The Cabala and The Woman of Andros: Two Novels (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

The Cabala and The Woman of Andros: Two Novels (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

Thornton Wilder

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 006051857X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Featuring an illuminating new foreword by Penelope Niven and a revealing afterword by Tappan Wilder, this reissue of two early books by Thornton Wilder reintroduces the reader to the author's first novel, The Cabala, and to The Woman of Andros, one of the inspirations for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town.

A young American student spends a year in the exotic world of post-World War I Rome. While there, he experiences firsthand the waning days of a secret community (a "cabala") of decaying royalty, a great cardinal of the Roman Church, and an assortment of memorable American ex-pats. The Cabala, a semiautobiographical novel of unforgettable characters and human passions, launched Wilder's career as a celebrated storyteller and dramatist.

The Woman of Andros, Wilder's best-selling novel, published in 1930, is set on the obscure Greek island of Brynos before the birth of Christ, and explores Everyman questions of what is precious about life and how we live, love, and die. Eight years later, Wilder would pose the same questions on the stage in a play titled Our Town, also set in an obscure location, this time a village in New Hampshire. The Woman of Andros is celebrated for some of the most beautiful writing in American literature.















us. Just simply loves us in a disinterested new world way. Once I had a most beautiful setter, named Samuele. Samuele spent all his life sitting around on the pavement watching us with a look of most intense excitement. Did he bite? asked Donna Leda who had a literal mind. You didn’t have to give Samuele a sandwich to win his devotion. He liked to like. You won’t be angry with me if every now and then I call you Samuele to remind me of him? You mustn’t talk about him in front of him, muttered

Princess seemed to herself to have forever closed her mind to even the remotest hope that she would ever see Blair again. Sitting on a stone bench on the gloomy Aventine while the sun shouldered its way up through plunging orange clouds, we mused. She seemed for a time to have fallen back into her old despondency; I resumed the arguments that spoke more glowingly of her gifts. Suddenly she straightened up. All right. I will try it for you. I must do something. Where are you going today? I

tone implied: “You and he are of one measure and should stand on the same side.” Simo preferred talking about his sons to any other activity in the world, but his emotions were very mixed as he assembled an answer to this remark: “Well, well . . . Andrian, I will frank your money for you. I have boats going to Andros every twelve days. One went off today.” “I thank you.” “Could I ask you . . . euh . . . not to mention this to Pamphilus?” “I shall not.” “Well . . . well, goodnight.”

with much worry and self-examination and all the exhilaration of wind and sun could not drive from his mind the anxious affection with which he now turned over his thoughts of Chrysis and Philumena and of the four members of his family. He was straying among the rocks and the lizards and the neglected dwarfed olive-trees, when his attention was suddenly caught by an incident on the hillside to his left. A group of boys from the town was engaged in tormenting a young girl. She was retreating

talk all around the matter. I want to put the other side of the case in its plainest terms and leave it there for a while. May I do that?” “Yes,” said Pamphilus. “Well, to begin with, it’s only right to face the fact that there is no outward obligation to marry the girl. I’ve looked into the matter. She is not a Greek citizen. She happens to have been brought up in a sheltered manner, or so I take it. This Chrysis seems to have tried to prevent the girl’s falling into her way of life; but that

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