Youth and the Bright Medusa
Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920) is a collection of eight short stories by the prolific Willa Cather. Four of the pieces contained in this collection were previously published in her first book of short fiction, The Troll Garden (1905). However, it makes sense that Cather would place these short stories next to each other. They all center around art, the lives of artists and the effects of a successful artistic career. It is a look into Cather’s opinions on materialism and artistic integrity. The stories also take a hard glance at youth and time. Set largely in urban areas, this collection has a distinctly different tone from Cather’s earlier Great Plains works. Youth and the Bright Medusa is a well formulated collection of succinct yet powerful questions about the true function of art and the loss of youth.