A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

42 letters found

Search parameters

previous - next

Results 11-20:

To Albert G. FeuilleratNov. 6, 1929Yale 

Sending her publisher's pamphlet with biographical information and a list of books with information about her and her work. Has marked the two best. Hard to answer his question about French influence. From adolescence and for many years thereafter read and liked French prose writers from Hugo to Maupassant. Read all of Balzac more than once before the age of twenty, though not much now. Doesn't believe she ever imitated any French writer, but did admire them more than their English contemporaries because of freer experimentation and greater thematic range. Tone of British writers of that period, before Hardy, sometimes mechanical or patronizing, though it doesn't really bother her. Believes French language itself more exciting to her than English when she was younger. Now prefers Prosper Merimée to the others. Likes his reserve, as well as other qualities. P.S.: Suggests he read "The Novel Démeublé."  Willa Cather   [Stout #988]

To Thomas S. Jones, Jr.Nov. 11, 1931Columbia 

Sorry her letter seemed curt. Has learned to be suspicious of approaches by strangers. Glad to see he shares her appreciation for that period of Canadian history. Does he know the Jesuit Relations and Abbé Scott's Life of Bishop Laval?   Willa Cather   [Stout #1085]

To George SeibelAug. 21, [1932?], from Grand MananWCPM 

Appreciates receiving his radio talk. Glad he likes "Old Mrs. Harris," which she believes better achieved than most of her works. Glad to hear about the Seibels' grandchild. Would enjoy corresponding with him again if he won't publish her letters. Sorry to have become so untrusting. P.S.: Saw May Willard in San Francisco last year. Would like to see anything he has written about Thomas Mann, especially The Magic Mountain.  Willa Cather   [Stout #1120]

To Thomas MasarykSept. 23, [prob. 1932], from Jaffrey, N.H.Berkeley 

Hopes he has received a copy of her new book [Obscure Destinies, pub. August 1932] and agrees that "Old Mrs. Harris" rings true, more true than the book about Quebec last year. Books drawn from early memories are always truest. Even so, likes to try different things. Being true is her greatest wish. No, is not becoming a Catholic, though greatly admires Catholic missionaries. Enclosing her letter to Gov. Cross ["On Shadows on the Rock," Saturday Review of Literature, Oct. 17, 1931].   Willa Cather   [Stout #1123]

To Thomas MasarykFeb. 14, [1935?], from 570 Park Ave., New YorkBerkeley 

It is nearing his birthday. Extends good wishes and praise for his achievements. Values his regard. It is a puzzling and disordered time. Public opinion in a state of confusion, moral values being overthrown without the creation of new ones. The regard of people one esteems is the only source of satisfaction in today's world. He is the only public figure with whom she has corresponded who is not exiled. Many scholars have been driven out of their homelands and taken refuge in America.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1251]

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 Fanny ButcherOct. 16, [1936], from Jaffrey, N.H.Newberry 

Enjoyed receiving her card from Quebec. When book of essays comes out, please don't think praise of Thomas Mann is due to Knopf's publishing him. Agreed with Fanny that The Magic Mountain was dull, but likes the Biblical trilogy very much.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1331]

To Thomas MasarykDec. 1, 1923 [error for 1936?] ; Berkeley 

Is sending him a book of essays including one he may especially enjoy about Boston before World War I, "148 Charles Street," which begins on page 52. Thinks of the years before 1914 as a pleasant time in Europe and America when one could travel without passport to so many wonderful places that it was hard to choose. Always remembers his good words to her.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1334]

To Dayton M. KohlerMar. 16, 1939VTech 

Feels hopeless with the news that Hitler has gone into Prague. Is thinking about her friend President Masaryk and the Czech people she knew years ago. Britain seems to have lost its sense of honor, which she always thought was so strong. Hardly feels like going on living in this deteriorated world. Appreciates his letter, however.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1442]

To Burges Johnson, n.d. [1939?] Beinecke  Partial transcription by E. K. Brown. Pub. CEA Newsletter Dec. 1939; quoted in Bohlke.

Like Henry Seidel Canby, does not believe in teaching contemporary literature. More important to use limited school time to teach classics of English literature. Essential reading in school includes Shakespeare, Milton, Fielding, Jane Austen, with Thackeray, George Eliot, George Meredith, and Thomas Hardy as the most recent. Young people should read contemporary literature as they want to, not as assignments. True literary taste is as rare as perfect pitch, but students can glean something from exposure to the classics, even if they don't have real aptitude.   [Stout #1454]

previous - next