A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

3 letters found

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To Stephen Tennant, n.d. [late 1944] Yongue , copy, not original.

Received his letter dated December 8, 1943, but the postmark is October 17, 1944. How can he ask what she thinks of Jane Austen and Emily Bronte? Anyone with good sense knows they are both wonderful, though in very different ways. Believes he would not like George Sand. She was a wordy, moralizing writer and almost never sincere. See "A Chance Meeting" in Not Under Forty re. George Sand. How can he say the public is never deceived? They always are! Not humanity in the long run; after two or three centuries the sound writers last, others don't. Those who last comprise the "great tradition." While ill, read Chaucer and he made her want to get well again. That's what a "great tradition" means. Why does he imagine she does not value critical writing? Is now going to talk to him very directly. Why did he begin Lascar if he wasn't going to persevere on it simply for the joy of doing so, not for any other reason? It's been ten years now. Why hasn't he written it? Quit talking about it and just do it! P.S.: When he writes again, please leave a wider margin.  W. S. C.   [Stout #1685]

To Elsie CatherAugust 30, [1911]UNL-Southwick 

Yes, please come for a visit before going to Northampton. The apartment will not be destroyed too much before the 20th, and the maid will keep her comfortable. Has Margie found the photographs of Willow Shade? She really wants to have one. Where are Grandma [Emily Ann Caroline Smith] Cather's photos? Very pleased that the family likes "The Swedish Mother" [a poem by Cather published first in McClure's 37 (September 1911), p. 541], and that Mary Virginia recognizes the people in it. Let her know that her grandpa will recall the night he left Cather by the mountain field and she saw a bear's nose between the shrubs. Though it looked like a pig nose, it troubled her. Often waited by a hawthorn tree, but did not know what her Swedish character would call a hawthorn. McClure likes it very much and says the poem is being talked about around town. Everyone seems to like the "red-haired" girl. It will be great to see Elsie. Tell Mary the story about saving the girl in the Park from the dog that assaulted her crow. Mary should take her crow over to see Irene, who would like it. Think of it: Elsie will be at 82 in just ten days!  PS: Stand on a chair and give Toby a kiss before leaving.  Willie 

To Emily Schossberger [of the Prairie Schooner]September 10, 1943UNL-Cather Collected 

The claim in Miss Schossberger's second letter that Cather has published something in the Prairie Schooner is very confusing to her, for it is not true. Perhaps an editor resuscitated something she wrote when editing the Hesperian as a student, since the editors were also the writers, but nothing else has been in there. In fact, she knows very little about the Prairie Schooner altogether. Please show her what she wants to publish before doing so; one does not always appreciate seeing one's college essays in the later years.   Willa Cather