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Beyond Possession: Animals and Gifts in Willa Cather's Settler Colonial Fictions

Beyond Possession: Animals and Gifts in Willa Cather's Settler Colonial Fictions Beyond Possession Animals and Gifts in Willa Cather's Settler Colonial Fictions When Robert Frost began a famous poem with the words, "The land was ours before we were the land's," he touched on a problem common to settler colonial societies from New Brunswick to New South Wales, from New Mexico to New Zealand.1 The pioneers who came to settle these "new" worlds were unable--so their descendants would allege--to establish an imaginative foothold in the land their labors had so comprehensively transformed. True belonging, and a deeper discovery of place, had been impeded by their practical-mindedness and attachment to old world ways.2 As Frost puts it: She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England's, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Sensing the deficiency, writers and artists born into a region made prosperous through settlement would seek a more authentic relation to place.3 Some were apt to find it in a return to primary dramas of discovery and settlement, revisiting them, as it were, in a manner that could be at once http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Beyond Possession: Animals and Gifts in Willa Cather's Settler Colonial Fictions

Western American Literature , Volume 52 (1) – Jul 12, 2017

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
Copyright
Copyright © The Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142
Publisher site
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Abstract

Beyond Possession Animals and Gifts in Willa Cather's Settler Colonial Fictions When Robert Frost began a famous poem with the words, "The land was ours before we were the land's," he touched on a problem common to settler colonial societies from New Brunswick to New South Wales, from New Mexico to New Zealand.1 The pioneers who came to settle these "new" worlds were unable--so their descendants would allege--to establish an imaginative foothold in the land their labors had so comprehensively transformed. True belonging, and a deeper discovery of place, had been impeded by their practical-mindedness and attachment to old world ways.2 As Frost puts it: She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England's, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Sensing the deficiency, writers and artists born into a region made prosperous through settlement would seek a more authentic relation to place.3 Some were apt to find it in a return to primary dramas of discovery and settlement, revisiting them, as it were, in a manner that could be at once

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Jul 12, 2017

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