Wrote to him from New Mexico, but he may not have received letters. Sorry to hear about Mrs. McClure's illness and his business troubles. People should be as generous to him as he has always been to others. Contracts have been changed so much it is hard to know what his share of the company now is. Will help with autobiography without charge for friendship's sake. Hopes she can write the articles as he wants them. He will recall that she couldn't hit what he wanted in some parts of the Christian Science series. Hasn't written a bit since she left New York, but is suntanned and healthy and in good humor again. Hopes people will forget how cross she was. It was from fatigue. Will never let little things bother her so much again. Willa Cather [Stout #235]
Glad he is pleased with the autobiography. Has heard he provided excellent illustrations. Glad to hear his health is good. Willa Cather [Stout #271]
Enjoyed doing McClure's autobiography. Put down the facts as he remembered them. No, doesn't hold a grudge about his reaction to her early stories. Is going to Wyoming this summer and of course to Red Cloud. Willa Cather [Stout #283]
Used the device of the introduction in My Ántonia much as some Russian and French writers do, to set a tone. Wanted a male character's memory because it was from men that she learned the most interesting things about the women she was remembering. Wanted first person narrative to emphasize emotion rather than plot. Believes she learned to handle a male point of view by writing Mr. McClure's autobiography. Glad he likes the result. It took getting older to write simply and to be guided by memory. Willa Cather [Stout #462]
If he weren't a friend from school, would refuse his request for biographical information. Suggests he talk with Mrs. Alice E. D. Goudy in Auburn, Nebraska, who was her high school teacher and knew her all through college. P.S.: Very proud of Newbranch's editorial. Prefers he not mention the McClure autobiography. Willa Cather [Stout #636]
Appreciates the interest check and is pleased Mr. MacArthur accepted the loan. If he has trouble placing other $700 just mail it back so it can earn interest in the bank. Is working on McClure's Autobiography, which will come out in the fall and winter. Father will like it. Will soon begin correcting proof on new novel [ O Pioneers! ]. Publishers have high expectations, and the book will go on sale September 1. Howard Gore wrote to inquire if she was close to William Jennings Bryan and could persuade him to give Gore a diplomatic appointment in Holland. [Bryan served as Secretary of State 1913-1915.] Gore is smart, but also a kiss-up. Alex Pendleton wrote; is sounding old. Unfortunately can't make it to Winchester this spring. Tell Uncle Billy Parks hello. Heard wonderful old stories from him last summer. Has been thinking about their drives when she was in Red Cloud last spring. Willie
Will never allow Death Comes for the Archbishop to be in an anthology, as anthologies are ultimately shallow [Horberger published The Literature of the United States in 1946]. After speaking to many young people, is convinced that the college classroom is no place for modern books. When a man is in school, he ought to study the classics of the English canon. An energetic undergraduate will read current books for fun. When teaching school in Pittsburgh, was forced to use a set list of texts, which included Silas Marner, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Marmion, Quentin Durward, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Macbeth, and the poetry of Robert Burns. Some students are still in contact. Would Prof. Hornberger consider Silas Marner—a rewarding if unhurried book, good for modern students—worthy of an anthology? Does not know who selected the list and was given no options, but was expected to read them and test the students on them. This is the limit of what a high school English class can be. If one hundred students read a great writer, about two of them will be affected deeply, and the other ninety-eight will not be injured by it. When reading the classics, there needs to be no distasteful argument of a writer's worth. All anthologies make this kind of argument, except for Field-Marshal Wavell's [ Other Men's Flowers: An Anthology of Poetry ], whose notes are sometimes better than even the selected work. Except for the glut of Browning's work, his selections are perfect. He loves The Hound of Heaven and expresses that. He fears neither Rommel nor erudition. PS: Please send a list of pieces in Volume One to aid in thinking about Volume Two.