» » Alexander's Bridge

Alexander's Bridge download epub

by Willa Cather


Epub Book: 1959 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1302 kb.

Willa Sibert Cather (/ˈkæðər/; December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918)

Willa Sibert Cather (/ˈkæðər/; December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918). In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

CHAPTER I. LATE one brilliant April afternoon Professor Lucius Wilson stood at the head of Chestnut Street, looking about him with the pleased air of a man of taste who does not very often get to Boston.

Historical Essay and Explanatory Notes by. Tom Quirk. CHAPTER I.

Alexander’s Bridge, Willa Cather’s first novel, is a taut psychological drama about the fragility of human connections. Published in 1912, just a year before O Pioneers! made Cather’s name, it features high society on an international stage rather than the immigrant prairie characters she later became known for. The successful and glamorous life of Bartley Alexander, a world-renowned engineer and bridge builder, begins to unravel when he encounters a former lover in London.

There were other bridge-builders in the world, certainly, but it was always Alexander's picture that the Sunday Supplement men wanted, because he looked as a tamer of rivers ought to look

There were other bridge-builders in the world, certainly, but it was always Alexander's picture that the Sunday Supplement men wanted, because he looked as a tamer of rivers ought to look. Under his tumbled sandy hair his head seemed as hard and powerful as a catapult, and his shoulders looked strong enough in themselves to support a span of any one of his ten great bridges that cut the air above as many rivers. After dinner Alexander took Wilson up to his study.

I am a fan of Willa Cather's books. I found the characters to be one-dimensional and flat.

view Kindle eBook view Audible audiobook. I am a fan of Willa Cather's books. They never really changed throughout the entire novel.

Alexander's relationship with Hilda erodes his sense of honor and eventually proves di.

Alexander's relationship with Hilda erodes his sense of honor and eventually proves dis. The Troll Garden: Short Stories. by Willa Cather · James L. Woodress. This collection of Willa Cather stories-her first book of fiction and the capstone of her early career-is as relevant today as at the time of its initial publication.

Alexander's Bridge book. She spends the rest of the preface apologising for its existence. I feel Cather is far too tough on herself for this novel, because I rather enjoyed it.

Alexander’s Bridge by Willa Cather (1912) The Library of America (1992; included in Cather: Stories .

Alexander’s Bridge by Willa Cather (1912) The Library of America (1992; included in Cather: Stories, Poems, & Other Writings) p 277-352 (75 pp). Earlier this year, Thomas Otto, who blogs at Hogglestock and is part of The Readers podcasting duo, said that he was rereading all of Willa Cather’s twelve novels, at the rate of one per month.

Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather. Late one brilliant April afternoon Professor Lucius Wilson stood at the head of Chestnut Street, looking about him with the pleased air of a man of taste who does not very often get to Boston

Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather. He had lived there as a student, but for twenty years and more, since he had been Professor of Philosophy in a Western university, he had seldom come East except to take a steamer for some foreign port. Wilson was standing quite still, contemplating with a whimsical smile the slanting street, with its worn paving, its irregular, gravely colored houses,.

Bartley Alexander is a construction engineer and world-renowned builder of bridges . Audiobook full length.

Bartley Alexander is a construction engineer and world-renowned builder of bridges going through what's known today (but not in 1912). Bartley Alexander is a construction engineer and world-renowned builder of bridges going through what's known today (but not in 1912) as a mid-life crisis. Although married to his wife Winifred, Bartley resumes his acquaintance with a former lover, Hilda Burgoyne, in London. The affair proves to gnaw at Bartley's sense of propriety and honor.

Alexander's Bridge is a novel written by popular American author Willa Cather. Originally published in 1912, and is the story of a construction engineer and world-renowned builder of bridges, Bartley Alexander, who is going through a mid-life crisis. Bartley, married to wife Winifred, has an affair with a former lover, Hilda, in London. Alexander's Bridge is highly recommended for those who enjoy the writings of Willa Cather and for those who are discovering her writings for the first time.

