My Antonia - Willa Cather - Страница 1 из 293

By Willa Cather
BOOK I. The Shimerdas
BOOK II. The Hired Girls
BOOK III. Lena Lingard
BOOK IV. The Pioneer Woman's Story
BOOK V. Cuzak's Boys
TO CARRIE AND IRENE MINER In memory of affections old and true
Optima dies... prima fugit VIRGIL
LAST summer I happened to be crossing the plains of Iowa in a season
of intense heat, and it was my good fortune to have for a traveling
companion James Quayle Burden--Jim Burden, as we still call him in the
West. He and I are old friends--we grew up together in the same Nebraska
town--and we had much to say to each other. While the train flashed
through never-ending miles of ripe wheat, by country towns and
bright-flowered pastures and oak groves wilting in the sun, we sat in
the observation car, where the woodwork was hot to the touch and red
dust lay deep over everything. The dust and heat, the burning wind,
reminded us of many things. We were talking about what it is like to
spend one's childhood in little towns like these, buried in wheat and
corn, under stimulating extremes of climate: burning summers when the
world lies green and billowy beneath a brilliant sky, when one is fairly
stifled in vegetation, in the color and smell of strong weeds and heavy
harvests; blustery winters with little snow, when the whole country is
stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron. We agreed that no one who had not
grown up in a little prairie town could know anything about it. It was a

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