16 July 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Id like, if I may, to discuss the other points in your letter. Let me see if I understand you. You mean you can only ‘care' for such things as the little cat, the old man, the note of a bird, in the period of reaction against your belief in Pain & a life of sacrifice & yourself But as your belief is all-important to you that period of reaction means little. Am I right? Therefore the last of the five stories was the only one you really cared about for there you express your very self. . . I mean, you are writing with real conviction. Do you know what I feel? To do this successfully you will have to do it more indirectly. You will have to leave the student out. Now there is a moment in that story where you succeed. Its where the little girl's throat works - she weeps. She wants the apple & is afraid she is not going to have it. (Always remembering this is just my personal feeling.) Your student argues, explains too much. He ought perhaps to have said not a single word.
   But I hope you will go on writing. The important thing is to write, to find yourself in losing yourself (There is no truth profounder. I do not know myself whether - this world being what it is - pain is not absolutely necessary. I do not see how we are to come by knowledge & Love except through pain. That sounds too definite expressed so baldly. If one were talking one would make reservations . . . Believe in pain I must. [To Arnold Gibbons, 13 July 1922.]