02 November

2 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella Menton, France

My precious Bogey
Your Saturday & Sunday letters have come, and Ive read them twice. Ill expect you then on the 20th of next month - on or about - thats it, isn't it? Be sure to have your passport ready in time. I feel we have such a tremendous lot to settle. We shall be talking nearly all the time. But I expect it wont seem 1/2 so much once you are here. Things will go easy. Yes, my calculation included rent. I think its more or less just. About this little house - I don't think I shall be allowed to keep it after May. At any rate we ought not to stay the summer through here. I should like to have this little house by the year. [. . .]
Im not up to much today. Yesterday was dark & stormy: today is too. And in spite of my feelings the weather affects me physically. I fly so high that when I go down - its a drop, Boge. Nothing serious; just a touch of cold, but with it to "bear it company" a black mood. Dont pay any attention to it. I expect it will have lifted utterly by the time this reaches you. And its really caused by a queer kind of pressure - which is work to be done. I am writing. Do you know the feeling & until this story is finished I am engulfed. Its not a tragic story either - but there you are. It seizes me - swallows me completely. I am Jonah in the whale & only you could charm that old whale to disgorge me. Your letters did for a minute but now Im in again & we're thrashing through deep water. I fully realise it. Its the price we have to pay - we writers. Im lost - gone possessed & everybody who comes near is my enemy.
[Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]

Dream II
In a café. Gertler met me. "Katherine you must come to my table. Ive got Oscar Wilde there. Hes the most marvellous man I ever met. Hes splendid!" Gertler was flushed. When he spoke of Wilde he began to cry - tears hung on his lashes but he smiled.
Oscar Wilde was very shabby. He wore a green overcoat. He kept tossing & tossing back his long greasy hair with the whitest hand. When he met me he said: "Oh Katherine!" - very affected. But I did find him a fascinating talker. So much so I asked him to come to my home. He said would 12.30 tonight do? When I arrived home it seemed madness to have asked him. Father & Mother were in bed. What if Father came down & found that chap Wilde in one of the chintz armchairs? Too late now. I waited by the door. He came with Lady Ottoline. I saw he was disgustingly pleased to have brought her. Dear Lady Ottoline & Ottoline in a red hat on her rust hair hounyhming' along. He said "Katherine's hand - the same gentle hand!" as he took mine. But again when we sat down - I couldn't help it. He was attractive - as a curiosity. He was fatuous & brilliant!
"You know Katherine when I was in that dreadful place I was haunted by the memory of a cake. It used to float in the air before me - a little delicate thing stuffed with cream and with the cream there was something scarlet. It was made of pastry and I used to call it my little Arabian Nights cake. But I couldn't remember the name. Oh, Katherine it was torture." [KM Notebooks, undated]