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#1734: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, June 1, 1946

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FG ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Greenslet1:

I think I have not written you definitely about the matter of radio adaptation. Several weeks ago I wrote Mr. Knopf3 a very definite letter4, asking him never to permit my novels, or portions of my novels or short stories, to be used for radio adaptation. Whether we can control selections pilfered from anthologies remains to be seen. My lawyers5 are quite certain that if we bring an action on such a case, the whole intent of the copyright law will protect us even if the special instance is not specified in the law itself.

I am, unfortunately, personally acquainted with two of the young people who are now turning their talents to making radio adaptations. They come from my part of the country, and they are very typical of the great number of young people who have had various Government jobs, in which they are not needed any more.

I think the day will come when publishers will find that they have made a great mistake in encouraging these so-called radio adaptations. Perhaps a dozen years or more from now the reading audience will be largely extinct.!! People will simply sit and listen with their ears.

I would naturally be in Northern Maine6 by this time, but I have been kept in town by the critical illness7 of several friends8. I hope that everything is well with you and yours.

Faithfully yours, Willa Cather