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#2723: Willa Cather to Alfred A. Knopf, July 29 [1943]

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ASTICOU INN NORTHEAST HARBOR MAINE AAK [illegible] K 8/2/43 Dear Alfred1;

Two weeks ago I reached this very satisfactory refuge2, after travelling up and down the Maine3 coast in an unsuccessful search for comfortable quarters. All the old pleasant places of five years ago are deserted. Bar Harbor4 is a ghost town. All the big houses of the rich are now inhabited by one caretaker. The good shops of former times are shut down—Main street a row of dirty windows.

Here Miss Lewis5 and I have a very comfortable cottage with a lovely garden. Absolute quiet. We take our meals at the Inn6 which is a short block away. We walk to it over green turf and fine trees and hedges keep it out of sight. The food is not very good, certainly, but better than I have found anywhere else except in Boston7.

Next week Miss Lewis goes up to Grand Manan8 to look after some repairs that are to be made on her cottage there, but I shall be here for the next fortnight at least. The weather is always cool here. One needs a wood fire every evening. We have a good deal of rain and heavy weather, but there is a good library, and after the horrors of Portland9 and it's war industries10 I am very willing to sit indoors by the fire and read forgotten books—or botanize a little. This place is not nearly so interesting as Grand Manan but it is much more comfortable (in the conventional way) and not so reduced in food supplies.

I hope you are out of New York11 and its preposterous "heat waves." 1943 JUL 2 AM 9:49


On any day that you are not too busy I'd be glad to hear from you about anything you're interested in. I'm delighted that Ezra Pound12 is a "traitor"—though I can't believe him very genuine even in that role. It has been the Hell of a summer, hasn't it? In every way.

Languidly but faithfully Willa Cather. 1943 JUL 2 AM 9:49