A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Mr. Byran [sic]n.d. excerpt made by E. K. Brown, who conjectures it was written about 1936 or 1937; Beinecke 

Yes, may use the quotation so long as he does not use it to argue for translating the Bible into modern language. This was part of an interview many years ago, before she learned not to give interviews. Feels very strongly that the King James version of the Bible should remain the standard and people should not attempt to modernize it.   [Stout #1765]

To Professor HornbergerMay 1946 "DRAFT" is written across the top and the letter is unsigned; ; UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Will never allow Death Comes for the Archbishop to be in an anthology, as anthologies are ultimately shallow [Horberger published The Literature of the United States in 1946]. After speaking to many young people, is convinced that the college classroom is no place for modern books. When a man is in school, he ought to study the classics of the English canon. An energetic undergraduate will read current books for fun. When teaching school in Pittsburgh, was forced to use a set list of texts, which included Silas Marner, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Marmion, Quentin Durward, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Macbeth, and the poetry of Robert Burns. Some students are still in contact. Would Prof. Hornberger consider Silas Marner—a rewarding if unhurried book, good for modern students—worthy of an anthology? Does not know who selected the list and was given no options, but was expected to read them and test the students on them. This is the limit of what a high school English class can be. If one hundred students read a great writer, about two of them will be affected deeply, and the other ninety-eight will not be injured by it. When reading the classics, there needs to be no distasteful argument of a writer's worth. All anthologies make this kind of argument, except for Field-Marshal Wavell's [ Other Men's Flowers: An Anthology of Poetry ], whose notes are sometimes better than even the selected work. Except for the glut of Browning's work, his selections are perfect. He loves The Hound of Heaven and expresses that. He fears neither Rommel nor erudition. PS: Please send a list of pieces in Volume One to aid in thinking about Volume Two.

To Roscoe CatherOctober 23, 1939UNL-Roscoe 

It was very nice of him to wait until after he recovered from his surgery before telling her about it. Has recently lost a couple of friends. The Scottish doctor on Grand Manan—the twins will remember him well—died after only a few minutes of illness. He was an outstanding man. Learned shortly after returning to New York that John B. Nash, her lawyer for many years, had died. The will he drew up in February is in the vault of his firm Breed, Abbott and Morgan at 15 Broad Street. Don't forget this. Will miss him, as he was a warm friend and counsel. Why would somebody as slight and un-athletic as Roscoe have a tear? Perhaps he is too slim? Hopes a local anaesthetic was sufficient. Virginia's letter would have persuaded her what a joy Elizabeth's baby is, if any persuasion had been needed. Never heard Virginia go on so! Has investigated the gravestones for their parents. Likes the Harrison Granite Company and the Vermont Marble Company. Will send him more information and pictures of her preferences soon. Thanks for the photograph of himself, a good likeness. She, Edith, and Miss Bloom admired it. Feels moved that Meta considered the striped stockings so special! Enclosed is a photograph which accompanied Isabelle wherever she went for many years. It was among her things when she died in Sorrento, and her husband sent it along with about six hundred letters she had written Isabelle, as well as every little thing she ever published, even the dollar-a-column newspaper pieces. Please send the photo back. Too bad he wasn't in it instead of Ben Brown!   W. 

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