Please send copies of the Galaxy to the people listed. Willa Cather [Stout #1802]
Appreciates Elsie's letter about the service for the window [a window in Grace Episcopal Church dedicated for their mother, Mary Virginia "Jennie" Boak Cather] and all the old friends in Red Cloud. Has sent notes in Christmas cards to many of them. Overlooked Mrs. Warren, but did remember Mrs. Macfarland in California. Has been busy. The Menuhins came recently, and the mother is quite sick and bedridden, so spent time with the girls until Yehudi and their father came to New York from New Orleans. Douglass was visiting; spent as much time with him as possible. Saw Yehudi's dramatic performance at Carnegie Hall with him. Since Mary Virginia was working, and since she did not want to invite people outside the family, had a quiet, delightful dinner on her birthday with just Douglass and Edith. Douglass really came to New York to consult a heart specialist, who said he was fine. Enclosed a check to spend on something fun. Merry Christmas. Willie
The critic who authored the significant review [Bourne, Randolph, "Morals and Art from the West," Dial, 65 (14 December 1918): 557] of My Ántonia she recently sent has just died of influenza. He was among the best critics in the U.S., and she worried about his review of the book. He didn't like Song of the Lark very much, except for the first section. Appreciates his favorable comparison of her with William Allen White. Has always disliked the way White and Graham Phillips wrote about life in the West. Sensed all along that there was a better, truer way of presenting it. Naturally Ántonia could have been written in the same folksy, rolicky way White prefers. He thinks he's being realistic, but he is really only showing off his commonness. Sure, White sells far more books than she does, but she is not trying to connect with the same readers. Doesn't worry about sales too much while she still has the money she saved from her days working at McClure's. Received an encouraging letter a few weeks ago from Edwin Winter, who used to be president of the Missouri Pacific. Winter had earlier worked for Union Pacific in Nebraska and built the first bridge over Dale Creek canyon—actually a wooden bridge! He wanted to visit with her, and he came over on Friday. He is a very impressive person! It's better to have one admirer like him than to sell a thousand copies. He found the book stirring and felt compelled to meet her after reading it. He wondered if she were actually Swedish, as he thought the novel was too literary to be the work of an American. What a vibrant, wonderful new friend to have! Please return the issue of the Dial and other clipping about Bourne, and inform Meta that she continues to enjoy the wonderful jam Meta sent: the scuppernong is gone and the pineapple is next. Would like to have been with them over the holiday.