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Alexandra Bergson at a young age , has to take care of her family and farm, in Nebraska, with the untimely death of their father John, he wished his oldest child, and smartest to guide the poor immigrants from Sweden in the 1880 s, everyone agrees at first, struggling on the harsh prairie, are also brothers Lou, Oscar and five year old Emil, her pet, the mother knows little about farming An endless drought soon after begins , the Sun baking the soil , the crops withering for lack of rain, Alexandra Bergson at a young age , has to take care of her family and farm, in Nebraska, with the untimely death of their father John, he wished his oldest child, and smartest to guide the poor immigrants from Sweden in the 1880 s, everyone agrees at first, struggling on the harsh prairie, are also brothers Lou, Oscar and five year old Emil, her pet, the mother knows little about farming An endless drought soon after begins , the Sun baking the soil , the crops withering for lack of rain, year after year, fail, many farmers give up and leave for the cities, but the Bergson s endure, because of the wise and strong leadership that Alexandra brings the people around there, recognize that fact The little town of Hanover, a short distance away takes care of the needs of the local farmers, she Alexandra often meets her only friend Carl Linstrum there, from a neighboring farm, still he doesn t have a clue what to do in life, moody, always daydreaming, unsure, the obvious is in front of his eyes but he cannot focus 16 years have passed , the land becomes prosperous, prices are skyrocketing, farmers becoming well off, some even rich, the old evil days long forgotten, the Bergson family farm has been divided between Alexandra, Lou, the intelligent brother and Oscar, the harder worker, thus makesmoney to the chagrin of Lou, politics is his passion, not farming The aimless Carl has left, and lonely Alexandra has many Swedish female servants to take care of the new house, and enjoys their company, no log cabin like the old one, even old Crazy lvar works for her, he has occasional spells, nothing to worry about as does Lou and Oscar , a man who loves animals better than he does humans, neglected his farm and loses it Emil has graduated from the University of Nebraska, at Lincoln, he is thinking about becoming a lawyer, a profession that doesn t appeal to him or anybody else , he secretly falls in love with a married woman, effervescent Marie Shabata, her brooding, jealous husband Frank treats her badly, no love between the two has existed for years, something will happen soon, that will cause a scandal, so the naive Emil goes to Mexico City To forget his troubles, have fun and adventures, meet new exciting people, a different society far away from Nebraska, however you can t escape your destiny Beneath the surface there is a smothering darkness, a black cloud, a cruel spirit, a thing that can t be touched or smelled, it scares yet remains hidden, ready to strike, they all know this truth, nothing will stop, the coming of that ominous force the cold wind stirs I read this book many times Why Its a beautiful book and georgous stage play This was the first professional Equity play our daughter was in at the age of 9.I want to read another Willa Cather book soon My Antonia was also wonderful.A book I haven t read yet and would like to is The Professor s House Willa Cather is a beautiful writer Alexandra looked at him mournfully I try to beliberal about such things than I used to be I try to realize that we are not all made alike Everything in O Pioneersis beauty to me I am so in love with this book Maybe it is because I have it in my brain that pioneers by definition suck that Willa Cather always catches me by surprise and turns me upside down It s like walking through an alien landscape and then running into my best friend I thought what I would find was Michael Lando Alexandra looked at him mournfully I try to beliberal about such things than I used to be I try to realize that we are not all made alike Everything in O Pioneersis beauty to me I am so in love with this book Maybe it is because I have it in my brain that pioneers by definition suck that Willa Cather always catches me by surprise and turns me upside down It s like walking through an alien landscape and then running into my best friend I thought what I would find was Michael Landon crying into a butter churn, and here you are, everything that is wonderful about humans Still, I never know whether to recommend that other people read this book, or whether it is better to just keep it to myself As Alexandra says, we are not all made alike, and maybe what is beauty and revelation to me is Michael Landon crying into a butter churn to you.It s so easy to say why I hate writing and difficult to say why I love it I want to compare Cather to Hemingway because of how steady and careful their writing is, because of how speculation about their lives cheapens conversations about their stories, but no I want to say Cather writes what is in my soul, but that s not right either What she writes is as much her own world as it is my reality, but that doesn t make her wisdom easy or her power arrogant She is not looking for my approval, but she is looking outside herself for some kind of truth.At a particularly conflicted time in my life, I went to a club with some friends and I saw a girl dancing like I have never seen anyone dance in my life She had cleared out as space for herself to the side of the stage, and it was like every part of her body was electric It was not only beautiful, it was also full of life Where I didn t know which way to turn, this girl was in the Place, doing the Thing Reading O Pioneersis like watching that girl Everything is alive in this book But, again, I m struck by the feeling that it may not be alive to you as it is to me I ll give you a few descriptions as objectively as I