21 November

21 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

E.B. had Masefield delivered into his hands. Its queer how an author always gives away finally his secret weakness. Here is anatomy of description instead of creative power - it comes of course from a weakness of creative power. One thinks the effect can be producing [sic] by an infinite piling on. But theres a whole fascinating argument dropped there. E.B. evidently wishes to keep in with J.M. (or perhaps thats unkind of me).
The review of Ruskin, too. Fancy talking of Ruskins "marvellous confidence in himself". Fancy being taken in to that extent! If the reverse was ever true of a man it was of R: his efforts are pitifully obvious to overcome this.
Sullivan tries to be a little knowing about Russia but its rather talks to our readers. D.L.M. is always good but Dent is disappointing - isn't he?
Poor old Aldous almost waves the flag off the stick! He's very exhausted on his book diet. He seems only to turn from books to books.
I hope you wont be offended by my saying all this, Boge. Its just how it struck me. The truth is Im not in a mood for papers & perhaps not sympathetic. I appreciate tremendously your difficulties. Oh what a trial it must be! Do you enjoy it at all?
We shall talk about all this when you come over. Youre not going to tell a soul about your giving up the paper till then - are you?
Moults novel is here. Je tremble dans mes souliers de fourrure. The worst of it is I shall tell the truth. I shant know Moult while I read it. I shan't be able to help myself. I posted you 4 novels today. I don't want any money for them. Keep the money - you can call it telegraph money.
[. . .]
Are you doing any of your own work?
[To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters, 1920]

Oh darling, Heres a Perfectly Dreadful Discovery of mine. Poor little Moult's book is the continuation of Opal Whiteley's Diary. He is in fact (this is for your ear alone) Opal Whiteley. Even the cat is called William Shakespeare & there are bits about roses in her cheeks & babies coming & horses having some tired feelings. In fact if I didn't know poor Tom I should have said so in print. [To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters, 23 November 1920]