A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

1 letter found

Search parameters

Results 1-1:

To Elsie Cather [September 1922] UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Claude [One of Ours] seems to have caused a commotion. People are reading the novel incorrectly as a position statement as if in a debate. Friends including Mencken and Fanny Butcher do not like it. They expected another My Antonia. Can't be expected to do the same things again and again, but hates to lose friends. They claim the book lacks the deep human touch of the earlier books and think she tried to write a spectacular war novel. Many like the book a lot, but they are not the people she hoped to satisfy. In life and in art there are always tradeoffs. Has lost friends but advanced technically as a writer. Please read enclosed reviews to Dr. Tyndale, even though his mind is feeble with age and drugs. If she reads them aloud, he'll understand a little, and he deserves whatever pleasures he can get. She herself is the only thing in his life that has succeeded. Confidentially: Knopf has sold 15,000 copies with 18,000 in reserve—a gamble that will pinch him if there are no re-orders. He invested heavily in the book but says if he goes under on it so be it. Gets thirty-seven cents herself for each copy sold. Sinclair [Lewis] review in tonight's New York Evening Post calls it a failure and asks why a woman should write about war. Why indeed? But the topic chose her, she had to do it. Skip the Lewis review with Dr. Tyndale, but do read Zoë's and both of Burton Rascoe's. Will send Heywood Broun's review later. Is in bed and not feeling very literary. Just returned yesterday, hasn't even unpacked. Has seen only Knopf, but has received a lot of correspondence offering both congratulations and condolences!   Willie