A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

13 letters found

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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]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Monday [May 8, 1922?] UVt 

Yes, the story Dorothy sent about the university roughneck has the same idea as her book. Maybe future readers will think it is more true than Three Soldiers [Dos Passos] . Knopf hopes to see Dorothy in June. Glad Claude can help her understand how she was feeling in that long-past time. Will finish page proofs soon, but doesn't know if she can ever leave this book behind her.   Willa   [Stout #595]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Tuesday [March 21, 1922] UVt 

Thanks for her sympathetic reading of the novel and especially of Claude himself. Book is shaped by his sense of things. New book now starting on is more outward. Has cut out big chunks of it [ One of Ours ] and probably should cut out the chapter with the shell exploding under him.   Willa   [Stout #596]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Wednesday [June 21, 1922?] UVt 

Hopes Knopf will reduce the anticipated price of the book. Sorry Dorothy will be having to write a review while she is at sea, when she should be resting. Already looking forward to her return. Memory helps one see who were the really important people in one's life. Thanks for her help with One of Ours. It looked like a failure for a while. She rescued the boy.   Willa   [Stout #602]

To Carrie Miner SherwoodSept. 1, [1922], from Grand MananWCPM 

Very touched by her letter about "Claude." Used to fear that her own people would never care about her writing. Claude and his mother are her tribute to Nebraska. Is sending her letter to Isabelle.   Willa   [Stout #614]

To Elizabeth Moorhead Vermorcken,  Tuesday [Sept. 19, 1922] [attached to no. 619] ; PM 

Returned from New Brunswick yesterday. Sorry to have missed her. Glad she likes "Claude." It was exhausting to do, simply took over her life, but she now feels lonely for its company. Keeps getting accusing letters from pacifists who think the book extols war. Actually her only concern was its impact on her character. If she had titled it simply "Claude," as she wanted to, the point would be clearer. But does feel proud of it as a work of fiction.   W. S. C.   [Stout #620]

To George SeibelOct. 19 1922, from New YorkWCPM 

Appreciates his comments on the book in Issues of To-Day [?]. Would like to send a copy to Isabelle McClung. Glad he perceived her effort to present Claude equitably.   Willa Cather   [Stout #628]

To William Allen WhiteOct. 19, 1922, from New YorkLC 

Appreciates his good words, though they may make the highbrow critics all the more hostile. Is certain the novel is her best technically, and is certain she knew Claude through and through. Hopes he and Mrs. White will visit again when they are in New York.   Willa Cather   [Stout #629]