Skip to main content

#2713: Willa Cather to Alfred A. Knopf, August 29 [1940]

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
⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dear Alfred1;

I did not write you until I had something definite to report. Living on an island2 was never so perplexing and inconvenient as it has been this summer,. I will report my amusing misadventures when I see you. Miss Bloom5's vacation came at the worst possible time6 for me. She will not be in New York3 until the Tuesday after Labor Day.

However, within a few days I shall be able to send you the rest of the manuscript7, all of it except one chapter, the insert chapter8 of about 3,700 words which follows page 82 of your manuscript. That insert I is completed, and I will send it to Mrs. Bloom to copy as soon as she returns. I will ask her to do it as quickly as possible and hold it until my return for my final corrections. That chapter has a good deal of interesting dialect and native idiom, and I want to go over it again her copy of it before I give it to you. I will do this as soon as I reach New York on September 17th or 18th. You would surely have the corrected copy on the [illegible] 20th.

I am leaving the island earlier than I expected, because the cook9 (a mighty poor one!) is going then.

I am taking the sketch for the jacket to the post office today, as a boat goes out tomorrow—the first boat out for two days. I like this design, though I really like Mr. Ruzicka's10 more conservative style better than this rather violent departure from his usual manner. This is confidential, I would ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩not admit it to anyone else.

Please mail me a bunch of the reviews of Thomas Mann's11 long awaited "Return"12. It's a great book, of course, if you approach it from the right angle, but how many of our esteemed fellow citizens have ever read13 Goethe14, even in translation? And what will the author's complete saturation with his subject mean to those who haven't read Werther15 or Wilhelm16? I wonder how many of "pure Nordics" of the present Germany have read them?

I never thanked you for the wine you sent me just before I left town—I didn't even open the package. It was not ingratitude but heat that made me so ill-mannered. It was 99 degrees on the day Miss Lewis17 and I left town.

Thank you for ordering the candy, which I hope will come on tonight's boat.

With love to you both18 Willa Cather

With every sort of

SEP—21940 AM
From W. S. Cather WHALE COVE GRAND MANAN2 NEW BRUNSWICK CANADA Mr. Alfred A. Knopf1 501 Madison Avenue New York City3 U. S. A. NORTH HEAD N. B.2 AU 29 40 AM [illegible] District Director of Postal Services P. O. AUG 30 1940 Saint John, N. B.4 Opened to verify contents in
accordance with requirements of
Foreign Exchange Control Board
and officially sealed by
Censorship Clerk