The Willing Muse

The Willing Muse is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in Century in August 1907 and immediately became a bestseller.[1]

Plot summary

Kenneth is leaving the fictional town of Olympia, Ohio and moving to New York City with his bethrothed Bertha. Before leaving for Paris, his friend Philip warns Bertha that Kenneth may not like the hurly-burly that she is trying to impose on him. However, they do get married. Philip comes back sometime later; Bertha has become very successful, whilst Kenneth has stopped writing. Philip is then to go to China for work; Kenneth is sad to hear from Harrison that Olympia is not the quiet town that it used to be, and muses that China must be quiet. Later, as Philip is on his way back to New York from Canton, he reads a letter from Harrison saying Kenneth has disappeared. Back in America, he meets with Harrison and tells him he saw their friend in China. The two men vow not to say it to anybody and remain trustworthy to their friend, who evidently needed to get away.


Literary significance and criticism

Eleanor's House has been deemed to be clumsily Jamesian.[2]


  1. Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction (Revised ed.). University of Nebraska Press. 1 Nov 1970. p. 123.
  2. Bennett, Mildred R. (1 Nov 1970). Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction (Revised ed.). University of Nebraska Press. p. xxxvii.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/26/2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.