A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

To Wilton GraffJuly 19, [1925], from Santa FeWCPM 

[First name of Mr. Graff provided in Bernice Slote papers at UNL.] Has just returned from a long horseback ride in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Appreciates his comments on the book. Will drink his health when she is in Paris next spring. Sorry for having to use hotel stationery.   Willa Cather   [Stout #791]


To Paul ReynoldsJan. 23, [1928], from Red Cloud, Nebr.Columbia 

Doing some repairs on parents' house. May have a two-part story finished by spring.   Willa Cather   [Stout #925]


To Zoë Akins,  Wednesday [prob. Jan. or Feb. 1933] Huntington 

Enjoying the apple tree she sent [Dec. 24, 1932], which turns winter into spring. Won't be able to visit her tomorrow, due to a business appointment.   W.S.C.   [Stout #1157]


To Carrie Miner SherwoodDec. 9, [1935]WCPM 

Doesn't believe Lucy Gayheart is one of her best, though the Hambourgs and Myra Hess do. Glad Carrie likes it. Selling well comparatively speaking, but book sales are all slow. Health not very good, probably due to nervous strain during spring and summer. No, can't come home for Christmas. Maybe Carrie would send reviews on to Roscoe? No one else in the family would care.   Willie   [Stout #1281]


To [Mr. George Whicher and Mrs. Harriet Whicher?],  n.d. [prob. 1936] , Easter card with note ; PM 

Were abroad all fall, got home shortly before Christmas. A very trying time, with many friends ill. Hopes for better things in the spring.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1310]


To Dr. Damrosch [ American Academy of Arts and Letters ]Oct. 25, 1940AAAL 

Has returned her ballot for the Howells Medal. Continues to hope amendment passed last spring, so inconsistent with the goals of the Institute and the Academy, will be reversed. Plans to attend the annual meeting if possible.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1498]


To Sigrid UndsetDec. 27, [1942]Oslo 

The narcissus she sent for Christmas was like a promise of spring, reminded her of Schubert's "Dream of Spring in Winter" [from Die Winterreise, 1827]. Has had a strange Christmas, both secretary and housekeeper ill for weeks and she and Miss Lewis on their own, with just a cleaning woman and a part-time housekeeper. Does not really mind washing dishes, but it keeps her from other things. Has not regained full strength, but has gained five pounds and can at last enjoy eating again, after months of feeling repelled by food even though hungry. This explains her seclusion recently.   [Stout #1606]


To Irene Miner WeiszDec. 31, 1943Newberry 

Greatly appreciates pudding she sent, which conveys real friendship. Has had a difficult year. Three old friends in Pittsburgh died, and has not heard from Carrie in a long time. Must have hurt her feelings or offended her in some way. Really did mean to go to Red Cloud in the fall, but coming back from Maine to find no household help was daunting. Didn't get anyone until November 1, and then had problems. Mary Virginia's visit helped, but only because she kept her distance, stayed at a hotel and only dropped by for brief visits. Sad, but any kind of pleasure or emotional excitement is exhausting. Nerves seem messed up since the operation. Would be impossible to go to Red Cloud, where there would be such emotional strain, both happy and troubling, not to mention scoffers like Helen Mac. Afraid she would cry all the time. Elsie has made things hard, too. [sentence blacked out] No use saying any more about that. All together, things have been difficult. Has received a nice letter from Mary, who says there are two sides to every story, which is true. Carrie seems to have given up on her. Wishing her a happy winter in Mexico and hopes she will come to New York next spring. Then she can see for herself how things are.   Willie   [Stout #1654]


To Stephen Tennantn.d.Yongue , copy, not original.

[Quotes a sentence written by him on a postcard that she had apparently tucked into a copy of Salammbo eight years ago: "Marseilles in spring was wonderful—the foliage of the plane trees, the pink evening sky, the old skull-colored city: very wicked and old, with no regrets."] That sentence restores her confidence in Lascar. Tells more about Marseilles than anything in Joseph Conrad's Arrow of Gold—his weakest book, of course. This sentence is authentic.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1705]


To E. K. BrownJan. 24, 1947Beinecke 

Does not yet know plans for spring and summer. Anticipates being in California for part of that time to see two brothers [Jack and James]. Will hope to meet with him when he is in town. Would have many things to talk about—such as the new edition of Shakespeare that cuts out what the editor considers unimportant. Does not want writers like John Dos Passos to be legally stopped from writing as they want, but wishes law would stop editors who tamper with classics. Brandeis's death a great loss to the work of the Supreme Court. Spent many evenings at his home during years in Boston and often saw the Brandeises at the opera. Was introduced to Mrs. James T. Fields by Mrs. Brandeis, who was a fine and intelligent woman in her own right. Life sometimes seems dreary when one thinks about the people who have gone. Remembers William Archer well; remembers being in Lady Gregory's box with him the night the Abbey players made their London debut. Saw Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. Archer helped open her mind to new kinds of theatrical drama. Looks forward to discussing their personal values when he comes to New York.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1749]


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