Skip to main content

#0410: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, February 28 [1918]

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
? FG Dear Mr. Greenslet1:

Did you get some copy4 and two drawings from me this week? I sent them by express on Saturday.

I detest to have to tell you that I've been ill for two weeks; and my good French girl5 has been ill for a month now. Unexpected difficulties in housekeeping and getting a temporary knock-out in health have put me terribly behind in my work. I've just been going over the notes of the last third of the book. They are better than I remembered—I think they are much the best part of it. They seem rather too good to be slurred over and spoiled by haste.

Now what about it? Tell me honestly what you think. I feel almost sure that I can get a considerable wad of copy to you by March 15th, and I feel almost sure that I can get it all to you by April 1st. But it will be a crowd; and isn't that too late for spring publication anyhow?

Would it be better now to let the book go over until the Autumn? I hate to suggest it, but I think that would be better than crowding it along. It's the kind of story that has to be pretty carefully written, after all. The proof ought not to take much work—I've been careful about the copy—but there are some things that only type decides for [illegible]one. I've been fairly industrious, and I've pushed the thing along as fast as I could. But writing is a slow business, and that's all there is to it. There's no sufficient reason why this story should take two winters; I feel as humble as possible about it, but there is no getting around the fact that it has.

Please let me know if you think it would be better to wait until fall now, or if you still want me to try to get through by the end of March. I know I couldn't get finish before that. Even if you agree with me and decide to defer publication, I will get the copy along to you as fast as I can and even at a relaxed pace I would probably finish early in April. Let me have your wisest thoughts on this. I'm fairly perplexed myself.

Faithfully W. S. C.