can, and you can judge for yourself It is about contrasts country and city, speed and slowness, youth and age, passion and steadiness, inspiration and hard work, deprivation and entitlement It is operatic It is kooky at times and kind, but not funny It is understated and even handed It is written by a woman It is about women and men, who are all sometimes as passionate as people are, and other times as wise as people should be It is specific, but not petty There are awkward parts specifically book 2, chapter 9, though I even think that scene is beautiful.It s difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it, and I think a spoiler would really spoil the story So, I ll just say one last thing that I hope won t be a spoiler, but might, so be warned People get angry with authors who won t let their characters die and see it as a sign of accomplished writing to kill a character I think, because of that, I see a lot of bad storytelling mistaken for good storytelling if the author tortures or kills the characters I really hate when people think character abuse is maturity At the same time, though, I think there is something right about trusting an authorif the author allows unhappiness into the story Authors are writing to an audience, and I think they should be writing to entertain, so there is value to me in making stories better than life At the same time, there is truth in sadness, and if a writer can t look at sadness, she has sacrificed truth to entertainment Cather balances truth and entertainment in a way that is completely devastating She loves her characters, and lets every one of them grow as humans grow, with human joys and human tragedies It is painful and beautiful to watch I almost want to read this book again right away, but too much wisdom in one month can t be good for my health I ll take a little break first and watch some reality TV to balance out my wisdom intake Just, you know, for my health Can we even imagine what it was like for the early homesteaders and pioneers, arriving most likely from somewhere in Europe in a last ditch effort to make something out of nothing There it is before them a vast, lonely, rolling plain of earth meeting a vast, lonely, infinite sky Where does one even begin In this novel, Willa Cather takes us on a journey where we see exactly where it begins with sod huts or log cabins or some form of shelter Then comes the dawn to dark labour of breaking Can we even imagine what it was like for the early homesteaders and pioneers, arriving most likely from somewhere in Europe in a last ditch effort to make something out of nothing There it is before them a vast, lonely, rolling plain of earth meeting a vast, lonely, infinite sky Where does one even begin In this novel, Willa Cather takes us on a journey where we see exactly where it begins with sod huts or log cabins or some form of shelter Then comes the dawn to dark labour of breaking the ground to plant seeds to feed themselves and their animals, if they have any.And through this novel, we are also introduced to people who have a vision broader than just survival A vision that eventually bears fruit as the earth begins to give back rather than just take And so the cycle of life begins where people and animals give to the earth and the earth produces for the people and animals, gradually rewarding each other for mutual benefit.This is part of the story in this book, but only a part Wherever there are human beings, they bring their stories and they create and re create their stories As with all human stories over time, there is great joy accompanied by great sorrow, and tragedy sits next to both temptation and triumph.What I appreciate most deeply in reading Willa Cather s writing is the poetic flow that feels as natural as the wind rustling through a field of wheat While I paused many times to allow her words to sink in as deeply as possible, the narrative was only enhanced by those reflective moments.This is the first part of Willa Cather s Great Plains Trilogy and I look forward to reading the next one as soon as possible O Pioneers Great Plains Trilogy 1 , Willa Cather O Pioneers is a 1913 novel, by American author Willa Cather, written while she was living in New York It is the first novel of her Great Plains trilogy, followed by The Song of the Lark 1915 , and My ntonia 1918 O Pioneers tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish American immigrants in the farm country, near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inheri O Pioneers Great Plains Trilogy 1 , Willa Cather O Pioneers is a 1913 novel, by American author Willa Cather, written while she was living in New York It is the first novel of her Great Plains trilogy, followed by The Song of the Lark 1915 , and My ntonia 1918 O Pioneers tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish American immigrants in the farm country, near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland, when her father dies, and she devotes her life, to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time, when many other immigrant families, are giving up, and leaving the prairie The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships, one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum, and the other between Alexandra s brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata O pioneers , Willa Cather edited by Susan J Rosowski, Charles W Mignon with Kathleen Danker historical essay and explanatory notes by David Stouck , Lincoln University Of Nebraska Press , 1992 1371 ISBN 080321457X , XI, 391 Pages 1994 20 1913 1915 1918 1873 1947 1923 1922 17 04 1399 Published in 1913, this novel brings the harsh Nebraska prairie to life To the ones who farm it, the sensible ones, the dreamers, and the ones who recognize the value of mending other people s fences A pure love and belief of the land, those who are content with their lot, and those who are unable to contemplate a lifetime of the