Skip to main content

#2750: Willa Cather to Alfred A. Knopf, March 24, 1947

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⬩ K 3/25 My dear Alfred1:

You are quite right3 that I would much rather be “pirated” in Italy4 than be represented in any action that Mondadori’s5 lawyer might take in preventing further piracy.

I can not see why all these “pirates” select MY MORTAL ENEMY6 - several copies of the Italian version7 have been sent me and they seem to have nothing to do with the real story. I believe these superficial translators really think, from the title, that it is a story of hatred and revenge.

I have the enclosed note from Stern & Reubens8, which seems to indicate that they have been attending to the renewal of copyrights on long published and long forgotten stories. Of course, there is rather a long list of early stories which it is to my credit, and yours, to keep very dark and safely out of print. At one time there was in your office a complete list of all those stories and the date on which the copyright of them would expire. Now, isn’t there some intelligent girl in your office who could keep a copy of that list and carefully watch the renewals? It would be a pleasure to me to pay her liberally for such an office if she sent me once a year a list of such copyright renewals as she had made for me during the year.


By the way, Alfred, please send me Sanderson9's ANIMAL TALES10. I have high recommendations of the book from two nieces and a nephew. And please send me Angela Thirkell11's book12 as soon as it is published. That woman is so silly, that it is much more entertaining to read her than to read writers who try to be wise.

Faithfully yours, Willa Cather doing