A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

11 letters found

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To Fanny Butcher,  Thursday [Sept. 1, 1927] , from the Hotel Webster, New YorkNewberry 

Has moved out of her apartment and put everything in storage. Neighborhood ruined by subway construction. What does she think of Archbishop? Review in New York World calls it weak as a novel. What is a novel? This is more like a legend. No women but the Virgin Mary. Took joy in doing it. She and Grant Overton were the only two reviewers who liked My Ántonia, and this is even less like a conventional novel. A narrative; something like a folk song. Was to have sailed on the Berengaria yesterday, but cancelled because of her father's illness.   Willa Cather   [Stout #892]

To Ferris GreensletMar. 8, 1936Harvard 

Sorry to hear he has had influenza. Has three questions:(1)Is he still interested in doing a subscription edition? Appreciates his not persisting about it during the past year when she was so weighed down by other cares. (2) Is it true a garage now stands on the site of Annie Fields's house at 148 Charles Street? (3) Is he willing to grant permission to reprint the preface she wrote for Mayflower edition of Jewett? Wonders if it is even wise to try to talk about Jewett these days; her language and sensibility almost archaic. Nervy young people of Jewish and Greek extraction associated with New York University have imposed their language instead. But gets letters now and then from people who are interested in Jewett.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1301]

To Mrs. [Margaret?] Crofts [1936?] , Christmas card with picture of four cowboys or farmers, some sheep, and angels overhead ; UNL 

Doesn't like pictures like this, in the Grant Wood style, on Christmas cards, but bought them to help someone. Might think of the cowboy-looking shepherds as C.C.C. fellows [Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal initiative] and one of the angels above as President Roosevelt.   W. S. C.   [Stout #1346]

To unknown person [possibly Mr. and Mrs. George Whicher],  n.d. [1936?] , Christmas card ; PM 

Doesn't really care for Christmas cards in the Grant Wood style. Maybe they are C.C.C. boys with Roosevelt trumpeting in the sky. Such bad times!   Willa Cather   [Stout #1347]

To Ferris GreensletJan. 29, 1937 [actually Dec. 29, 1937]Harvard 

Thanks for Christmas greeting. Sends New Year's wishes. Does not want an edition of My Ántonia illustrated by Grant Wood. Iowa, his home, is really very different from Nebraska. Please leave Ántonia as is and give assurance that Benda illustrations will be kept. Has read one of Houghton Mifflin's recently published books and likes it, but doesn't dare name it for fear his publicity department will advertise the fact.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1385]

To Judge [Robert] Grant [ American Academy of Arts and Letters ]Nov. 25, [1939]AAAL 

Is writing to object to the amendment of by-laws recently passed.[On Oct. 13, 1939, the directors of the Academy passed a resolution to expand eligibility for membership beyond the members of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.]   Willa Cather   [Stout #1462]

To Viola Roseboro'Feb. 20, 1941UVa 

Hand in splints again. Appreciates her words of sympathy about the reviews of Sapphira and the Slave Girl, but is used to it. New York reviewers say every time that her new book is not as good as the previous one. If that were true, they should have dropped into the abyss by now. There were only two good reviews of My Ántonia in the whole country, by Fanny Butcher and by Grant Overton. Is asking Miss Bloom to enclose Henry Seidel Canby's review of Sapphira. Actually, the reviews Knopf has sent for her to read have seemed surprisingly good.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1529]

To Ferris GreensletApril 1939 partial transcription, not original; UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Please let Ántonia be. The novel surely brings Houghton Mifflin more money than most published two decades ago. Is not surprised that some don't understand that Grant Wood's style is a poor fit with the novel. Benda's illustrations work well. [part of letter omitted from transcription] Again, don't bother Ántonia.  

To Edith McClungSeptember 26, 1938UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Understands anxiety about Isabelle and Jan in Italy, but it seems Mussolini is only forcing out Jewish people who are working jobs that Italians might fill (he does not share Hitler's fierce abhorrence of Jews). Since Jan is not taking any employment away from an Italian, he probably won't be bothered. Elizabeth Vermorcken, who is in Sorrento at the Hotel Cocumella, will likely cable if it gets dangerous. Recent note from Isabelle suggests she is comfortable in Italy, and she says that many Americans have been staying at the Cocumella, including Miss Overton of the New York Public Library. Will go see Miss Overton soon, and will write if she knows anything new about the Hambourgs.   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