A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

14 letters found

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To Students of Allegheny High School, PittsburghJune 6, 1906 quoted in ; Bohlke 

Will not return to the school in the fall, though expected to when she told them goodbye. Is going to New York to engage in work she enjoys even more than teaching. Wishes them well in their senior year.    Willa Cather   [Stout #112]

To E. J. Overing, Jr.,  [President of the Red Cloud Board of Education] Apr. 30, 1909 [letter read at 1909 commencement exercises and published in the Red Cloud Chief May 27, 1909] ; WCPM , also Bohlke.

Had hoped to be there for commencement, but is leaving for London on business. Has kept up with Red Cloud schools through brothers and sisters. Remembers with love Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Goudy and Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Case. Mrs. Case, then Miss King, was principal when she first entered the school. Remembers her first teacher and some of her fellow pupils. Always tried to please Miss King, who helped and advised her all through high school—even tried to teach her algebra, an impossibility. Hard to believe it has been nineteen years since she graduated. Best wishes to the new graduates. They should try to live up to their teachers' goals for them.    Willa Cather   [Stout #159]

To Thomas A. BoydMar. 5, 1922 pub. St. Paul Daily News, quoted in Bohlke.

Ideas in Boyd's editorial "A Revaluation," which proposed definitions of the novel, need to be stated more clearly. A true artist of literature knows his or her material sufficiently well to write literally, but does not write literally because art is metaphorical or suggestive. Details in writing are there to create effects and serve the end of the literary structure.   [Stout #581]

To Alice Hunt Bartlett1925 pub. in part in Poetry Review of London, quoted in Bohlke

Does not regard herself as an "effective force in American poetry," as Bartlett said. Of her own poetry, believes "A Likeness," "A Silver Cup," "Going Home," and "Macon Prairie" are the best. The most popular is probably "Spanish Johnny."   [Stout #769]

To Will Owen JonesMar. 22, 1927UVa , quoted in Bohlke, dated June 2, 1927.

Congratulations to the Nebraska State Journal on its sixtieth anniversary. First saw herself in print in the Journal, when her essay on Thomas Carlyle was printed at the initiative of Professor Hunt. That changed her from the study of science to literature. A flowery piece of writing, but honest about her feelings of juvenile bitterness. When she began to write for the Journal was paid a dollar a column—about what they were worth! Mr. Gere never repressed her excesses, but his facial expression often led her to be more self-critical as she worked her way through to better ways of writing.   Willa Cather   [Stout #881]

To Mary Miner CreightonSept. 17, [1927] from Jaffrey, N.H.Newberry  Pub. in Red Cloud Chief Oct. 20, 1927; quoted in Bohlke.

Will be glad to write the inscription for the memorial to Mrs. Brodstone [mother of Evelyn Brodstone] at the hospital. Remembers her well. Glad to hear she saw father and mother out driving.   [Stout #899]

To Harvey NewbranchOct. 27, 1929 pub. Omaha World-Herald, quoted in Bohlke.

Regrets the disappearance of local opera houses in small towns of Nebraska. Remembers the excitement when touring companies came to Red Cloud. With her friends, would go watch the train arrive and the theatrical company get off. Is not sorry there are now motion pictures, but wishes they had not brought demise of live performances. Does not believe movies touch emotions of audience as live performances did, though they are fine entertainment.   Willa Cather   [Stout #985]

To the Very Rev. Francis R. Lee [Dean of St. Mark's Pro-Cathedral], n.d. [Nov. 1935?] pub. Hastings [Nebr.] Daily Tribune Dec. 2, 1935, quoted in full in Bohlke

Please convey greetings to Bishop and Mrs. George Beecher on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his consecration as bishop. Wishes she could be there on November 30. He has affected the lives of many people.   [Stout #1277]

To [Bruce] BlivenJune 13, 1936Newberry 

Can't let him use the essay he wants [ "The Novel Démeublé" ] because it will be in volume being published by Knopf that same month.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1319]

To Ferris GreensletJuly 3, 1937Harvard 

Agrees to revisions in the plan for the Autograph Edition, as outlined in his letter of yesterday, provided they are agreed to by Knopf. Is very pleased with Mr. Evans's work (in production department) and his sound suggestions, but less pleased with editorial department. They made unnecessary trouble for her by sending incorrect proofs, made suggestions that had already been disapproved by Mr. Rogers, and have now made nonsensical suggestions about the captions for the photographs. Will not sign anything until he sends her proofs of the engravings with captions in place. Actually, is sorry she ever got into this project.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1369]