A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

20 letters found

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To Mrs. [Annetta Johnson] Saint-Gaudens,  Tuesday [pm. Feb. 4, 1908] , from BostonDartmouth 

Would be happy to meet her if she is in Boston. Believes a better title for her book of poems is "Songs of Pain and Renunciation."   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #134]

To Robert U. JohnsonAug. 30, 1910, on McClure's letterhead ; NYPL 

Would like to change the title of the story she recently revised for him, from "Nellie Deane" to "The Flower in the Grass."["The Joy of Nelly Deane," Century, October 1911]   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #184]

To Robert U. JohnsonOct. 22, 1911, from Cherry Valley, N.Y.NYPL 

Will be glad to write some articles [for the Century] after December 1. Will send a short story in a few days.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #206]

To Burges Johnson [1928?] , excerpt made by E. K. Brown ; Beinecke 

Most English teachers have never actually written a thing and think being scholarly means avoiding any taint of common sense. One critic makes a big point of broad a sounds in female names in her books. Could quote others equally foolish. One says title Death Comes for the Archbishop shows she is now willing to acknowledge death. What it shows is that [Hans] Holbein used the title in his woodcut and she saw Latour's death as a victorious one, a kind of riding away with death.   [Stout #933]

To Mr. JohnsonJune 18, 1928AAAL 

Is attending to Cather's mail while she is at Grand Manan. Is not forwarding letters except from family and close friends, so that she can be free to work. Will show her the letter when she returns.   Sarah J. Bloom, Secretary   [Stout #940]

To Robert U. JohnsonOctober 31, [1930]AAAL 

Will be pleased to be present for the presentation of the Howells Medal, but hopes not to make an acceptance speech. Is grateful for this honor.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1023]

To Robert U. JohnsonNov. 12, [1930], from New YorkHarvard 

Thanks for letter with instructions. Glad to make a few remarks upon receiving the medal [Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters]. Will be there tomorrow (Thursday), but leaving Saturday.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1024]

To Mabel Dodge LuhanJune 30, 1938Beinecke 

Brother Douglass died of a heart attack in early June. He had spent her birthday with her last December in New York. Is having trouble getting over it. P.S.: Got a laugh for the first time in a long while from The Laughing Horse [satirical literary magazine published in Taos, N.M., by Witter Bynner's secretary and friend Spud Johnson]. It caught Mary Austin and Mabel herself quite well.  Willa Cather   [Stout #1411]

To [Burges] JohnsonJan. 12, 1939Amherst 

Gives permission to quote from anything in Not Under Forty and conditional permission to quote from letter to Pat Knopf explaining reasons for structure of The Professor's House. Prefers the distinct separations of that form to the mixture of unexpressed feelings typical of modern fiction, though it could have been done that way. Outland's life had become as real to the professor as his own; he became part of the old house. Glad Pat is studying with him.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1433]

To Burges Johnson, n.d. [1939?] Beinecke  Partial transcription by E. K. Brown. Pub. CEA Newsletter Dec. 1939; quoted in Bohlke.

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]