backbreaking labor that is demanded How much easier it is to lose happiness than it is to find it Simple, full of life, loves, and regrets. I just want to say that the last 15 pages of this book are for me worth 50 of the most important and significant books of this centuryI don t have much to say, except that the greatest grace that a person can live and experience today is surely forgiveness, knowing how to love, leaving the life of others free, even though it is not corresponding to our projects.Alexandra is a rigid woman, firm and integral in her thought and love but has been able despite experiencing pain and tragedy, how I just want to say that the last 15 pages of this book are for me worth 50 of the most important and significant books of this centuryI don t have much to say, except that the greatest grace that a person can live and experience today is surely forgiveness, knowing how to love, leaving the life of others free, even though it is not corresponding to our projects.Alexandra is a rigid woman, firm and integral in her thought and love but has been able despite experiencing pain and tragedy, how to be reborn and resurrected to new life Her sins did not comdemned to a claustrophobic life or left her to a unuseful morality Her greatest pain has been transformed to a capacity to spread love, even to the man that created that tragedy and killed in her family.Needless to say our beloved Willa Cather, is definitely an author who shows you the way, the tiring but wonderful path that is the everyday life Dico solo che le ultime 15 pagine di questo libro valgono come 50 libri tra i piu importanti e significativi di questo secolo.non ho molto da dire, se non che la grazia piu grande che un uomo possa vivere e provare al giorno d oggi sicuramente quella del perdono, del saper amare lasciano libera la vita degli altri nonostante non sia corrispondente ai nostri progetti.Alexandra una donna rigida, ferma e integra nel suo pensiero e a ma che ha saputo, nel dolore e nella tragedia saper rinascere e risorgere a vita nuova.non c bisogno di dire altro e la nostra amatissima Willa Cather, sicuramente un autrice che ti indica la strada, il cammino faticoso ma stupendo che la vita di ogni giorno *FREE ⇦ O Pioneers! ☞ This Norton Critical Edition brings to life through Cather s words, and through the words and images of others the uniquely American frontier experience In inscribing a copy of O Pioneers for a childhood friend, Cather wrote, In this one I hit the home pasture Contexts and Backgrounds includes a rich selection of autobiographical and biographical remembrances including three interviews with Cather , literary contexts by Cather and her contemporaries, Henry James and Sarah Orne Jewett , and writings on the American West including selected letters that paint a picture of one family s life on the Nebraska prairie Criticism provides seven contemporary reviews and eight modern critical interpretations by David Stouck, John J Murphy, C Susan Wiesenthal, Marilee Lindemann, Melissa Ryan, Guy Reynolds, and Sharon O Brien When Chocolate Milk Moved in and through the words and images of others the uniquely American frontier experience In inscribing a copy of O Pioneers for a childhood friend Ice Cather wrote God's Final Warning To America In this one I hit the home pasture Contexts and Backgrounds includes a rich selection of autobiographical and biographical remembrances including three interviews with Cather Elf Warfare literary contexts by Cather and her contemporaries The Billion Dollar Boy Henry James and Sarah Orne Jewett The Billion Dollar Boy and writings on the American West including selected letters that paint a picture of one family s life on the Nebraska prairie Criticism provides seven contemporary reviews and eight modern critical interpretations by David Stouck Goths Cage John J Murphy Without You C Susan Wiesenthal Dungeon Deposed Marilee Lindemann Battle Leadership Melissa Ryan LAlienista Guy Reynolds L'Alienista and Sharon O Brien The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman I don t know why I haven t read this before it seems like the kind of novel I should have been assigned in 9th grade but I m glad I read it as an adult because I wouldn t have appreciated it as much when I was younger I am from the Midwest and my grandparents were farmers, and I loved Willa Cather s stories about what it was like for the pioneers in Nebraska I liked Cather s spare writing style she gives just the rig The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman I don t know why I haven t read this before it seems like the kind of novel I should have been assigned in 9th grade but I m glad I read it as an adult because I wouldn t have appreciated it as much when I was younger I am from the Midwest and my grandparents were farmers, and I loved Willa Cather s stories about what it was like for the pioneers in Nebraska I liked Cather s spare writing style she gives just the right amount of description and action, and then moves on to the next chapter In this way we get a complete picture of the whole life of Alexandra Bergson without the story ever dragging His sister was a tall, strong girl, and she walked rapidly and resolutely, as if she knew exactly where she was going and what she was going to do next Alexandra is such a strong character she was as defiant as the land she was trying to tame At one point I got so angry when some men tried to bully her that I slammed the book shut in frustration My break didn t last long, and I should have known that Alexandra would get her way in the end We come and go, but the land is always here And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for a little while I think I reacted so strongly to O Pioneers because it reminded me of the stories my grandmother would tell about running a farm during the Depression It is easy to romanticize this time period and to forget the backbreaking work that went into taming