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#0335: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, November 17 [1915]

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FG R. L. S. pass to Miss Van T. Dear Mr. Greenslet1

Here is the belated3 copy4 for the Book News5. I have not written it before because Miss McClung's6 father7 grew much worse a week ago. He died on Friday and the funeral was on Sunday. So you will understand that my hands have been full. I have even had to give up going to Chicago8 tonight with Fremstad9 who has to sing some opera engagements there. I had, however, a glorious day with her in Nebraska10, where our trails once more crossed11. She had with her a dirty rum rumpled book which had once been "The Song of the Lark,"12 and which she said had "not been read but eaten." I believe Fremstad likes the book better than anyone else does, because she knows just how much of it is her and how much is not, and the why of pretty much everything that is in the book and everything that isn't in it. I had thought she might be angry, but she only said with a shrug that there was nothing about her that was "too good to be used for an idea—when there was a real idea." Her enthusiasm was all the more gratifying because she liked the first three books best—especially the first one and the Arizona13 canyon.

I am glad, though, that none of the reviews have mentioned Fremstad. It rather belittles a book to tie it up to a personality, I think. Have you seen the notice14 that says the book is "the story of Geraldine Farrar15"?!

I've not heard from Mr. McClure16, so I fear he is not to be counted upon17, though the enclosed letter will tell you that he is very much excited about the book. I also enclose a nice note from Mr. Ellsworth18—who has the worst possible taste in books!

Yours W. S. C.