5 thoughts on “Coming, Aphrodite!

  1. I think this is one of Willa Cather’s best stories. It’s short, a novella or long short story, and you get the sense that she projected herself into these characters. Don Hedger and Eden Bower, both aspiring young artists, a painter and an opera singer, both wanting to be the best they can be, but for vastly different reasons. Those differences are the at the heart of the story and determine the fate of these young lovers.

  2. A great novella (1920) about the price of artistic goals, hopes, dreams by the great American writer Willa Cather, found in many Cather collections like “Youth and the Bright Medusa.” The price of success, which in America only equals money, honey, herein gets a stab through the heart. We constantly hear, X or Y is “successful,” which means money, money without guilt.

    Young artist Don Hedger, age 26, lives in a rooming house in Greenwich Village – (the only w.c. is at the top of the stairs) – an

  3. Of this collection of stories, “Paul’s Case” and “Coming, Aphrodite!” were my favorites. A look into New York through young men with just the right balance of earnestness and ruggedness.

    “Paul’s Case” gives the perspective of a Holden Caulfield-esque high school rebel (though Cather published this story long before Salinger). Paul is a teen frank in his apathy about the routines of lower/middle class life. After school, he works as an usher at Carnegie Hall:

    “When the symphony began, Paul sank in

  4. I can’t believe people call this boring! I had to read it for a class, and it is definitely a highlight. I guess it’s not very action-packed, which so many now-a-days seem to require. It is, however, beautifully written. I wish I could write like Cather. Maybe some people think this story is just some weird romance, I guess. But its not that shallow. It’s a story about loneliness, versions of success, and discovering sexuality.

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