Comments: (7)

KiddenDan
I do like Willa Cather, but apparently not all of her books will have the depth of 'Song of the Lark', 'O Pioneers' and 'My Antonia' (I love all 3). She must have been just beginning to blossom as a writer when this was written, and that's understandable.
Still, for the sake of being a faithful collector/fan, of a writer whom I have much respect for, I will want to have all of her books eventually in the collection. And I certainly will read it again.
Kann
Every engineer needs to know the history of the construction. It is necessary to know the past construction for the future construction
Nirn
Trying out a new author... Short stories are fun and easy reading on a hot summer day.. It was free so made it even better... probably would read other books by this author
Hra
Good summer read, not earth shaking or riveting. But an interesting take on a life unraveling.
Akirg
I am a fan of Willa Cather's books. However, Alexander's Bridge is not one of my favorites. I found the characters to be one-dimensional and flat. They never really changed throughout the entire novel. This book is one that I sold to a used books store as I knew that I would not reread it.
Wen
Light on plot, heavy on symbolism, and a little predictable, Cather's first novel (a novella, actually) still contains moments of brilliance, especially in its strong characterizations and occasional flashes of wit. The story concerns a Boston architect who is contendedly married but suddenly embarks on an affair in London with an old flame from his youth. He soon becomes tormented over his double life but finds himself unable to resolve his conflicted feelings. Heavily indebted to the Gilded Age novelists, "Alexander's Bridge" reads like a typical first novel from a writer who shows a lot of promise.
Later in life, Cather wrote an essay entitled "My First Novels (There Were Two)," as close to an apology for a first novel as most writers ever make. She admitted that most of the "younger writers" in her peer group followed the manner of Henry James and Edith Wharton, "without having their qualifications"; she "thought a book should be made out of 'interesting material.'" Only while writing her next novel, "O Pioneers!," did she realize that "taking a ride through a familiar country"--the rural Nebraska of her youth--was "a much more absorbing process." Nevertheless, "Alexander's Bridge" hints at the virtuoso novelist she was later to become, and it's certainly better than many writers achieve in an entire lifetime.
Jeb
It is a story of an affair between an actress and a married bridge architect. They used to be an item way back when, but since then their ways separated and he married another woman, the wholesome, angelic type - the kind you might see portrayed in pastel colors on tin biscuit boxes of British export alongside an inspirational Keats quote.

Alexander the successful architect is suffering from an early mid life crisis, feels bogged down in a perfect, but uneventful marriage, and yearns to feel young again. Just like Alexander's marriage, this book is oppressively uneventful. The description of the affair is wholesome and insinuated. The scant plot, though spanning two continents and three countries, is nonetheless slow pacing. Watch out, though, for the abrupt, perplexing turn of events toward the end.

The writing style is eloquent and the paragraphs flow well and are carefully structured, but the narrative is dull (except that peculiar, incongruous turn near the end) as are the characters. I see no compelling reason to read this burdensome, fatiguing novel, unless you happened to enjoy that famous Edith Wharton account of 19th century WASPy New York society, in which case this might be your cup of tea.
This is an amazing story about a successful engineer and his simultaneous romantic relationships with two brilliant and capable women. Originally published in 1912, it must have been scandalous, creating sympathetic portrayals of each of the three main characters: Bartley Alexander, a leading bridge building engineer; Winifried Alexander, his intelligent, enabling, supportive, and capable wife; and Hilda Burgoyne, Alexander's mistress, a talented and spirited British stage actress.

This is not a perfect book. And in the preface written by Willa Cather in 1922, ten years after it's original publication, it seems Cather almost apologizes for some of the choices she made in telling her original story - conceding it was not truly a story she understood from personal history, but rather a young writer's attempt to tell a story similar to the stories told by authors she admired.

It is not a long novel, so I was able to read it for the first time over the last few weeks. I enjoyed it very much.

