19 January 1922

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

   I should like to have friends, I confess. I do not suppose I ever shall. But there have been moments when I have realized what friendship might be. Rare moments - but never forgotten. I remember once talking it over with Lawrence and he said: ‘We must swear a solemn pact of friendship. Friendship is as binding, as solemn as marriage. We take each other for life, through everything - for ever. But it's not enough to say we will do it. We must swear.' At the same time I was impatient with him. I thought it extravagant - fanatic. But when one considers what this world is like I understand perfectly why L (especially being L) made such claims. . . I think, myself, it is Pride which makes friendship most difficult. To submit, to bow down to the other is not easy, but it must be done if one is to really understand the being of the other. Friendship isn't merging. One doesn't thereupon become a shadow and one remains a substance. Yes, it is terribly solemn - frightening, even. 

   Please do not think I am all for Joyce. I am not. In the past I was unfair to him and to atone for my stupidity I want to be fairer now than I really feel. . . I agree that it is not all art. I would go further. Little to me is art at all. It's a kind of stage on the way to being art. But the art of projection has not been made Joyce remains entangled in it, in a bad sense, except at rare moments! There is, to me, the great distinction between him and Proust. (Take Swann with Odette for instance) or take Richard in Elinor Colhouse......     [To Sydney Schiff, c.18 January 1922.]