08 November

8 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Always examine both sides. In my house both sides is buttered. Tuesday.
Re your Mrs A. I thought it was very good but . . . your feeling was really contained in your words: "the type it reveals is not very intriguing". She isn't your game. When all is said and done I feel that you havent time for her and you don't care a Farthing Taster whether she made her horse walk upstairs or downstairs or in my lady's chamber. She would weary you. What is there really to get hold of? Theres - nothing - in the sense you mean. The direct method (no, I can't for the life of me ‘see' the other) of examining the specimen isn't really much good except in so far as one can . . . make certain deductions - discover certain main weaknesses and falsities. But its a bit like trying to operate on a diseased mind by cutting open a brain. The devil is - oh the very devil is that you may remove every trace of anything that shouldn't be there & make no end of a job of it & then in her case in the case of all such women, the light comes back into the patients eyes and with it the vaguest of vague elusive maddening smiles . . . Do you know what I mean. Here's I think the root of the matter. What IS Insensitiveness? We know or we could find out by examination what it is NOT but it seems to me the quality hasn't been discovered yet. I mean its X - its a subject for research. It most certainly isnt only the lack of certain qualities: its a kind of positive unknown. Does all this sound most awful nonsense to you? My vocabulary is awful but I mean well & I faint I thirst to talk. [Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]