The title "Alexander's Bridge" refers to several primary metaphors, including:

a) The story is about Alexander's attempt to bridge his life between two great loves, the two amazing and unique women in his life.

b) "Alexander's Bridge" is also a metaphor for the institution of marriage, a "singular span" that is capable of bearing conventional loads, but that may not be the safest or most facilitative structure to handle the demands of some modern expanses, loads, and conditions.

c) And "Alexander's Bridge" refers to the Alexander's repeated and unavoidable attempts to bridge his current life and responsibilities with the passions, memories, and goals of his youth.

Alexander, for many good reasons, not only loves Hilda (his current mistress and first love), but maybe as importantly he also loves the person he was in his youth when he was around her chemistry and environments. And he regularly struggles with his present life, where his marriage, career, and all the related societal and work obligations have taken over almost all his time and concerns. Throughout the story, he is consciously, and unconsciously in his sleeping dreams, struggling with the relentless memories of the past.

While I love the insight and universal perspectives in this book, unfortunately, my two least favorite sentences are the last sentence of Chapter X, and the last sentence of the Epilogue. It appears Cather was torn with what summarily should be said about Alexander's choices, because the Epilogue is in notorious conflict with the last sentence of Chapter X.

The whole book is an intelligent exploration of morality, ethics, and dualities - it seems unnecessarily disarmed with such an overriding negative spin as is suggested in the final sentence of Chapter X. I understand Cather must have been under a great deal of social pressure in 1912 to identify Alexander's behaviors as destructive, but almost the entire rest of the book is one big long wink to savvy readers that she was under pressure to put such a pat moral perspective on the totality of his actions.

In later books, like My Ántonia, Cather created a male narrator that does not identify his undying loves as destructive. My Ántonia, as a book, is one man taking the time to recollect and share his fond memories of one of his first love's (Ántonia). A beautiful aspect of My Ántonia is a concession by the narrator that his love for Ántonia never died, even though she married and lived a life separate from him.

Alexander's Bridge, in almost every other part of the book, suggests that Alexander was not intent on being self-destructive; but rather, he had excellent reasons for loving both women and for pursuing so many hard to achieve simultaneous business goals. Both women are drawn lovingly (as Cather is so capable of doing).

Cather was brilliant. Notice that Alexander does not die because his bridge crushes him, or because its weight and undertow drown him. He does not die of hubris. He does not die because he is arrogant and ignores the engineering data. As soon as he receives data suggesting the one bridge cannot meet all the demands placed on it, he immediately changes directions and makes best efforts to get everyone off the bridge. He does not die because he is not self-sufficient or because he is unable to swim. He dies because fearful people around him panic, and they pull him under the water as they drown.

The book is an exploration of this important question: Is it possible for good and moral people to have a healthy extra-marital affair? And in 1912, seriously and carefully examining that question in a mainstream and literate novel had to be controversial. The book suggests that when people are faced with more than one great love, whether or not they choose to pursue only one of those loves (and therefore exclude the other), the conflicts inherent in those decisions continue the rest of their life, regardless of whether they choose to love only one or both.

I recommend people read this book to read the internal dialogues of all the main characters. The book challenges common presumptions, and it questions its own presumptions. Buy a version that includes Cather's 1922 preface.

When Alexander sees that one bridge (one relationship) will not safely support the load, he is not a fool. He doesn't stand idly and sink with the ship (the bridge). He makes best efforts to save himself and as many others as possible by letting them know that his one bridge will no longer keep them safe. And he personally goes back out onto the unsafe bridge and tries to save as many of the other men as possible.

The book is not simply a critique of the traditional love relationship formula. Rather, it is more intent on being illustrative of circumstances that might merit something other than simple Victorian guilt as a response to non-singular love relationships. It compassionately shows how one man had separate and distinctly beautiful relationships with two unbelievably good women. It shows how the social constructs of that era led good men and women to live with self-inflicted and sometimes crushing guilt. Each character loves deeply and genuinely. But in that era, they were forced to choose only one. The book considerately examines the inherent negative consequences that often arise out of the traditional marital contract.
Alexander's Bridge download epub
Classics
Author: Willa Cather
ISBN: 159986620X
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Classics
Language: English
Publisher: FQ Classics (November 26, 2007)
Pages: 112 pages