A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

29 letters found

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To Ferris GreensletMay 2, [1919], from New YorkHarvard 

Glad Heinemann will publish an edition. Getting inquiries about serial rights on next novel, to be titled simply "Claude." Won't decide until they talk. Has sold two stories for good prices and two articles for Red Cross Magazine. P.S.: What do Londoners think of Wilson?  Willa Cather   [Stout #456]

To Ferris GreensletMay 30, [1919?]Harvard 

Thanks for his letter [probably long letter dated May 23, 1919, trying to persuade her Houghton Mifflin did care about her books]. Now understands the proof charges and is content to pay half, but it seems that not much would change in the future. Who is doing the Swedish translation of O Pioneers!? Has been spending a lot of time with returning soldiers from Nebraska. Will not show "Claude" to anyone until fall.   W. S. C.   [Stout #464]

To Ferris GreensletOct. 18, [1919], from New YorkHarvard 

The Bookman that he spoke of in his October 14 note has arrived. Likes the ad. Swedish edition of O Pioneers! has also arrived. When he reprints, will he please change the color of the binding? Let her know when she can phone him—doesn't have her own phone just now. Will get back to work on "Claude" Monday after this [October 27].   W. S. C.   [Stout #480]

To Ferris GreensletDec. 28, 1919, from New YorkHarvard 

Hopes he will be in New York before January 7. Please change the mustard-color binding of O Pioneers!. If the company doesn't want to bother with the book, how much would they want for the rights to it? Has agreed to let Knopf bring out a new edition of The Troll Garden in early spring. Will make sure it isn't at the same time as "Claude." P.S.: The Bookman ad was the only time they were willing to make bold claims for the quality of her books.  Willa Cather   [Stout #489]

To Ferris GreensletJune 20, [1920], from ParisHarvard 

Enjoying the food, though prices are high. Not shopping except for necessities. Will spend a few weeks with the Hambourgs and go with them to the south of France and to Sorrento. Edith Lewis going to Italy next week. Has not gone on with "Claude" since arriving, but has planned some cuts, so the money she has spent on drinks has not gone for nothing. French wine is really the essence of the culture.   Willa Cather   [Stout #509]

To Ferris GreensletJan. 12, 1921, from New YorkHarvard 

Has not seen Knopf for a while but has watched his advertising and decided to sign with him for "Claude." Decision based solely on publicity. Not a permanent commitment. Has not yet told Knopf. Greenslet seemed reluctant for her to write about the war or to write again about the West, and this book is primarily war and West. P.S.: Wants to write him personally before he leaves for Europe. [Stout #528]

To Ferris GreensletAug. 26, [1921], from TorontoHarvard 

Will lecture in Omaha October 29. Has cancelled Chicago lecture. "Claude" won't be out until this time next year.   W. S. C.   [Stout #550]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  n.d. [March 1922?] , apparently a fragment ; UVt 

Proofs have arrived, and Dorothy's questions will help her make improvements. Is certain, though, about the independent or traveling guns of the British. Incident of the killing of the German with the locket was from something a young officer told her; she used it because he didn't seem to understand and she liked that. The little girl and the terrible baby also from something told her by a soldier. Used the diary of a physician [Dr. Frederic Sweeney, Jaffrey, N.H.] for the flu epidemic on the transport ship. Is sure of the date U.S. troops went into battle at Chateau Thierry. Claude's feeling about David's violin was from her own feeling of inferiority when they were in France in 1902. Knows readers won't give the book a chance because it is a war novel.   [Stout #588]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Wednesday [March 8?, 1922] UVt 

New book will be called a war novel. Would never have written such a thing if she hadn't simply had to before she could go on to anything else. Sprang from her cousin Grosvenor, who wanted to escape the farm and fulfilled his wish by enlisting, only to die at Cantigny on May 27, 1918. Has eliminated her usual pictorial mode in order to approximate the central character's way of looking at the world. He didn't see things as clear pictures.   Willa   [Stout #589]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Friday [April 7, 1922] UVt 

Pleased she has offered to review the book. Will want it to be well placed for impact. The fact that Claude was modeled on her cousin is not for general information. Glad to have managed to convey the feeling of the uncultivated person who wants culture. A kind of revenge for the way Dorothy made her feel in France, though a revenge without anger attached. Was with her cousin in Nebraska at the start of the war and felt a strong tie. Feels drained by the effort of writing the book and the closeness to Claude's mind, now lost to her since it is finished. An ordeal but a joyful one.   Willa   [Stout #590]