A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

22 letters found

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Results 11-20:

To Ferris GreensletOct. 20, [1930], from Jaffrey, N.H.Harvard 

Please send royalty check. Appreciates his sending Chief Justice Holmes's letter about My Ántonia. Enjoyed summer in France, but always prefers to spend fall in New England. P.S.: Please send copy of Laughing Boy to Jan Hambourg. W. S. C.  Willa Cather   [Stout #1021]

To Cyril Clemens1934? typed commentary about Mark Twain with hand corrections [possibly the material referred to in no. 1214] ; WCPM 

Once met a Russian violinist who said he would greatly like to see the Mississippi River. He grew up near the Volga and had read Huckleberry Finn in translation as a boy and wondered if the Mississippi was like the Volga. Hard to imagine how the regional colloquialism of the book could be translated into Russian. But the book has enough vitality to shine through even botched language.   [Stout #1213]

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 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 Sigrid Undset, Saturday [Jan. 24, 1942] [with a clipping from the Commercial Advertiser, Red Cloud, Nebr., dated Monday Jan. 5, 1942: "'Bob' Smith Shoots Down Four Jap Planes."] ; ; Oslo 

Has been thinking about Undset since reading her Elleve Aar, or The Longest Years. [Elleve Aar, literally "eleven years," was an autobiographical novel about Undset's childhood. It was first published in English translation in 1935, titled The Longest Years.] Was in France in 1937 when the translation appeared, but had not read it until now. Would like to ask about many things in the book. Can claim that in one way she surpassed Undset in childhood, in that when she was seven, she could sew quite well! Was pleased to read that on Christmas Day a Nebraska boy had taken down four Jap planes—even more pleased to discover he was Bob Smith from Red Cloud, who had gone to school with her nieces. Liked his cable to his father [quoted in the clipping: "Just arrived from Kumming. Came through both battles of Rangoon safely. Knocked down four ships personally. Happy New Year."]. There are millions of American boys like him, but not from big cities. Please come spend an evening as soon as their siege of visitors from the West is lifted.   [Stout #1570]

To Carrie Miner SherwoodJan. 26, 1947WCPM 

Sorry not to have answered her letter of last fall. Returned from vacation two weeks late, and the hall boy who usually takes such good care of her mail had left on his vacation by that time. Found most of her letters tied up together, but he had put a few into a separate folder on her desk, and cleaning woman piled books on top of it. So it was a long time before she found the letter. This might have caused a misunderstanding between them. Hopes now it is all cleared up. Has enemies in Red Cloud who are probably making the worst of her initial lack of interest in the new hospital. Still hopes to visit some day. Hasn't heard from Irene in quite a while; hopes she is all right.   Willie   [Stout #1750]

To Dorothy Canfield FisherApr. 17, 1947UVt 

Has been wanting to write but wanted to wait until she could write by hand. Injured the tendon of right thumb again and has had it in brace. Long ago promised an editor to write an account of their visit to A. E. Housman. Wants to mention how Dorothy rescued the occasion by talking about Latin scholarship, which provided an avenue of approach to him. Wants to be accurate. Is it right that she had come directly from studying with Gaston Paris in France, for her doctorate? Recalls that Housman found it interesting. Several people have sent dreadful manuscripts about Housman. Wishes a certain type of young men would not pine for Housman as they do. The word "lad" seems to exert a magic spell for them. Recalls that she and Isabelle had just come from Ludlow, and the word "lad" was quite common there, meaning any hired boy. P.S.: Didn't Housman teach Latin at the University of London? What branch of Latin?  Willa   [Stout #1759]

To Mary Virginia CatherFebruary 2, [1917] [On the back of one leaf is written, "Elsie do not worry about my cold nor say anything about it to the folks at home for I am all over it now and feeling fine except I am still tired so very tired Lovingly Mother"] ; UNL-Southwick 

