A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

32 letters found

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Results 11-20:

To Cyril ClemensJan. 27, 1934Virginia 

Thanks for the copy of Miss Hazen's article. No, has not become a Catholic, though admires the Church and contrary to her Episcopal bishop, believes it the source of all Christian churches. Glad to hear of the postage stamp honoring Mark Twain.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1212]

To Cyril Clemens1934? typed commentary about Mark Twain with hand corrections [possibly the material referred to in no. 1214] ; WCPM 

Once met a Russian violinist who said he would greatly like to see the Mississippi River. He grew up near the Volga and had read Huckleberry Finn in translation as a boy and wondered if the Mississippi was like the Volga. Hard to imagine how the regional colloquialism of the book could be translated into Russian. But the book has enough vitality to shine through even botched language.   [Stout #1213]

To Mr. OliverDec. 13, 1934PM 

Too tired of answering questions from men writing books on creative writing to answer his. Silly to try to teach it anyway. People should be taught to write clear, correct English and let creative writing take care of itself.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1243]

To Cyril ClemensJan. 10, 1935UVa 

Very glad to receive the Mark Twain medal and his account of the dinner.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1248]

To William Lyon PhelpsFeb. 17, 1936Beinecke 

Has read his article on Mark Twain in the Yale Review. Knew Mark Twain in his last years. Has always found the Van Wyck Brooks book about him grossly inaccurate. Glad to hear Phelps thinks so, too. If Brooks had been able to spend five minutes talking with the grand old man in his bed, he would have written differently.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1298]

To Mrs. William Stix [Yaltah Menuhin],  Monday [Jan. 23, 1939] , from New YorkPrinceton 

Weather very cold, but still walks around the reservoir [in Central Park]. Misses her. Is dealing with a great deal of business, particularly the effort to prevent publication of a poor translation of Death Comes for the Archbishop into French. Is sending James M. Barrie's The Boy David but suggests she first read First and Second Samuel in the Bible. One needs to know the Biblical story in order to enjoy the play. Is glad Barrie liked Archbishop. P.S.: Has just reread First and Second Samuel and the young David is delightful. Psalms of David are splendid poetry, too.  Aunt Willa   [Stout #1435]

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]

To Helen McAfeeOct. 19, [1939]Beinecke 

Pleased by A. E.'s remarks quoted on page 81 in Yale Review.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1457]

To Mr. Gardiner,  n.d. [c. Feb. 15, 1941? Perhaps 1942, given publication of Columbus book] , excerpt made by E. K. Brown ; Beinecke 

Liked his magazine article "Modern Authors Can Be Gentlemen" and appreciated his comment on her. Steinbeck and Saroyan do not use the full range of the English language, but only write in monosyllables. Samuel Morison manages to use even ordinary slang in such a way that it fits the need of the moment, without destroying the dignity of his writing. Enjoyed Morison's book about Columbus [1942]; had not known the role of religion in Columbus's life.   [Stout #1527]

To Ferris GreensletApr. 19, 1941Harvard 

Everyone she knows who went to Florida for the winter got sick. Survived New York winter with no worse than colds. High spirits impossible these days, with the world as it is. Isabelle McClung's brother was wise to marry a member of the Mellon family—his only wise deed. He was good-looking but otherwise a disappointment.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1537]

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