A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Marine LelandSeptember 4, [1931?]Smith 

Best not to try a translation until all business matters have been settled and a French publisher can negotiate with Cather's publisher. Without that settled, there is bound to be disappointment. Three novels are currently being translated into French; My Ántonia was translated long ago. Wanted to respond personally, as she liked the character of Leland's letter.   Willa Cather 

To Marine LelandJanuary 31, 1942Smith 

Is compelled by Leland's letter and believes that North America is home to a French language and literature, despite what most American tourists think. It is difficult to understand the French of rural areas, for they seem to leave out syllables in the same way southern Americans do. Loves the French of urban Canadians; it is charming and antique. President Thomas Masaryk wrote after reading Shadows on the Rock that he overheard Canadian soldiers speaking an antiquated French in London during the World War. Masaryk, who studied Old French, could detect patterns in the language that appeared to be from the time of Louis XIV and XV. Appreciates hearing about the new division of the Modern Language Association, and sends her good wishes. P.S.: Please keep Masaryk's story private. He is dead and cannot grant permission to quote from a letter.  Willa Cather