A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

8 letters found

Search parameters

Results 1-8:

To George SeibelJan. 29, 1896 [actually 1897] on Home Monthly letterhead ; WCPM 

Enclosing check for $6 for his article on the Star of Bethlehem. "A Higher Critic" will be in March issue, also for $6.    Willa Cather   [Stout #35]


To Mrs. George Seibel,  n.d. [Mar. 1900?] , on Pittsburgh Leader letterhead ; WCPM 

Could not visit last night because had to serve as a last-minute substitute reviewer of an orchestra concert. May go to Paris next month. Has a poem in the March Critic. ["Grandmither, Think Not I Forget" was in the April 1900 Critic.]    Willa Cather   [Stout #61]


To Dorothy Canfield,  n.d. [Mar. 1901] , from PittsburghUVt 

Has finished first month of teaching, but may quit and go home to Red Cloud. So much effort, if one is serious about it, for so little pay. The "letters" have been rejected [projected book of open letters to actors]. Just as well; they were overwritten and not of lasting interest. Maybe some can be placed in the Critic, with Dorothy's help. "Jack-a-Boy" in the Saturday Evening Post with good illustrations. Has been reading Lemaître. McClungs have moved into new house. Would like to discuss the Pittsburgh novel. [Two poems are enclosed: "Caliban" and "The Inexorable."]   Willie   [Stout #68]


To Zoë AkinsMay 4, [1918?]Huntington 

Interested in her new efforts in play production. Looking forward to seeing her piece [probably "Did It Really Happen?"] in Smart Set. What is she going to do with the Spoon River poet in her anthology? [The "anthology" was a series by Akins published from Feb. 19 to Aug. 13, 1915, in Reedy's Mirror, St. Louis. The series was to have been published in book form but was not until 1994, under the title In the Shadow of Parnassus: A Critical Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by Catherine Parke.] He is beneath comment. P.S.: Sending some poems not in April Twilights. Novel finished and being set in type.  W. S. C.   [Stout #415]


To Leonard Charles Van NoppenJanuary 5, 1899, from 341 Sheridan Ave, East End, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaDrew U (Adams 141) 

He must be inundated with praise since the publication of his [translation of Joost van den Vondel's] Lucifer [New York, London: Continental Publishing Co., 1898]. Hopes he does not mind another. Has been following the positive reception with some surprise at the success, for it is rare that an old, non-English language text can inspire such enthusiasm. Liked the review in the Critic; it was as positive as Vance Thompson's but more focused and intelligent. Had hoped to review it herself and regrets being gone and missing the chance. Wants him to know of her honest approval of his work. And now, though still so young, he is going to talk at Columbia! Hopes his success has made him content. Though he used to doubt his abilities, she never did. With support of cousin Dr. James Howard Gore of Columbian University, Washington, D.C., is hoping to publish a book of essays on theater soon, and hopes he will look at it for her. Wishes him the best. P.S.: Is boarding with some young women from Pittsburgh he met at the Chicago World's Fair, the Miss Davises. Unusual to associate him with those uncomplicated girls. It is an association Balzac would have appreciated.  Willa Cather 


To Leonard Charles Van NoppenJanuary 26, 1900, on "Editorial Rooms, Pittsburgh Leader" letterhead ; Drew U (Adams 141) 

Congratulations and welcome back. Does not think they can find an audience for a lecture on Dutch literature in Pittsburgh; cannot even find enough interested in English literature. Zangwill can't attract a dozen people. Has refused to let cousin Dr. Gore even try. Stedman has done nothing with the manuscript [unpublished Player Letters], but Ladies Home Journal has published a piece ["The Man Who Wrote 'Narcissus,'" Ladies Homes Journal (November 1900): 11], a story will be out soon in the New England Magazine ["El Dorado: A Kansas Recessional," New England Magazine 24 (June 1901): 481-488], a poem in the Critic ["Grandmother, Think Not I Forget," Critic 36 (April 1900): 308], and poems in the Criterion [?], and McClure's [?], as well as several minor periodicals [the Pittsburgh Leader and Lincoln Courier both published poems by Cather in 1900]. Clearly she has not been lazy. R. H. Russell and Co. of New York now has the Player Letters; does Van Noppen know anyone there? If so, please put in a good word for her. Rupert Hughes of the Criterion thinks they have a future. Hopes everything is going well. Mr. Couse and the others send greetings.   Willa Cather 


To Norman FoersterJanuary 14, 1931UNL-Cather Collected 

Does not lecture anymore, so must refuse his invitation. Has been meaning to write an extended letter to him about his book, which she read closely. Concurs with him generally, but feels he inflates the importance of many of the New York critics. Only Randolph Bourne and, to a degree, Mr. Canby had the essential innate sense of quality needed by critics. Consider, for example, Stuart Sherman (nothing personal to Sherman, as he always treated her well), who did not have such a sensibility. He could research a writer and say many valid things about him or her, but it was an external product of scholarship. To put it another way: if she mixed up a few pages of Nigger of the Narcissus with some of Joseph Conrad's respectable imitators (like Francis Brett Young), Sherman wouldn't know the difference. A critic must be more than idealistic and hardworking. In fact, a good deal of first-rate criticism was done by non-professional critics like Henry James, Walter Pater, and Prosper Mérimée (particularly his essay on Gogol). Not all good writers are good critics; Turgenev was not. That said, writers are the best at evaluating new writing and composers are the top critics of new music, or at least they are better than scholars. Since she wants to say this and so much more, she knows that his book was successful, as a reader's fierce engagement with a book's ideas is always a mark of accomplishment. P. S.: [dated January 20] After writing letter, was asked not to send it by secretary, who thought it would needlessly offend people. Secretary is now on vacation in Cuba, and has decided to risk sending it. Feels that he won't be indiscreet with the letter, even to his talkative publisher.  Willa Cather 


To Norman FoersterMarch 3, 1931UNL-Cather Collected 

Is in New York but soon heading West again. Hopes he was not offended by her letter and that they can meet in New York next winter to talk over their ideas. P. S.: Very proud to be listed with Robert Frost in the dedication of his book [Toward Standards: A Study of the Present Critical Movement in American Letters, New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1930].  Willa Cather