A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Sigrid UndsetApr. 8, 1947Oslo 

Has read over and enjoyed her letter many times. Past few months very difficult. Tendon in right hand relapsed in January, and since then has been immobilized in a brace. Isn't the world acting strangely now? Miss Lewis was lunching with some advanced Hindus and heard them speak absurdly, boasting and exulting about India's independence from England as an escape from despotism. When thousands die of famine in their cities and there is no Wavell [Viceroy of India 1943–47] to supervise rescue squads in Calcutta, they may change their tune. England still suffering regimentation and shortages. An elderly friend there tried to get enough lumber to repair his porch floor, but fell and broke his hip before the permission came. Doubtful he will survive the accident at his age. New York's winter was dreary and demoralizingly mild. Perhaps she knows the Irish proverb, "A green Christmas makes a full graveyard." New York has become the world's most foolish place to live. All the old women dye their hair yellow, or cut it short and frizz it wildly, and no one dresses tastefully any more. Is glad she remembers the shadbush and dogwood so fondly, and wonders if she had ever seen a Judas tree (Cercis canadensis) in bloom. Apologizes for writing such a foolish letter. The warm, soft winter, and the strange deterioration of humankind has robbed her of her spirit. Everyone seems to want to live in New York and wear outrageous outfits and drink cocktails. When she goes North, will feel better and write again.   [Stout #1757]