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#1443: Willa Cather to Allan Nevins, March 18, 1939

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Allan Nevins1:

You actually hold a pistol to my head when you ask me3 to belong to any club. I do not belong to a single Club or Society in the world. The only way I can save my soul alive is to belong to no club whatever - not even a Good Wine and Food Club.

This is my unfortunate case. I have lived for a considerable time in eight of our glorious States; each one of them has Writers' Clubs, Writers' Guilds, State Historical ClubsSocieties, etc., etc. I have some real friends in each of these States, and they put it to me as my duty to join their clubs. The only way I can avoid hurting their feelings is by assuring them that I belong to no Club or Society in the world, and that my name is on the stationery of no Club or Society. A rule is of no use to you if you break it; I know from experience. Because old Mr. Clemens4 was very nice to me when I first came to New York2, I told his crazy nephew, Cyril5, that I would belong to his Society6, if he did not put my name on his stationery. He promptly put me and Carol of Rumania on his stationary letterheads as vice presidents! Served me right, too, for breaking a good safe rule.

Very sincerely yours, Willa Cather