Skip to main content

#1730: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, March 29 [1946]

More about this letter…
Plain view:

Guide to Reading Letter Transcriptions

Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.

Textual Feature Appearance
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added letters overwritten passage
passage added above the line passage with added text above
passage added on the line passage with added text inline
passage added in the margin passage with text added in margin
handwritten addition to a typewritten letter typed passage with added handwritten text
missing or unreadable text missing text noted with "[illegible]"
uncertain transcriptions word[?]
notes written by someone other than Willa Cather Note in another's hand
printed letterhead text printed text
text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc. printed text
text of date and place stamps stamped text
passage written by Cather on separate enclosure. written text
F.G. ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear F.G.1

At last I have accomplished3 the Cogitator4: the only anthology I have ever tried to read in prose. I did, and still do, enjoy Wavell's5 delightful "Other Men's Flowers"6. I love his witty and fearless comment. Anthologies of poetry are the best, surely, because they can present a complete work and avoid the old "Pearls from Ruskin7" pattern which cursed our childhood. I think I like Huxley8's reply9 to Kingsley10 as well as anything in the "Cogitator." There are many things like that- - - which one is very grateful for. But I do find the book too long. For my limited mentality the fine things blunt each other. I like to read a man in the atmosphere of his time. One reads Justice Brandeis11 with one mind and Pascal12 with quite of another mind. The satisfaction one feels in entering a man's time through his book is a deeper pleasure than the shock of contrast13 when the thought of the eleventh century is brought against that of the twentieth.

I would enlarge upon this but I doubt if you can read my script at all, for my thumb is strapped tight in Doctor Ober's14 inexorable steel brace, and I must hold my pen between my first and second fingers—to which limitation I am not as yet accustomed. This is temporary.

Faithfully yours Willa Cather

Don't you honestly believe that anthologies are the curse of a very superficial period?