Not Under Forty

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For Willa Cather, “the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts.” The whole legacy of Western civilization stood on the far side of World War I, and in the spiritually impoverished present she looked back to that. To that she directed readers of these essays, declaring that anyone under forty years old would not be interested in them. But she was wrong: since its first publication in 1936, Not Under Forty has appealed to readers of all ages who share Cather’s concern for excellence, for what endures, in literature and in life.

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