Skip to main content

#2084: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, December 8 [1918]

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
My Dear Roscoe1;

It has been a long time since I began this letter to you. The town2 is full of newly returned soldiers3 now; I have been seeing as much of them as I can. They like to talk to almost anyone who will talk to them about France.4

I am sending you a copy of one of the best reviews5, from the Sunday "Sun"6, a full page with a large photograph7 of me. I had some copies made because in these paperless days one can't get extra copies of Sunday papers. This man8 surely had a good time with the book9. It amazes me how many people feel that way. I thought nearly everybody in this country had to have a story. I never did like stories much, and the older I grow the less they interest me. I see and feel only the carpenter work in them. In this book the pitch of life as it was lived isn't raised half a tone, and yet, you see, how many people do like it. Professor Geoghegan10 writes me that it is certainly the best novel that has come out of America11. "We know," he says, "that perfect art returns to nature, bu only a very great artist can so return, or can make the nakedness of nature beautiful in art." Yet Father12 likes it "as well as any book he ever read." I feel well well content to have touched two extremes. If only I can do as well with the next!

I am so happy that Virginia13's coat is a success. Mother14 sent me part of Meta's15 letter that told about it and also about your family whooping cough. I was at Trix Mizer's16 this summer when her six began to whoop their heads off.

Now goodbye, my boy, forgive this scrappy letter and write me when you have time. I am always glad to hear about everything that goes on in your pretty little house. Tell Meat to write me when she can. I am wrestling with the Blue Mesa story17 a little; but the commonplace way to do it is so utterly manufactured, and the only way worth while is so alarmingly difficult. Wish me luck!

Lovingly Willie