Is very concerned about mother's cold and thinks she should go to Yuma if it does not improve. Is pleased mother has met nice people at the boarding house; often kind but unfamiliar people are more relaxing companions than family and friends, as one tends to put on a better face for them. Is in bed for a few days with visiting "friend." Dr. Van Etten, to whom she was referred by Dr. Wiener, is helpful, and thinks he might be able to make her monthly bout less difficult over time and, by reducing loss of blood, improve her general health. Is very distraught by the war news, and has written father in detail about it. Bought a black, beaded silk bag for Auntie Sister for $1 at Wannamaker's when there to purchase curtains. Thinks Auntie will think it very classy. Monthly expenses are $50 higher this year; have [she and Edith Lewis] given up opera and most concerts (but do often get free theater tickets). Mrs. Deland solicited a $10 donation for Belgium; had to give it since Deland kept her for three weeks after the Boston operation. Jack is working in Pittsburgh now, but the job isn't likely to last long. He seems very cocky of late, so wrote him a diatribe warning him not to look silly in front of Pittsburgh friends. He'll probably soon get over the boastful mood and be a humble boy again. Will soon mail her the month's magazines and plans to send a Valentine's Day card to West Virginia and a book to Mrs. Letson. Since it is Friday, has to meet guests for tea, but hopes few will arrive today. Likes to use the lunch cloth mother gave her and Isabelle's silver every Friday.   Willie 

To Sister [probably Elsie Cather]August 27 and September 4, [1923], from Aix-les-Bains, FranceUNL-Southwick 

[Opening section dated August 27.] Keep mother from getting worried about the portrait nonsense. It won't arrive in Omaha until January at earliest. Knows mother can be awfully stressed by such things, so tell her she [Cather] thinks it is silly. If mother wants to be involved, that's fine, but don't let it be a point of worry. Mary Virginia can certainly handle the presentation of the portrait without a problem. The whole thing is ridiculous. [Second section dated September 4.] Is in Aix-les-Bains getting treatments for worsening back. Dr. Litchfield, whom she saw in Paris when he came for his daughter's wedding, encouraged her to come, as have McClure and Bakst. Bakst even rearranged his schedule to give her more sittings when she returns to Paris (now is going to have 15 sittings instead of the expected 10). Doctor diagnosed her with intercostal rheumatism and said three weeks of treatment will provide a cure. If "friend" interrupts the treatments, it will take longer. Misses lovely Paris, but relief from backache is worth it. Has a wonderful room and excellent food for a small price—much less expensive than the awful accommodations in Lakewood, New Jersey, last winter. Doctor and treatments are costly, though. Treatments are hot sulfur baths accompanied by underwater massages. Took trip from Paris on the impressive Paris-Rome Express, and, thanks to exchange rates, it was not expensive at all. It is still very expensive for local people, who must hate the foreigners that tour in a luxury no natives can afford, especially since so many of their men died to make it worth touring. Loves the pictures of Helen Louise and the baby [probably Charles Edwin Cather, nephew], as does Isabelle and her pregnant Italian cook. The cook and her husband have been preparing for the baby throughout the summer, and Jan is to be the godfather. The baby will be named Jan if it is a boy, and Giovanna if it is a girl. [Note in margin requests that all mail be directed to Ville D'Avray.]   Willa 

To Louise Imogen GuineyMay 25, 1911, from the Parker House, BostonHoly Cross 

Is staying at this nice hotel while doing some work after spending a week with Mrs. Fields, who was preparing to go to Manchester. Mrs. Fields was in fine spirits and even met her at the station; John [?] said she hadn't come personally to South Station in years. The house on Charles Street was enchanting, and the soul of that great woman all cared for [ Sarah Orne Jewett ] felt near. On the final evening, Mrs. Fields read from the "Wayside Harp" [actually The Roadside Harp: A Book of Verses by Louise Imogen Guiney, published first by Houghton Mifflin in 1893 and reissued in 1906] and lingered over "The Cherry Bough" with moist eyes. Mrs. Fields's friends have installed a small lift for her in the house. Became quite a good elevator boy throughout the week. If she loses her job as managing editor, at least she is now qualified for another job with the company. Has had ear problems herself (mastoid). Hopes Guiney's improve immediately. Mr. McClure remains overseas until July, so she will not do much traveling this summer, but hopes to see her when she does get a chance.   Willa S. C. 

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