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tv   Book Discussion on The Selected Letters of Willa Cather  CSPAN  August 11, 2015 6:24pm-6:35pm EDT

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time. he said to the judge, in a very loud voice, is a term project, that that hand is not the color of yours. but if you pierce it, you sh all feel pain. the blood that port for my hand is the same color as yours. i am a man. the same god made us both. talk he got done with his about it was so eloquent, then , women began to cry in the back of the courthouse. even the brigadier general was so moved my standing bear's oratorical powers and by the heartfelt message that he was trying to deliver to the courtroom that the defendant in from the he got it
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defense table and went over and shook standing bear's hand. that was not all that common in the 1870's either. but from all accounts, it was a pretty magical moment on the corner of 15th and the corner of 15th and dodge on may 2, 1879. i think if you have the proper people what is standing bear there are many answers, but there are many who kin toe that he is a the martin luther king of native americans. he was, in the minds of many , the and native americans first civil rights hero this country has ever produced. ponca see him in that vein. they see him as a civil rights hero,r, is a civil rights who went into the white man's
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court and be the white man at his own game. thehis freedom, and started native people on the path that eventually led to indian rights indian citizenship and becoming a part of the dominant culture. >> up next, on the c-span cities to her, the letters of will encounter, the university of nebraska graduate and novelist who wrote about frontier life on the great plains. >> will encounter is one of the most apparent in writers of the american century. she was given almost every literary award possible in her lifetime before she died except for the nobel prize. when the first american won the nobel prize he went around telling everybody will account or really should have one. she was known for some of her
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masterpieces like my aunt in the comes for the archbishop, the last lady, and many others. also really important to nebraska, to lincoln and tumor hometown of red cloud nebraska because she went to the university of nebraska lincoln from 1895. she wrote about the risk that in many deaths nebraska in many of her works. influence ona huge literature, both in the united states, and abroad as well. many well-known writers continue to cite her as one of the primary influences. she died in 1947, and in 1943 she had made a well which had a few restrictions in it. one of which was she did not want her letters to be published or quoted in full or in part. that was in the same part of the well which did not want her books adapted into films, plays,
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etc.. she wanted to control to some degree how people experienced her work. she wanted her novel to be the way she was known to the public. this meant for years that people do not know about her letters. if they did know about it, and they had the opportunity, they could not write about it very clearly. they could summarize her letters, but they could not ever quote them. and has been a huge problem barrier and understanding who she was, what she was about. she left behind at least 3000 letters that we know about now. those letters are all over the world in different repositories. but we are fortunate that it is collections are here in nebraska. in her well she also left one more important thing. she left it to the soul discretion of her executors whether or not she -- they enforce her preference.
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now the executor of her estate is the will encounter trust. it is a partnership of two educational organizations. the university of nebraska foundation and the weather calendar -- will it gathered foundation. she believes that she belongs to our shared heritage and that we should know more about her. we respected her wishes for overseas to five years, and now we letters the through herself through her letters, and others what she says. let them be available. when we first came at the archives, and i worked her, i was able to read some words that had never been available to anybody before onset of her family, outside of those who received the letter originally. i thought these words should be part of what we know about how
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, she beegulated herself famous and well known because they will mean something to people, beyond me, beyond specialist. we have many letters. one that i particularly like that i think gets to the pweower of letter writing as a genre, it has the ability to communicate certain things emotionally because there is an immediateness to it. sometimes there is a roughness of language. some of her letters are quite refined, but this one has a roughness to it. she writes to her brother roscoe about being a writer, and about what has given her the strength, what makes her style something
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that people like. i'll read a passage. she writes it from jeffrey, new hampshire, near where she is buried today. in 1938, on the heels of the death of her brother douglas and isabel,h of her friend she is a lot of pain and she is at the place where she has written so much. alone at this hotel in the woods where i have done most of my best work and where the proprietors are so kind to me. andnished anotntonia here begin the archbishop. the best part of all my books was here. elizabeth came four months after douglas's death. no other living person cared as much about my work as she did. as for me, i care too much about people and places.
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it made me as a writer but what will break me in the end. i feel as if i cannot go another step. people say have a classic style. a few of them know it is the simple words that come. i really learned if you love your theme enough you can be as mild as a main morning and make people care. the one thing, that simple caring for an old cat, an old anything, and margie was a woman they loved dearly, i never cultivated it. from the age of 20 on, i did all i could to repress it. that effort did give me a fairly good style. the person himself, would he was born with and what he has done for himself o." there are also different tones in her letters. and this one is a different ti me of her life, when she is feeling the first rush of success as a writer, as an
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artist. right after the novel "my tonia" came out in 1918. she loved to tell a family about all the things going well for her ph you wrote this on thanksgiving day. oe, i'md, my dear roscie so glad that you and father and mother like this book. most of the critics seem to find this the best book i have done. all of the critics find it so ours to take -- so artistic. it exist in an atmosphere of its own, and atmosphere of pure bea uty. nonsense. it is the atmosphere of my grandmother's kitchen, nothing else. are lots of people who cannot write anything to themselves, yet recognize it when they see it. and whatever is really true is true for all people. as long as one says, will people stand this or that? one gets nowhere appeared you
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have to be utterly commonplace or do the same people don't want. no really new and original thing is wanted. things have to learn to like new things. -- people have to learn to like new things. when she was a little girl, she did not want to wear the frilly centuryof the late 19th she cut her hair short and called himself a encounter -- and called herself william cap other -- cather m.d. we arranged aok, chronologically so people could read it somewhat like an autobiography and letters. and we wanted people to get a sense of this person. but also what it is like to be a woman who was an independent artist in the late 19th and early 20th century when that was not a common thing to be. anu


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