Erskine to RPW letter 9/2/64
Comments about the urgency of the chapter edits
Erskine to RPW letter 9/2/64 searchable textCollapse
September 2, 1964
Mr. Robert Penn Warren
Report on progress: Chapter VI arrived today and I intend to read it tomorrow. There will hardly be time for further exchanges before your arrival here. I have read through Chapter V, of course, already—though in a pretty disjointed fashion.
One thing has not been clear to me: is this draft supposed to be the working copy, or is the whole thing going back to a typist again? From the number of blanks that still need to be filled in by you, I would guess that you have several weeks of work to do after you get back here, just to fill them in.
Problem is this: You and I have to do most of our work together between September 10 and October 10, since for six months now I have had a date with Michener to begin work with him on his 500,000 word novel, and that will tie me down for a while.
If this manuscript which I have in carbon is not the final manuscript, I am extremely hesitant to reread and annotate it, because if I do so I will surely disqualify myself for a meaningful reading of the coming revised version. The reading I have already done was pretty straight reading, with no effort to cross reference; the next reading ought to be it, or else I will no longer be able to tell which version I am reacting to.
It might be a good idea for you to phone me to answer this question, because if I am to reread this version, I’d like to get started; and a letter would take too long getting here. I expect to be in Westport from Thursday, September 3 until Tuesday, September 8. I expect to go to the beach one day but to be home every evening except Saturday the 5th.
In a roundabout way I have heard the rumor that you are planning to go to Germany sometime within the next few weeks. I fervently hope this is a false rumor, because if you do go it will seriously delay the completion of this book which ought to be out at the soonest possible date and not at some leisurely time thereafter. I cannot imagine anything that is taking place in Germany that could possibly be one-tenth as important to you as this.
Love to all,