A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Henry Goddard LeachSeptember 1, [1931]Drew U (Adams 162) 

It is not a review she wrote about, but an essay evaluating her writing and character generally [Granville Hicks, "Bright Incidents," Forum, September 1931, vi-vii]. People seem to think the piece reflected Leach's and the Forum's viewpoint, for Hicks was not cited in letters they have sent her. Understands an unobtrusive editorial relationship, but this went too far. At McClure's, would never have let such a destructive article be published, and no staff member would have let it through without explicit approval from Mr. McClure or herself. It is possible to be civilly critical, but the piece is so disrespectful that it never should have been published. The Forum is free to think what it pleases, but what editor can justify printing the following [Hicks's text is literally cut out and pasted on the letter]: "Like most of her books, it is elegiac, beguiling its readers with pictures of a life that has disappeared, and deliberately exploiting the remoteness of that life in order to cast a golden haze about it." "Deliberately exploiting" suggests she is manipulating her readers for self-aggrandizing reasons, and she is not. Other reviewers, like Dr. Cross, don't particularly care for the novel [Shadows on the Rock], but at least have enough sophistication to see what she was attempting [in Wilbur Cross, "Men and Images," Saturday Review of Literature 8 (August 22, 1931): 67-8]. The Forum's piece certainly damages her reputation, but even worse, it injures her personally, as the Forum has always been a friend. Is sorry that first letter of complaint sent to an editor is being sent to him.   Willa Cather 

To Harold Mason [of the Centaur Book Shop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]July 4, [1922?] , see #1818; UNL-Cather Collected 

Can he send an example of what he wants? Her idea of a bibliography would result in a small list, for she is not a voluminous writer. "The Bohemian Girl" is available only in the August 1912 McClure's [actually April 1912], but a new version will be coming out next winter [the story was never republished in Cather's lifetime]. P.S.: Does he know about April Twilights?  Willa Sibert Cather 

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