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#1060: Willa Cather to Henry Seidel Canby, June 26, 1931

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The Grosvenor3
New York2
My dear Mr. Canby1:

I had to come on for the Princeton Commencement4 and hoped to be able to arrange a meeting with you before you got out of town2. Things have been pretty thick ever since I got back from Princeton5, and today, when I tried to arrange for a little visit with you, Miss Loveman6 told me that you were gone for some weeks. I am leaving for Canada7 myself on Tuesday, so I suppose we shall not meet until the Fall.

You put your finger on exactly the thing that I was trying to get in my new book8 - a firm texture; in a much less degree the kind of thing that the eighteenth century French writers achieved so splendidly,. and I think perhaps Bishop Laval9 is your favorite character largely because he was mine. More than any other one person he represents to me that stubborn loyalty to a grudging land and that adherence to French traditions of two centuries ago which I feel and admire so much when I am in Quebec10. The mere desire to feel that loyalty in the air around me has taken me to the City11 and Province of Quebec a great many times during the last ten years.

Regarding the "bBook of the mMonth" matter12, I let Alfred Knopf13 decide it entirely, as it seemed to me a publisher's proposition. But he would not have decided it as he did had I not withdrawn my sentimental objections. Your letter and Mr. Schurmann14's convinced me that I ought not to oppose Mr. Knopf if he wanted to try the experiment in this case.

Please do not fail to let me know when Mrs. Canby15's book of verse16 comes out. While my mother17 lives, I must spend a great part of my time in California18, and I get absolutely out of touch with what is being published in New York. My warmest regards to you both. If I ever really live in New York again, one of the compensations for living here will be that I can see something of you and Mrs. Canby.

Faithfully yours, Willa Cather