RPW to Erskine letter 7/29/65
Mentions reviews and a letter from Niebuhr.
RPW to Erskine letter 7/29/65 searchable textCollapse
West Wardsboro, Vermont, July 29, 1965
Thanks for the letter, but alas, for the bad news. The reviews have just come too, and in glancing over them I am stung by the irony of such a press winding up so grimly. I guess we are just about eight or ten months late, God damn it. You notice now how all news on the subject goes to the back pages of the newspapers, or almost all news. I suppose I’ll survive, but it is depressing. Sure, there’s nothing else to do but proceed with Vintage, and hope for the best and some long-range sale. By the way, I have received a good bit of other mail of the sort from Niebuhr, from people as dissimilar as Harry Levin and Lawrence Kubie, so maybe word of mouth will do something. The latter of the two gents mentioned has sent out stacks of copies and has done a piece saying the book is mandatory reading in one of the professional journals. Harry stretched himself too, but he doesn’t say anything about buying up books. Some people I never heard of havw (have) written.
I am plugging along between my American Lit book and poems. The work on Hawthorne has been very exciting. I have just about finished my piece. Then I turn to Melville’s poems. This kind of work doesn’t compete with poetry the way fiction does, and so when I get a notion this summer I nurse it along. I’ve done some that I’m partial to.
Glad you got the water. Has the drouth broken there? We have been having quite a bit of rain in the last two weeks.
Both Gabriel and Rosanna have had wonderful birthdays. Gabriel has a wrist watch and spends most of his spare time trying to persude (persuade) people to ask him the time. Rosanna has a tape-recorder.
Give my love, our love, to your girls.
Red (handwritten signature)