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#1034: Willa Cather to Zoë Akins, January 15 [1931]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dearest Zoe1;

My little red-headed niece, Mary Virginia3, kept trying my lovely green jacket on for most of New Year's eve, but she won't get it, and she knows she won't. On the day after Christmas I put it on and finished the last chapter of my new novel4 in style. It's the most comfortable working jacket I ever had. Blanche Knopf5 brought me a green satin one,fancy that, for me! The Holy Family hangs on my wall, and that, with some French tapestry I got, makes these bleak rooms6 a little more human. You always know what I like better than I do myself.

And you knew I wouldn't like your play7 awfully well, didn't you? It's the only play I've seen this winter8. I haven't anything against it, really, except the terrible voice of Miss Muriel Kirkland9. Goord Lord, Zoe, to listen to that female talk through her nose a whole evening, is an ordeal! She makes a character of the part, but just a little of that worst variety of the Southern voice would do the work, - she needn't rub it in every minute. Kirkland'sTeasdale10's voice is pretty dreadful, too. Something Italian in it? Something electric - welder! The trouble is there isn't an ounce of charm in the three of them- - - just a little in Miss Hall11. Lots of the lines are good. I suppose I'm somewhat too old-fashioned to like a whole evening in that particular world12, with no avenue of escape. But the house was crowded, and everyone ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ else was delighted. But, O Zoe! near me sat an old, old white hehaired GREEK, with big workman's hands, and four scented, shining young Greeks, whom he had brought for a treat, and between the scenes he kept saying to them, "Das no Greek, das American." Before the last act I went upstairs and found a host of Greeks! I thought your title might bring the censors on you, but I never thought it would bring all the candy industry! Events are always funnier than we can possibly imagine them. The play moves along right enough - I liked the third act best- but the atmosphere of the night-club world is depressing,—perhaps because it's the only world ever presented on the stage anymore.

I'll have to go to my mother13 in Pasadena14 as soon as I can get my proofs read,- about the end of March, probably. I would have snapped up your apartment itf I'd had time to settle a place, but this jumping off to California15 keeps me from ever getting settled. I'll let you know when I arrive there. I'm so glad you met my old friend, May Willard16. Please remember me warmly to Jobina17, and don't hold it agin me that I can't like the night club females, even when you introduce them.

A Happy New Year to you my dear, and you must forgive a machine letter, for I've got a lame shoulder.

With love Willa

I'm glad you've left Barnsdall18!