I couldn’t sleep because I have an appointment in two hours to see a man about a job—a role I haven’t played for some time. Do I come in with a curtsy or with a roar? Does he pay me or do I pay him?
If anything, I’d lay it to Mildred’s prattle about being your literary assistant and being so indispensable to you. She sure must have spread that thick all over the country. It comes back to me from the mountains and cities, the desert and sea.
I’m very sorry not to have returned David’s letter long before this. It got mixed up in a change of coats, then in my work, then in my guilt, which can neatly prevent my doing just what would relieve it. Much the same is why I’ve for so long failed to write at least a line…
The new Madame is a Mlle. Carole, in her late thirties, smoking a perpetual cigarette and wearing a red bolero jacket and a little English shirtwaist buttoned up at the neck. She has a certain Marlene Dietrich melancholy grace that indicates, I think, that she is about to be ruined financially.
Our interview was miserable. The psychiatrist, a well-trained unimaginative young woman, insisted that I stop stalling and get the divorce over with as soon as possible so that Jean’s cure might begin.
The camera became significant because you touched it. The sky, because you saw it. But first of all you saw yourself. Secondly, you knew the medium. And then the sky revealed itself as it only could unfold to you, and the camera…
When you come out of this, a legend will come with you: the legend of what you write, which will be also what you have lived and what you have dared and surmounted and made possible in the way of understanding. That is heroic, son; nothing else. Believe me, my blood and your mother’s must be good, for it is in you and had produced you. Just don’t spill any of it…
You know, Jap, he went in for a kind of super-realism. The imaginative world, as I understood it, was to be more or less chucked but it seems to me that in trying for this he has only got into a kind of romanticization of the so-called real…a kind of ecstasy over elephant dung, killing, death, etc., etc. And then too he talks about writing the perfect sentence—something of that sort. Isn’t that rot?
And the ladies smile demurely
As memory’s album receives
Speeches, fiery and tender,
Not speakers nor hearer believes.
At any rate, the results of my last two relaxings have been so venomous that I have taken the holy New Year oath to remain henceforth on the wagon, N.Y. or no N.Y., as long as I am in the U.S., so help me Wheeler!