When I read your posting asking for help finding a more readable copy of the Walter F. White May 1, 1926 The Spotlight column, where he states that Cather is “an American novelist who comes pretty close to being the best writer in America,” I decided to check out the newspapers.com database, to which I subscribe through Ancestry.com. The newspapers.com database has one of the all-time worst search functions I’ve ever experienced, but using its advanced search that allows you to search only specific newspapers and the publication time delimiter, I found not only the May 1, 1926 article, but also one on May 15, 1926 where White bemoans the fact that so many writers of quality, including Willa Cather, have much lower books sales than they should.
I made PDF’s of both articles and have attached them to this reply. As you will see, neither article image is great, but they are both more readable than the one you had retrieved from ProQuest. If you make liberal use of the enlarge button using a PDF reader application, you should be able to make out most of the words in these two articles.
In addition, I found and attached PDFs of two additional Pittsburgh Courier articles where Cather is mentioned, one of which is a 1932 book review of “Obscure Destinies.”
The author of The Spotlight column, Walter F. White, is quite an impressive and fascinating person. You’ve probably already found this brief information piece on White that’s part of the Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt Project, but I’ll include the link below for anyone else who may be interested.
Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt Project
Walter F. White (1893 – 1955)
According to the Wikipedia entry on Walter Francis White, he had a close friendship with Alfred A. Knopf.
"Through his cultural interests and his close friendships with white literary power brokers Carl Van Vechten and Alfred A. Knopf, White was one of the founders of the "New Negro" cultural flowering. Popularly known as the Harlem Renaissance, the period was one of intense literary and artistic production. Harlem became the center of black American intellectual and artistic life. It attracted creative people from across the nation, as did New York City in general.”
Wikipedia entry on Walter F. White:
Walter F. White’s 1924 novel “The Fire in the Flint” was published by Knopf:
I hope you’ll find the text in these PDFs readable.
Hello 5 Bank Street,
I was looking through book reviews of Willa Cather, and I
found an interesting but brief mention of A
Lost Lady in the Pittsburgh Courier;
unfortunately, the digital copy (from ProQuest Historical Newspapers – Black Newspapers)
is almost impossible to read. If anyone has access to a different digital copy,
would you send it my way ([log in to unmask])? I think I can make do with
what I have, so no need to go to great lengths, but I was curious if a better
copy is out there. I’ll attach both the individual column and the full page.
The mention of A Lost Lady is in the
3rd paragraph of the review from the bottom. Thanks.