the land to grow crops and support a family I would recommend this book to anyone who has an appreciation for the land or who likes strong female characters.Update September 2013 I am rereading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, which are about another pioneering American family, and it reminded me of how much I loved this Willa Cather novel I have thought about O Pioneers many times since I read it a year ago I would put it on a list of Books To Read To Understand America Perhaps this is my background in sociology talking, but I like stories that show how a country was formed Aside from the politics and the war, you still need families who are doing the hard work to build homes and grow food and create new towns You can t have a nation without everyday people Here s to all the pioneers of the world Once again, a second time, I was at the mercy of Willa Cather s writing, and closed this book with a feeling of accomplishment as a reader as well as a human being.In my world,than a century after this novel was written, we still battle nature on a daily basis and we are aware that nature will return the moment we leave this little piece of earth for a respite With seed, roots and rain, the stories of ages of human history will be covered in an instant, wiped away as though we never walk Once again, a second time, I was at the mercy of Willa Cather s writing, and closed this book with a feeling of accomplishment as a reader as well as a human being.In my world,than a century after this novel was written, we still battle nature on a daily basis and we are aware that nature will return the moment we leave this little piece of earth for a respite With seed, roots and rain, the stories of ages of human history will be covered in an instant, wiped away as though we never walked these paths a few million times through the slow passing of time.Willa Cather gloriously painted the lives of pioneers in the unforgiving virginal wilderness at the turn of the 20th century, somewhere between 1883 and 1890, by describing the toughness and resilience of a group of immigrants in surviving the harshness of life on the prairies of Nebraska The Bergsons children and their neighbors established a strong community through stubborn pride and dreams It was their dreams, after all, that kept hope alive and celebrated the good times when it finally arrived However, tragic love, diverse opinions, and hard manual labor drove those who preferred to stay behind, when the less experienced farmers were forced to leave Alexandra Bergson instinctively took the road less traveled, the one on which love took a second place, and meticulous learning challenged old ideas, and the less brave combatants against nature preferred to leave She compassionately took care of neighbors, family and friends, by making choices that left herself devoid of love and allowed loneliness to become her a life companion The ones who benefited the most appreciated her the least, but her promise, as well as understanding of her father s insight into the land and its possibilities, made her stick to her dreams and decisions The most important theme in the novel starts out in the beginning of the book, in the little town Hanover, Nebraska, in the bitterly cold winter, when Alexandra s little brother Emil s little kitten got chased up a telephone pole by stray dogs He is waiting for her at the store while she is at the doctor s office Carl Linstrum, a neighbor, arrives to rescue the little kitten on Alexandra s request for help In the store where they try to warm up again, they meet the exotic Bohemian little girl Marie Tovesky who, with her sunny disposition, brown curly hair like a brunette doll s, her coaxing little red mouth, and round, yellow brown eyes, with their golden glints like the Colorado mineral called tiger eye, attracts men like flies even as a toddler The plot centers around the strong bonds of friendships, which pushes love aside for most of the book, yet cannot manage to deny this strong attraction between humans in the best and worst of ways Two love stories, with two different endings, snake through the tale Two relationships are tested by different rules Perseverance nestles itself in different situations leaving the people involved exhausted or dead This book is so rich in emotional ironies, that I sat back afterwards and wondered why it was banned numerous times by the American Library Society The kaleidoscope of human activities, driven by strong emotional intensity portrayed people in all their splendor What part of this masterful text of human nature in all its intricate ways insulted some readers enough to have it bannedAnd now the old story has begun to write itself over there, said Carl softly Isn t it queer there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes for thousands of yearsSince love does not form the center of the plot, although many readers probably wanted it to do so, it does play out in the hearts of lonely, often desperate people It becomes a secondary, underlying force in the book The major focus, in my humble opinion, is the relationship between the different role players and their land AlexandraThe land belongs to the future, Carl that s the way it seems to me How many of the names on the county clerk s plat will be there in fifty years I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother s children We come and go, but the land is always here And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for a little while Love becomes the third member of the marriage between humans and nature, resulting in an overcrowding of the relationship Tears of joy and sorrow follows, as can be expected This was a magnificent read The prose lends itself to numerous memorial quotes Willa Cather knew how to sell this part of the Divide to her readers with her poetic descriptions of the land and the people who conquered it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED