A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

13 letters found

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To Norman FoersterJuly 20, 1910, on McClure's letterhead ; UNL 

Is pleased to see his success. Looking forward to his article on Gilbert White. Always expected him to write well, if he could get beyond youthful egoism. Since they have no book publishing now, can't consider his book of nature essays. Suggests Doubleday Page, which bought them out, or Houghton Mifflin. Ferris Greenslet there an old friend. For the magazine, more interested in content and a style more scientific than literary, designed to convey information. P.S.: Has been running the magazine alone past six months, as Mr. McClure has been ill. Will be going abroad this winter.  Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #182]

To Norman Foerster,  Saturday [July 24, 1910?] , from Plainfield, N.H.UNL 

Liked his paper on White. Glad he's no longer trying to imitate Pater and Swinburne.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #183]

To Norman FoersterOct.1, 1910, on McClure's letterhead ; UNL 

Has he thought of topics for articles? Sorry if letter from Plainfield seemed too bossy.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #185]

To Norman FoersterSept. 6, 1911, on McClure's letterhead fragment; ; UNL 

Sorry she didn't get the invitation to his wedding. Heard he was married, but not that he was in Wisconsin. A good place to teach. McClure's never uses literary articles. Might try Atlantic Monthly. A lot of trash written about Robert Browning, but he remains popular because behind his hectic style are strong ideas fairly near common sentiment. [Breaks off]   [Stout #204]

To Norman FoersterMar. 8, 1923, from New YorkUNL 

Received a copy of his book [ Nature in American Literature ] from Macmillan. Sailing the 17th and will take it with her.   Willa Cather   [Stout #677]

To Norman FoersterMay 22, 1933UNL , copy, not original

Gives permission for him to use pp. 14–51 of Death Comes for the Archbishop, provided Knopf agrees. Usually an extract from a novel is unsatisfying, but this can hardly be called a novel anyway. Please address mail care of Knopf.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1181]

To Norman FoersterApr. 16, 1936UNL , copy, not original

Glad he feels like recommending her for honorary degree, but would rather not. Has another one to accept the same week as Rockford College commencement. Early June will be a busy time. Glad to hear from him again.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1314]

To Norman Holmes PearsonOct. 23, 1937Beinecke 

Cannot agree to send him copies of revised edition of Death Comes for the Archbishop for the section he is using in his anthology, but he may be able to get them from Ferris Greenslet. Not many changes. Likes his selections of poetry. In the prose, wonders why he didn't represent Poe with "The Cask of Amontillado," a better story than "The Fall of the House of Usher." Likes Poe's poetry better than his stories.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1376]

To Norman FoersterFeb. 13, 1939UNL , copy, not original

No, cannot accept his invitation. Rarely has uninterrupted time to work and would have none if she attended conferences or gave lecturers. Glad he wrote a book about the faults of state universities [The American State University, Its Relation to Democracy, 1937], a threat to public life.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1436]

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