A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

33 letters found

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Results 11-20:

To Ferris GreensletMar. 2, 1938Harvard 

Is recovering from influenza. Enjoyed reading about his meeting with Stephen Tennant and mother and stepfather, Sir Edward Grey. Didn't mean Grey was stern, but his interests and Stephen's utterly dissimilar. Very pleased with O Pioneers! in autograph edition. Did he hear the recital Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin gave in Boston? Such a joy to know them!   Willa Cather   [Stout #1401]

To Marutha Menuhin,  n.d. [Mar. 1938?] Princeton 

Meant to send enclosed clipping sooner, but was ill with influenza. There must not be an appendix left in the whole Menuhin family. Now Hephzibah!   Vassinka   [Stout #1402]

To Zoë AkinsJune 4, 1938Huntington 

Right hand was smashed in a drug store door in May. Can't write. Appreciated the orange blossoms, which came while she was in Atlantic City but were still fragrant when she returned. Orange marmalade a treasure. Is feeling reconciled to Hephzibah's and Yehudi's marriages. Isabelle wrote from Sorrento that the entire family, including the new husband and the new wife, visited her there. Though usually so critical of people's shortcomings, Isabelle likes them in spite of theirs. Is herself somewhat like a porcupine when meeting people, so is glad Isabelle reassured her about these new members of the Menuhin family. Thinks Thornton Wilder's new play quite good, authentically in the spirit of New England. Has felt that the dead remain part of people's lives there, as in the play.   Willa   [Stout #1407]

To Mrs. William Stix [Yaltah Menuhin]June 5, [1938]Princeton 

Enclosing the book she asked for. Sorry the ink ran on the inscription.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1408]

To Yaltah MenuhinSept. 3 [1938?], from Grand MananPrinceton 

Thinks of her often. Believes California must be making her homesick for Paris. Failures from all over America drift to the west coast, making it a dismal place. Is returning to New York next week. Isabelle still doing well. P.S.: Miss Lewis sends love.  Aunt Willa   [Stout #1416]

To Zoë AkinsNov. 13, [1938], from Jaffrey, N.H.Huntington 

Douglass, the brother she most loved, died in June of a sudden heart attack. He had spent her birthday with her last December. Only four months later, on October 10, Isabelle died. Wrote many letters to inform people— the only service she could give Isabelle. Feels emotionally numb. Regrets Yehudi's wife takes such bad pictures. She is Scotch, not Jewish. Feels confident it is a good marriage. Was happy to see them. Then Douglass died the next week. P.S.: No, does not like Hephzibah's mother-in-law.  Willa   [Stout #1423]

To Mrs. William Stix [Yaltah Menuhin],  Monday [Jan. 23, 1939] , from New YorkPrinceton 

Weather very cold, but still walks around the reservoir [in Central Park]. Misses her. Is dealing with a great deal of business, particularly the effort to prevent publication of a poor translation of Death Comes for the Archbishop into French. Is sending James M. Barrie's The Boy David but suggests she first read First and Second Samuel in the Bible. One needs to know the Biblical story in order to enjoy the play. Is glad Barrie liked Archbishop. P.S.: Has just reread First and Second Samuel and the young David is delightful. Psalms of David are splendid poetry, too.  Aunt Willa   [Stout #1435]

To Yaltah MenuhinFeb. 28, [1939?; prob. Feb. 27]Princeton 

Wishes she were there to cheer a rainy day. Enclosing a letter from Stephen Tennant. At times he lets emotions run away with him. Prefers simple, direct language. English poetry has greater riches and variety than French, but English prose is better plain, with strong emotion kept firmly controlled. Glad to hear she likes Barrie. He can get away with sentiment because he always does it with a hint of a laugh. Was glad to hear from her father and Yehudi on Saturday before they sailed. Sorry she is having respiratory trouble. Suggests she read at night when she is having trouble, to try to take her mind off it. Myra Hess came to tea yesterday and sent her greetings. P.S.: Good that Stephen went to Egypt even if it did cause him to rhapsodize; he needs it for his health. [Tennant was in Egypt in early 1939. That fact, together with the reference to Yaltah's illness, seems to confirm the dating of this letter. On the other hand, the reference to Yehudi's sailing conflicts with the statement that he is in Jaffrey. I conjecture no. 1439 was written later in the day. However, inconsistencies make it unclear.]  Aunt Willa   [Stout #1438]

To Yaltah Menuhin,  Monday night [Feb. 27, 1939, pm. Feb. 28, 1939] , from New YorkPrinceton 

Has heard from her mother that she has bronchitis. Is enjoying the miniature orange tree she sent. Yehudi is in Jaffrey enjoying the snow and the mountains [?—see #1438]. Mozart once wrote, "Happiness? That is in the imagination"—may mean that happiness is not real or may mean that only people with imagination can be happy. Real seeing, like real happiness, is inward. Now will use imagination and think of Yaltah as being well.   Aunt Willa   [Stout #1439]

To Dorothy Canfield FisherMar. 5, [1939]UVt 

Has not been writing many letters recently, except to family and to friends of Isabelle. In December 1937 brother Douglass came to New York to spend her birthday with her. He died on June 13, 1938, age fifty-two, the only joyful and attractive member of the family. On October 10 Isabelle died in Sorrento of nephritis after four-year illness, during which her loving though unreliable husband cared for her. This has been the hardest year of her life. Is enclosing a letter from Jan Hambourg. Please return it, but don't write back. Is worn out with letters about Isabelle. Enjoyed [the picture of ?] Dorothy's two granddaughters. Enjoyed having her two nieces with her at Grand Manan in the summers of 1936 and 1937. Both married this year—as well as three Menuhins! Likes Yehudi's wife. Appreciates receiving Dorothy's new book and will read it soon. Eyes giving her trouble, but what is worse is the trouble of keeping people away who want to come and comfort her. Doesn't want them; wants quiet for reflection.   Willa   [Stout #1440]

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