A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

42 letters found

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To Mariel GereAug. 10, 1896 on Home Monthly letterhead ; WCPM 

Sorry for previous letter. Ironic to be called bohemian, considering present hardworking life. Has been on a picnic to Erie and an excursion on the river; returning by moonlight, admired the glow of the steel furnaces and was serenaded by a Princeton boy. Recited college composition on Carlyle at an afternoon tea and was at once welcomed into the social set. Axtells are kind but not warm; resemble the Pounds.    Willa   [Stout #29]

To Ferris GreensletOct. 1908, from 82 Washington Place, New York, transcription by E. K. Brown ; Beineke 

Enjoyed reading the Aldrich book on the train.    Willa S—C—(William)   [Stout #141]

To Ferris GreensletJan. 7, 1920Harvard 

Advertising Ántonia on the back of Capek's book on the Czechs was a good idea, but the name of the Bohemian who wrote the letter was not Sadiler, but Sadilek. It makes a difference. Another example of his publicity department's work. And they had an agreement that she was to see all advertising in proof! When he comes to see her, he'd better be prepared. Has just finished a good story that opens a new line she can follow when she chooses. Take note!   W. S. C.   [Stout #490]

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 Zoë AkinsOct. 4, [1924], from Jaffrey, N.H.Huntington 

Sorry to hear of her father's death. Personal reality lies in families. Sorry to hear she is having to move.   Willa   [Stout #746]

To Thomas Masaryk [president of the Czechoslovak Republic]Feb. 2, 1925, from no. 5 Bank Street, New YorkBerkeley 

Feels honored to receive his letter and glad to have introduced to him the Bohemian people she knew in Nebraska. While in Red Cloud for Christmas took the original Ántonia and six of her children to see the movie of A Lost Lady. Usually remains friendly with her characters. Wishes she could introduce to him the real Ántonia and her children. The Midwest is such a combination of contradictories that she can only write about what she lived. Has no biographical material to send him except a publicity brochure from Knopf. Is still only beginning to find her proper voice in fiction.   Willa Cather   [Stout #768]

To Carrie Miner Sherwood,  n.d. [prob. Jan. 1926] WCPM 

[name blotted out; possibly Thomas Masaryk] has just sent some nice pictures of Bohemia. Is sending some for her and Irene and several to be framed for Annie Pavelka. Enclosing a check to buy some tulips for mother. Enjoyed Mary Virginia's visit.   Willie   [Stout #820]

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 Mrs. George Whicher,  Tuesday [pm. Nov. 8, 1927] , from Grosvenor Hotel, New YorkPM 

Appreciates the invitation to visit, but cannot. Is going to Nebraska soon. Also, Edith Lewis's mother ill. Enjoyed being in Jaffrey during the fall but has not been well lately. Needs to get away from New York. Enjoyed writing Archbishop, but now that it is out there are too many events and letters. Enjoys letters from Catholics, however. Nephew is enjoying Amherst.   Willa Cather   [Stout #910]

To Thomas MasarykFeb. 12, [1929?], from New YorkBerkeley 

Is very pleased and grateful for his letter; especially glad he liked Death Comes for the Archbishop. Based on lives of actual first French missionaries who came into the formerly Spanish territory in the southwestern U.S. Sketch on the cover was taken from an old picture of Archbishop Lamy on horseback. Since publication, has received letters from many Catholics, traders, and Army men who were in the old West. Is sending him her published account of how she became interested in the story and gleaned material for it ["On Death Comes for the Archbishop," Commonweal, November 23, 1927]. Finds it gratifying that he takes an interest in her books.   Willa Cather   [Stout #961]