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#2980: Willa Cather to [unknown recipient], [unknown date]

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Dear --

Thank you for your letter of September 16th. I do not think you quite understand my attitude. I have no strong feelings against school anthologies as such and I couldn’t possibly, therefore, give you the sort of reply to your letter that your second paragraph indicates you would like to have from me. The simple fact is that for purely personal and private reasons I have always been unwilling to have any but a certain very small proportion of my published writings reprinted in any anthology whatsoever. The only exceptions constitute the following short stories3:

As I am willing to allow this position to rest as a purely personal idiosyncrasy, I do not see how I can possibly explain it in terms of the last half of your letter. I am not seeking even “the very finest kind of dignified advertising”, and I do, frankly, find myself rather surprised at your bewilderment.

I trust, therefore, that you will accept this letter in the friendly spirit in which it is written, and not try to read between the lines what isn’t there or to ascribe to me motives which simply do not operate. exist.