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Critical Essay | Critical Essay by Merrill Maguire Skaggs

This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of Critical Essay by Merrill Maguire Skaggs.
This section contains 4,714 words
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Critical Essay by Merrill Maguire Skaggs

SOURCE: “Death Comes for the Archbishop: Cather's Mystery and Manners,” in American Literature, Vol. 57, No. 3, October, 1985, pp. 395-406.

In the following essay, Skaggs addresses the question of how Cather could have written My Mortal Enemy and Death Comes for the Archbishop—two novels radically different in tone and subject matter—within the space of twelve months.

If the components of great art remain subtle and elusive, the springs of artistic creativity are even more so. How a writer produces an enduring fiction is a question even the writer cannot answer with certainty. But because unanswerable questions are the most tantalizing, we readers find questions regarding the components of a particular creative moment irresistible. Of all the teasers in American literary history, however, none has haunted me more than this question: How...

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This section contains 4,714 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Essay by Merrill Maguire Skaggs - Critical Essay by Merrill Maguire Skaggs
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