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Willa Cather's «Lucy Gayheart» and Franz Schubert's «Winterreise»

A Study in Intertextualtity

Marianne Davidson

This monograph restores Willa Cather’s «Lucy Gayheart» from superficial attention and dismissive criticism. Departing from textual evidence, it reads the novel in the light of its own intertext: Wilhelm Müller’s and Franz Schubert’s «Winterreise» (Winter Journey). The identification of startling parallels between the eligist of the American pioneer period and representatives of literary and musical German romanticism elicits new subtexts and insights. Novel and song cycle share themes such as the blending of memory, desire and imagination or a tragic vision of life offset by the search for transcendental meaning. Conclusively, both works result in ambivalence by oscillating between romanticism and modernism.

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