A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

23 letters found

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Results 11-20:

To Mary WillardDec. 26, [1941], from New YorkAmherst 

Enjoyed the wreath she sent, which brought back many memories.   Willa   [Stout #1567]


To Sigrid UndsetOct. 23, [1942], from the Williams Inn, Williamstown, Mass.Oslo 

What a heartwarming little book! [Undset's memoir for children Happy Times in Norway, published by Knopf in 1942] It flooded her with memories of days when the world was free, and the beautiful, variegated pattern of different countries lay under a sky undarkened by death. Spent a dreary summer drearily, hospitalized four weeks for removal of gall bladder. Has had a slow recuperation, which has tried her patience. Has been here in the Berkshires a few weeks, and has enjoyed the quiet. Will leave for Boston tomorrow.   [Stout #1594]


To Alexander WoollcottDec. 5, 1942PM 

Has also been in the hospital recently, having her gall bladder removed. Wishes the surgeon hadn't insisted on Presbyterian Hospital. Appreciates his sending her the Nolans' letter. Glad to hear Robert located a church and served mass. Isn't a Catholic, but believes spirituality is helpful. Believes the anthology for soldiers should have lively material such as they liked reading themselves when they were eighteen or nineteen. Sarah Orne Jewett too quiet and subtle. Young people want to read something that seems like real life to them. Aren't interested in style and form. Hard to think of what would be good. Classic American literature too far removed from present-day experience, and new books often too preoccupied with social problems. They might like some of the early Robert Frost or even some of Longfellow's poems. Perhaps simply an edition of Huckleberry Finn would be best—the most thoroughly American book ever written. Glad he likes Sapphira and the Slave Girl, and particularly glad he liked the epilogue, which retells one of her most important actual memories. Still vividly remembers the moment when Nancy entered the room where her mother and Grandmother Boak and she were waiting, and remembers the afternoons she spent in the kitchen with Nancy, her mother, and Grandmother Boak. [Note: No mention of Cather's mother.]   Willa Cather   [Stout #1600]


To Mrs. Flynn [prob. c. Mar. 1943, following German surrender at Stalingrad] transcription made by E. K. Brown; ; Beinecke 

Sorry to be late replying to invitation to tea being held in the Jewett garden in May. Has many happy memories of that garden. Was last there three years before Mary Jewett's illness. Would be too painful to go there again. Sorry the village has not kept up the house where Sarah and Mary Jewett gathered such beautiful things. Similarly, Mme Franklin-Grout's estate in France, which was left as a retreat for women writers, was turned to other purposes by the French government right away and her Flaubert collection sent to a museum in Rouen that no longer exists. Tolstoi's estate has been damaged by the Germans. Sarah Orne Jewett still lives in her work.   [Stout #1621]


To Mrs. George WhicherJan. 24, 1944PM 

Sorry not to have written in so long. The world is all in distress, everyone's lives disrupted. All the young people in her family caught up in the war. Mary Virginia and husband, Dick Mellen, at Camp Carson in Colorado, and her brother at a camp in Arizona, one of the least attractive spots in the state. Enjoyed having Mary Virginia in town for a visit recently. Another niece's husband is commander of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Everyone lives in suspense. Will paste their Christmas card with picture of Beacon Street into Annie Fields's Memories of a Hostess. Doesn't understand why Boston has messed up the area around Trinity Church. Spent last summer in Maine; very comfortable in spite of poor food. Wishing them a happy new year. Willa Cather. P.S.: Has sprained right hand again and is back in Dr. Ober's brace.   [Stout #1657]


To Irene Miner WeiszJan. 6, 1945Newberry 

Has kept hoping to write a letter by hand, but has been in brace since December 16. Is afraid of losing the story she was enjoying working on. Cries every time she reads her letter. In the early days, when making her living in newspaper work or teaching and sending money to family, wrote for the joy of it. Over the years has managed to recapture many happy memories by writing. The world has been good to her, but Red Cloud has not. Hard to believe Helen McNeny would lecture on Granville Hicks, who built his career attacking her, in the Auld Library! Naturally, this delights people in Red Cloud who like to spend their time figuring out where she got everything in her books. Truth is, most of the time doesn't know— they just came to her, without her even realizing she wasn't making them up. Remembers how angry Mrs. Fred Garber was about A Lost Lady; she told Douglass she ought to have sued. Never meant to write about Mrs. Garber, but in the shock of learning of her death the story came to her. Wrote an honest recording of feelings she evoked. Mustn't show this letter to the likes of Helen Mac!   Willie   [Stout #1689]


To Carl J. WeberJan. 31, 1945 Colby, copy also at ; WCPM 

No, don't try to trace the incorrect report about visit to Housman. Does not appreciate his pressing questions on her. Wishes she had not told him as much as she did. Prefers to keep her personal memories personal. Is leaving for Mexico City [not true] and this will end their correspondence.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1694]


To Ferris GreensletOct. 30, 1945 [attached note by Leon Edel indicates that F. Greenslet gave this letter to E. K. Brown, leaving it to him to decide whether to destroy it, and at the time he died Brown had apparently made no decision] ; Beinecke 

Brother Roscoe died in his sleep on September 25. He was less than two years older than she [actually four years younger] and is part of her earliest memories. Was the closest to her of all her brothers. Feels that something inside is broken. Very difficult to reply to all the letters of condolence. Thanks for sending his Practical Cogitator, but can't read small type due to eye trouble. Please destroy this letter. Had just finished a story she had been thinking about for a long time and was doing research for a larger project when the news came.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1719]


To Bishop George BeecherMar. 12, 1947, transcription made by Bernice Slote ; UNL 

Was grieved to learn of the death of Mrs. Beecher. Delayed writing until sufficiently recovered from the strain of her right hand to do so by hand. Does not write to many people in Red Cloud any longer, but does write to Carrie Sherwood and Mary Creighton and to Sidney Florance and his wife. Glad the hospital board is making such a good use of her family's old home. Some of the people in the country out from Red Cloud have written telling her how kind her mother was to them when they came to town. These are the memories one cherishes. Prays that he can bear up under the loneliness that has come to him.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1754]


To Mabel Dodge Luhann.d.Beinecke 

Interesting how people differ in what part of Mabel's manuscript they like best. The "Green Horses" section seems to her a real work of art, much more significant than the rest, perhaps because it is drawing on early memories and a child has the artist's eye that adults lose. Buffalo is established as a world of its own.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1766]


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