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#0650: Willa Cather to Lorna Birtwell, November 27 [1922]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dear Miss Birtwell1;

I have to thank you for one of the most interesting contributions3 to the controversy about "One of Ours"4,- certainly one of the best-reasoned5 and thought out. Aside from war prejudices, the trouble with the critics seems to be that they liked "Antonia"6 and wanted me to do the same act. But their state of mind does not bother me. "Antonia" had been out for two years before one of these gentlemen were in the least interested. They didn't like it at first because it had no structure etc. etc. This book may go through the same history. It is selling quite remarkably and has bucked up the sale of all my other books. You see, what the reviewers say really does not matter much. It's nice when they're pleased, but if one took either their approval or their disapproal very seriously, one would have an unquiet life. If one tries the least little new experiment in technic or treatment, one perplexes and annoys them. Somebody pointed out to Broun7 that the 'discriptions' in Antonia were good; here comes along a book without any 'descriptions', so how can it be good8?

I have been delayed by the proofs of "April Twilights"9 so that I will not get my Thanksgiving at home10; I take the Limited for Chicago11 tomorrow, and will eat turkey on the train on Thursday.

Let me thank you for your amusing massing of evidence; I hadn't got it all together in my mind like that at all. Practically all the same charges were brought against "Antonia"; particularly dullness. All the New York critics except two, I think, said it was deadly, deadly dull and showed a great falling off from its predecessor.

With best wishes for a happy Christmastide Faithfully yours Willa Cather