Like Henry Seidel Canby, does not believe in teaching contemporary literature. More important to use limited school time to teach classics of English literature. Essential reading in school includes Shakespeare, Milton, Fielding, Jane Austen, with Thackeray, George Eliot, George Meredith, and Thomas Hardy as the most recent. Young people should read contemporary literature as they want to, not as assignments. True literary taste is as rare as perfect pitch, but students can glean something from exposure to the classics, even if they don't have real aptitude. [Stout #1454]
Trusts Mr. Rogers to place the explanatory note for the Autograph Edition where he thinks best. Right hand in splints, so can't even sign checks for Christmas presents. Willa Cather [Stout #1517]
Sorry not to have seen him when he was in New York, but has been in hospital. Does not mind omitting capitalization of "o" in Moses, which was there to emphasize the way Negros sing the word. "Milldam" was often used instead of "millpond" in Virginia. "Down the millrace" is true to the localized use for going either way, but it might be better to make it "along the millrace." Stairs did creak; house built of unseasoned wood. Realizes excisions of extraneous material may have left some details like these unclear, and appreciates his calling them to her attention. Willa Cather [Stout #1523]
Yesterday mailed a check and now is compelled to write again after reading Elsie's nice letter. Has been very busy with details surrounding Houghton Mifflin's publication of a new edition of all her works [the Autograph Edition, the first volumes of which were published in 1937]. Bruce Rogers is designing them. He is the finest designer in the United States or England and has recently gone to England to design the Oxford Bible. There will be limited sets for the U.S., library, and English markets. Knopf agreed to this arrangement, and this edition will correct many of her lapses in taste and the mistakes of proofreaders. Knopf will still publish future books first. Not much money to be made in this endeavor, but Knopf thought she should do it. The work involved has been tedious. . . . [part of letter missing].