#0791: Willa Cather to Wilton Graff, July 19 [1925]

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La Fonda3 Dear Mr. Graff1;

I’ve just come in from a long horseback trip in the Sangre de Christo mountains, and find your letter in a three weeks accumulation of mail. A nice letter to find, too, and it reminds me that my profession is sometimes a rather nice one, though for the last six weeks I’ve forgotten about it altogether.

I do awfully like the things you say about my books—and La Fondaabout the country and people they are about. That is why I do it, of course, because neither years nor miles can ever lessen the pull or the excitement this country has for me. The effect it has on me hasn’t anything to do with choice or selection—it “gets” me, just as the altitude gets some people. It’s physical.

No, I don’t know the Café des Deux Magots4, but I’ll make a point of going there when I’m in Paris5 next spring, and I’ll drink your health and your La Fondalady’s6. I know the region about St. Germain-des-Pres pretty well, however.

Please excuse this lurid paper—my trunks are waiting for me somewhere further west and I’m forced to advertise the hotel when I write. Your awfully hearty letter makes me wonder, abruptly, whether my stories really are any good or not. I seldom think about that at all (it’s depressing and futile) I just go ahead and play out the play each time. That is good La Fondafun while it lasts. Not quite so much fun as a pack trip through a mixed desert-and-mountain country, perhaps, but awfully absorbing and engrossing while one’s in the story.

Thank you ever and ever so much.

Faithfully Willa Cather