#1628: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, May 3, 1943

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FG ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Greenslet1:

I am sending you a request from Dr. Burgess Johnson3. I have obliged him4 personally more than once, and he seems to think I am going to keep it up. I understand from my lawyer5 that no reviewer is permitted to use from a book a passage which relates an entire incident or scene, though he may quote scattered paragraphs as he wishes. The passage6 which Doctor Reynolds7 wishes to use in his "omnibus8" runs about 1050 words and is, indeed, the whole of Chapter XII9.

To use this passage, my lawyer says, Doctor Reynolds should have the permission of the publishers as well as my own. I have simply referred Doctor Johnson to you personally. I think it would be just as well to refuse the request. Of course, there are a great many really good people among the officers and directors of the College English Association. It has become quite a powerful organization in this country and, on the whole, has certainly raised the standard of the teaching of English - which, as you know, was usually the job of men who were unable to teach anything else. On the one hand, I do not want to antagonize the College English people because I am genuinely interested in what they are doing. On the other hand, I am rather nervous about cutting out even so much as a knot-hold in the fence with which we have surrounded Antonia. I notice from the April statement, just received10, that during the last year she has sold 2565 copies, which is certainly pretty good in a war year, for a book that has been out twenty-five years.

Faithfully yours,Willa Cather