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#1459: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, November 8 [1939]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dear Dorothy1

I read Seasoned Wood3 up on the Island4 this summer, and I was more than glad to have a thoughtful book in a place where I had time to think. I particularly enjoyed Aunt Lavinia, and Miss Peck! You will laugh at me, but I to me it is thrilling to see a person some so completely brought across with so little introduction. I say person, not 2not a character. She set me thinking how different persons and characters are. She isn't made or fashioned at all—she simply is. And how strongly one feels her! Her actual presence, I mean. And I love her laconic inscriptions—which are so like her, though I can't for the life of me tell why. Mr. Hulme is awfully good, but I begin to shrink from things as sad as that—from the fine people who get a 3a heard break, I mean. Such a very hard break! I wonder why you gave him your father5's middle name. Your father wasn't a bit like that. He was much more rugged and sturdy, and had a twinkle in his eye, which I do not find in Principal Hulme's. My dear, teachers ought not to be as consciencious at that—youngsters don't deserve it. And anyhow the best we get we get for ourselves, and our teachers 4 can't help us much—except very, very indirectly.

Concerning the state of the world we have no call to speak. I am reading my Michelet6's Histoire de France7, and Guizot8's at the same time. I am still in Le Moyen age9, and it's diverting to see how history repeats itself. I get Guizot mixed up with Walter Lippmann10. If only gasoline had continued to slumber in depths with prehistoric A remains where it belongs, we'd be no worse off than human tribes and races have always been.

Lovingly Willa.