.
( )
  Autolycus21 | Oct 10, 2023 |
una familia sueca emigrada als Estats Units se'ls mort el pare i la filla gran passa a regentar les terres grangeres. Novel.la molt poètica amb molts components de sentiment, de superació, d'amistat ... ( )
  Martapagessala | May 3, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 164 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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...
adicionada por danielx | editarDress and Vanity Fair Magazine (Jan 23, 2015)
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Willa Catherautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bartolome, Gema MoralTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Blue, M. E.Artista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Brown, Cary ThorpArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Byatt, A. S.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Clements, MarcelleIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Danker, KathleenEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Davey, PatriciaDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Elias, MonicaDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fuller III, William P.Prefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gelfant, Blanche H.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gornick, VivianIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Grumbach, DorisPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ivey, DanaContribuidorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Janeway, ElizabethIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kraus, ChrisIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lindemann, MarileeEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
McCulloh, BarbaraNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mignon, Charles W.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Moral Bartolomé, GemmaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
O'Brien, SharonEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Perrin, NoelPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rosowski, Susan J.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Weakley, MarkIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Woodward, MabelArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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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,
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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.
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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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Wikipédia em inglês (2)

One of America's greatest women writers, Willa Cather established her talent and her reputation with this extraordinary novel -- the first of her books set on the Nebraska frontier. A tale of the prairie land encountered by America's Swedish, Czech, Bohemian, and French immigrants, as well as a story of how the land challenged them, changed them, and, in some cases, defeated them. Cather's novel is a uniquely American epic. Alexandra Bergson, a young Swedish immigrant girl who inherits her father's farm and must transform it from raw prairie into a prosperous enterprise, is the first of Cather's great heroines -- all of them women of strong will and an even stronger desire to overcome adversity and succeed. But the wild land itself is an equally important character in Cather's books, and her descriptions of it are so evocative, lush, and moving that they provoked writer Rebecca West to say of her: "The most sensuous of writers, Willa Cather builds her imagined world almost as solidly as our five senses build the universe around us." Willa Cather, perhaps more than any other American writer, was able to re-create the real drama of the pioneers, capturing for later generations a time, a place, and a spirit that has become part of our national heritage.

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