Has followed his advice and asked Mr. Crowell to ask $3,200 for the Osborne land. Dropping of atomic bomb has made all her doings seem very small and unimportant. He need not return enclosed newspaper clipping; Major Eliot has been the most reliable analyst of the war. Willa Cather
Appreciates the invitation by Chase and President Neilson to lecture, but cannot accept due to travels this winter. After Christmas will be leaving to see mother in Pasadena. Hopes to stop in Northampton on the way to see nephew at Amherst and niece at Smith, and wishes to see Chase and Miss MacGregor as well to discuss Grand Manan plans. Thanks for sending "The Golden Asse". The book will travel west with her unless she has the chance to look at it sooner. Suspects that Virginia was nervous when Chase had her to tea. Willa Cather
Appreciates his vivacious letters and would like to visit him, but must keep writing on a story that is proving difficult [most likely Song of the Lark]. Though taking a break on a piece that is going smoothly is all right, it's not a good idea when the writing is proving tricky, as it is too difficult to get into it again. Hopes to see Roscoe in July, though. He shouldn't slay any beast for her unless he has plenty of refrigeration! Being a writer is an erratic enterprise. Is going to Maine Sunday to visit Olive Fremstad for a week. Hadn't planned this, but had better seize the opportunity when it is there. Fremstad is a synthesis of a major artist and a Swede just off the prairie, a combination that fascinates her. Has believed since she was a child that a great artist would emerge from the immigrant population in this new country, and it is exciting to see her expectation fulfilled. They'll talk about it when she is there. So wishes to see Meta and baby Virginia, but is leaving on "the long trail, the trail that is always new" [quoted from Rudyard Kipling's poem "A Long Trail"]. Human beings are the most fascinating part of creation—even more than the grandest scenery. Willie.
[All comments are written in margins of a letter to W. Cather from Edward Wagenknecht, University of Washington Department of English, dated November 11, 1938, asking Cather about her early short fiction and declaring intentions to publish a collection of the stories.] [In top margin:] Believes this ninny can be stopped legally. Four of the stories in his proposed Table of Contents not hers anyway—just group work of the University of Nebraska weekly theme class. [After a quote from a collection of George Eliot's early pieces about idealistic motivation for making early work of major authors available for all to study:] Nonsense. He just wants to publish a volume with his own preface. [In bottom margin:] This is so annoying! His collection is mostly old college papers, which weren't copyrighted because they were published in cheap outlets by professors like this one trying to promote their departments. [On back of letter:] This happens again and again—people wishing to get out a book with their own brilliant preface—for old college papers! [Written on a small note accompanying letter:] No need to return this. He writes often, sometimes in a cajoling way, sometimes a bullying one. Silly man! [On back of this note:]Here's a place to get the brand of sherry.