Skip to main content

#0068: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield, [April 1901]

More about this letter…
Plain view:

Guide to Reading Letter Transcriptions

Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.

Textual Feature Appearance
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added letters overwritten passage
passage added above the line passage with added text above
passage added on the line passage with added text inline
passage added in the margin passage with text added in margin
handwritten addition to a typewritten letter typed passage with added handwritten text
missing or unreadable text missing text noted with "[illegible]"
uncertain transcriptions word[?]
notes written by someone other than Willa Cather Note in another's hand
printed letterhead text printed text
text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc. printed text
text of date and place stamps stamped text
passage written by Cather on separate enclosure. written text
My Dearest Dorothy1.

The first month of teaching3 is at an end and I have about decided to let some one else take up the good work for the rest of the year. I want to go home to Red Cloud4 and work for awhile. I know now that I can teach, and that better than I had expected, but I can't help taking the matter seriously and I doubt whether that pays in a High School where the salary means ultimate financial ruin.

Now about the letters5. I think Mr. Carpenter6 was a Christian gentleman to give them his consideration, and I think his opinion on their ephemeral interest about agrees with mine. Then they seem to me to perilously approach fine writing. I had thought that Miss Gilder7 might be able to use some of them in the "Critic"8 in the summer season when the theatres are closed and "copy" runs low. Have you any means of access to her? I believe she thinks rather well of me. If she were to see some half-dozen of the better ones she might consider the scheme.

"Jack-a-Boy"9 appeared in the Easter Sat. Eve. Post10 with the most satisfying illustrations11 and so like my little brother12 that they gave me a turn. I will mail you a copy. I think Miss Gilder ought to see the letters this month. If you think it would be just as well for me to send her copies from here, let me know, though I am sure that, if you could face a thankless errand of that kind, that a word to her from you would give them a better chance.

Did'nt I write you about the Edouard Rod13? I could not put it down after I had once begun it, and it seemed to me a wonderful piece of work and noble beyond most clever things. I want to read some more Lemaitre14 whenever you can send him. I wish I knew the really wise thing to do about the school. I like to plow a furrow to the end end, and yet to move, set up a room, unpack etc all for two months seems a good deal of trouble for a very little experience. Then the spring months are good ones to loaf and invite your soul15, and if I went West something might come of it.

The McClungs16 have moved into their new house17 next door to the old one, and Isabelle's new room is a beautiful place to dwell in, with big windows that face on a wood and the sunset. I want to talk ab to you about the Pittsburgh novel18, but it cant be done by letter, and an attack of cramps, several days over due is getting the better of me. Isabelle sends many messages to you, but I am being slowly drawn up into a bumpy coil and cant even write my own. With all my love to your mother19 and yourself, and anxiously awaiting word from you