Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 24 Jan. 1926. To "Mr. Langfied."

BERESFORD, J.D.

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Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 4to, on printed letterhead of Villa Itsas Goity, St-Jen-de-Luz, France, 24 January 1926. An excellent literary letter addressed to "Mr. Langfeld," thanking him for sending his review of Beresford's "The Monkey Puzzle," and addressing a specific criticism he has received: ". . . which is continually cropping up in American notices. . . . I was inclined to ascribe this accusation of 'detachment' in my writing to . . . an overdose of H.L. Mencken. But . . . a young friend of mine in England, who has the makings of a true romantic in literature, persuades me that the trouble goes very much deeper . . . that I wrote with my mind while he wrote with his whole body. . . . To lose oneself in one's material is necessary enough . . . to make it a part of oneself. But surely some effort of separation is necessary before one can proceed. . . . Is there to be no selection, no weighing of values, no intellectual effort of composition? Are we advised . . . to continue to wallow . . . so that the heart beats too warmly for us to punish one character, however deservedly, while the toe itches too strongly to resist kicking another?. . . . I don't like the samples of the method that are increasing . . . they are not, to me, aesthetically satisfying, and I feel very often that the authors of them mistake gush for that warm-heartedness they all too evidently profess. What do you think? I can see a qualification to all this: though I doubt that it is little more than a compromise. . . . " Indentation and small tear from a paper clip at upper left; else fine.

J.D. Beresford (1873-1947); English novelist, architect, science-fiction writer. The Monkey Puzzle, a collection of his short stories, was published in 1925. (Item ID: 18592)



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