|Willa Cather, 1905 (courtesy of U. of Nebraska)|
"Paul's Case" has been called "a small masterpiece of sustained tone" and a story "justly admired for its narrative skill and its psychological portraiture."
The story of an opera and theater loving Pittsburgh youth who makes a desperate escape from the reality of his ordinary lower middle class life, "Paul's Case" was the seventh and last story in Cather's first collection of stories, The Troll Garden, published in 1905. All of the stories in The Troll Garden deal with art and artists. Soon after the collection's publication, "Paul's Case" reached a wider audience when it was reprinted in McClure's Magazine, a leading general interest magazine.