Paul's Case

Literary criticism and significance

The story has been called a "gay suicide".[3]

It has been argued that the story revolves around the literary topos of opera queendom, often commingled with a suicidal sense of self-loss.[2]

It has also been suggested that this might be a portrait of Willa Cather's "own desire for aesthetic fulfillment and sexual nonconformity".[2]

The story is also seen as an investigation of the relationship between art and life, which Cather saw to be in "irreconcilable opposition."[4]

James Obertino from the University of Central Missouri wrote an article suggesting Paul suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.[5]

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