A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

14 letters found

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To Louise Pound,  n.d. [June 15, 1892, according to note signed by Olivia Pound] from LincolnDuke 

Is writing after midnight, having left her for the last time before summer vacation. Felt overcome by the sight of Louise in her new dress. After much thought, chose the Rubáiyát [of Omar Khayyám, in popular translation by Edward FitzGerald] as a going-away gift. Reason she was not very sociable was prospect of parting. Wanted to make the traditional gesture of goodbye but feared Louise might be revolted. Not fair that friendships between women are regarded as not natural. Letter may be even more foolish than one left unsent in March.    William   [Stout #10]

To Louise PoundOct. 13, 1897 from PittsburghDuke 

Not fair to accuse her of keeping her address a secret. Had not expected to be daytime telegraph editor when she accepted the Leader job, but when it became available applied and got it, despite youth and sex. Work is like running a race, but hours are short. Hard to write distinctive headlines for a dozen suicides at a time. Has received A Portrait of a Lady [ James ]. Mr. Farrar has come to call, so must break off.    Willa Cather   [Stout #46]

To H. G. Dwight,  Friday [Nov. 2, 1906 ?] , on McClure's letterhead ; Amherst 

Envies his getting away and wishes him luck. He seems to think she wants to exploit his work as Witter Bynner might, but as a fellow writer, is simply interested and will give his stories fair consideration. Hopes he brings back literary spoils.    Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #117]

To Ferris GreensletFeb. 15, 1926, from New YorkHarvard 

Mr. Knopf says Houghton Mifflin not willing to sell rights to her books. Please, then, try to sell copies. Not fair for him to imply that A Lost Lady was only a reprise of My Ántonia. True, the original of Ántonia did work for the original of Mrs. Forrester. Both books consider the same society but different elements of it and in very different ways. Yes, will try to shorten the preface [to My Ántonia], which is quite necessary to a reader's understanding of the ending. Wants to wait, though, to avoid interrupting the work in progress. When is the new edition to appear? Must keep Benda illustrations.   Willa Cather   [Stout #824]

To Ferris GreensletFeb. 6, 1930, from New YorkHarvard 

Not fair of him to have used her praise of Laughing Boy in an ad. Has steadfastly refused to give commendations of books even by old friends, and now he has publicized what she said in private without authorization. Please send a copy of new edition of Ántonia so she can mark some corrections for the English edition. Since she will be leaving about the 20th, could he send March royalty check early?   Willa Cather   [Stout #1003]

To Chilson LeonardMar. 19, 1936Phil-Ex 

Has no photographs of Nebraska in 1885 or 1895. Understands from Professor Pupin [?] of Columbia that it resembled the plains of Russia. Otto Fuchs not a representation of a specific person but a composite of many, as are most minor characters. Blind d'Arnault modeled on Blind Boone. Has also heard of a similar Blind Tom and Blind Noah. Actress Jim sees in Camille based on Clara Morris. Many relics such as the Spanish sword have been found in southwest Kansas. Good reading does not come from factual information, however, but from cultivated taste. Does not approve of required reading of contemporary writers in English courses, which should center on great English writers of the past and on Latin writers. Wishes his students were reading Kidnapped [ Stevenson ] or Vanity Fair [ Thackeray ] rather than My Ántonia.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1306]

To E. K. BrownApr. 9, 1937Beinecke 

Found his essay when she returned. Likes the way he presented his opinions of her books. Very fair, though too much emphasis on geographic surroundings. Not true the Southwest is not her own country in the way Nebraska is. On the contrary, knew it well. Please read her comments on Death Comes for the Archbishop. Believes it is quite possible to admire Latour and Vaillant equally, though they are so different.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1360]

To Elsie CatherSeptember 24, [1934?], from Jaffrey, New HampshireUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Has still not received letter Elsie promised, but maybe the Grand Manan post office forwarded it incorrectly and it will yet come. Has been in Jaffrey for two weeks and will go to New York October 3rd. Enclosed is a check for amount still remaining on the three hundred dollars promised for upkeep of the house. Already paid Carrie Sherwood for some things. Is sending Mollie fifty dollars; hopes she does not mind. Glad Mollie used the velvet dress. Where is Bess? Only fair to cover her summer medical expenses, since Elsie took care of her. Wants to hear about Elsie's summer. Please write soon.   Willie 

To Charles F. CatherSeptember 17, 1913, from Gore, VirginiaUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Giles is anxious about running out of hollyhock seeds, so can father send him some? With his trembling hands, Giles probably doesn't write many letters. Seems himself otherwise, and Dorothy looks vibrant still. Saw Annie Freeze, who is leaving for Kansas to visit her brothers. Mrs. Pew lost everything to a house fire two days ago. Traveled up the double S to see Molly Muses, who has aged, though her house looked well-kept. Will stay at Giles Smith's tonight and will soon see Mary Smith in Winchester (she was recently knocked out by a racing buggy at the fair). Lizzie Potts is very hospitable. She and Isabelle will stay here with her for one more week.   Willie 

To Sidney FloranceNovember 21, 1945Drew U (Caspersen 54) 

Appreciated his piece on Fred Maurer in the newspaper. Is thankful for it and will put it in her scrapbook. Sat near the Maurer brothers in Red Cloud High School and saw them struggle with poor reading light and inadequate clothes. They were not dealt a fair hand in life. Kept in touch with Fred through letters to the Gurney girl who cared for him, but stopped after she died.   Willa Cather