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Travel Across The USA Into The Praiie Sun

Travel Across The USA Into The Praiie Sun

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Published by dougie101
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Categories:Types, Reviews
Published by: dougie101 on Mar 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====For more information please go to:http://tinyurl.com/6pextcs ==== ====It is cliché to suggest that when you drive across the country you will see in the landscapeat least some hint of yourself. A doctor making his way from Tucson, Ariz. to Ellenburg Depotmight see potential patients at every rest area, while a lawyer between San Francisco andWashington, D.C. might more likely notice a lawsuit waiting to happen. For me, an academic gearing up for his first semester as a Master's degree candidate in LoganUtah, I found myself looking at the land in terms of what I'd read. On the fourth day of my trip, Iawoke in Des Moines, Iowa and prepared for what promised to be the most challenging day of mytrip. For the next two days, I would pass through all of Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. But on theway, I had planned one overnight stop in Red Cloud, Nebraska, the childhood home of novelistWilla Cather. Having studied Cather's writing during my years as an undergraduate, I decided to take a slightdetour in visiting this "exotic" locale. I'd made no secret of my plans to do this and experienced ahealthy dose of skepticism from my friends. Now, it's easy for academics to forget that no one on earth (other than 400 other academics whostudy the same thing) cares about their interests. It's equally simple to get condescending about it. "Can you believe it, Archibald?" I hear myself saying, "My friends from home have absolutely nonotion of the literary significance of Willa Cather. How pedestrian." It's at that moment in my fantasy that I break my martini glass into piece and spear my jugular withone of the shards. I can't deny, however, that when I explain my level of commitment to this subject, I tend to get asmirk. Even in Red Cloud, people tended to look at me twice. "What brings you from New York?" a hotel owner asked me. (Translation: "Why would anyonefrom New York come here? Aren't things better off with your on your side and us on ours?") "Willa Cather," I said. "Oh, I see. Nice to have you here." (Translation: "I get it now. You're one of those.") There's no doubt in my mind that once every few weeks, a wandering Catherite ends up in RedCloud to take the 35-minute tour of the buildings where Cather grew up, cooked, studied, or simplywrote about in her books. These academics, satisfied with their own sense of eccentricity, mayfeel like outsiders, but they always come away with a new appreciation for Cather's descriptions.

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