Appreciates the candy. Is sending Hugo's latest letter. He seems in a little better spirits.[With letter from Hugo Pavelka dated October 24, thanking her for referring him to Bernard McNeny for advice.] Willie [Stout #1129]
Shocked to hear of Hugo's death. At least they had a little time. After one is forty-five death seems to rain down, and after fifty it becomes a storm. Should let her daily routine carry her along, and avoid alcohol for now. Would like to come to California to be with her, but has an eye infection. Also, has just signed a lease on an apartment—570 Park Avenue. Hang on, and time will restore her. Willa [Stout #1132]
She and Edith have had one problem after another since moving in, including broken water pipe. Visiting niece is staying in hotel. Her last letter talks about Hugo's good points and her own faults. He must have been very good for her, helping her suppress her southern vagaries and try to be accurate and honest. Glad she married him, even though it was brief. Willa [Stout #1142]
Beautiful potted apple tree arrived Christmas Eve and is still blooming. The wonderful Josephine is back! Still a wonderful cook. Has decided many of the details in Shadows on the Rock came from Josephine. Wishes Zoë were beginning the new year with Hugo, but remember, our personal lives aren't measured by time. Willa [Stout #1146]
Many thanks for the pictures of her home and of herself and of Hugo. Many people in town now, no chance of working. Regrets the news about Sara Teasdale. Why didn't she find anything to live for? Off to a concert with the Menuhins! Willa [Stout #1163]
Was not worried about business matters when she asked where to find him in January. Occasionally just wants to communicate with him on personal matters. With the loss of Isabelle, she has no one with whom she can share gratifying moments of acclaim. Alfred Knopf likes to know about them, but he is so sure of his own favorable estimate of everything she does that the estimates of others don't really matter to him. To her, however, the opinions of certain others do matter. Cares about Tweedsmuir's opinion, for example, if only because he is a true scholar and his Augustus Caesar book is so fine. Really likes the Swedish review, too, because it understands precisely why her book has the subdued, distant tone it has. This reviewer is also insightful on Lawrence, whom she knew well. Hopes Roscoe doesn't mind receiving such things now and then. Like Knopf, the Menuhins don't really understand that elaborate praise feels unnatural to her. Yehudi once said in an interview that his preferred writers were Victor Hugo and Willa Cather! It takes a long time to get anywhere from Red Cloud. Hopes he and Meta will read over the enclosed items at leisure, and then return them to her. Willie.