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Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 24 February 1926.

[p.1 recto]

at 15 Cheyne Gdns
S.W. 3.
24th February, 1926.

George I'll never speak to you again if you don't send me a letterMacGreevy's last letter from Yeats was dated 31 December 1925note — do for Gods sake send a word. I live in a nunneryThe home of Hester Travers-Smith, 15 Cheyne Gardens, and later at number 17, became MacGreevy's home for the greater part of the time he lived in London (1925-27 and 1933-41) where he occupied an intermediate position between a boarder and a family member.note built in what is to all intents and purposes a wilderness. My sisters in J.C. are good and kind but I pine for variety and I get even less in London than I got in Dublin. And Lord how dependent one is on society. I need it at least as much as books, pictures, music &c. And I get very little. I go to the cinema two evenings a week on an average, but leave in an hour or less. I go to hear GerhardtElena Gerhardt, the renowned German mezzo-soprano.note — the first time Mrs. Shakespeare came with me and wished and wished you were with her when Gerhardt sang Brahms — and to concerts of Spanish music & French music & Lord knows what beside, and life gets steadily deadly. I read a lot of Paul Valéry, its the best thing I do at the moment so far as genuine pleasure is concerned.Valery's Introducion à la méthode de Léonard de Vinci was translated into English by MacGreevy and published by John Rodker to favourable reviews in 1929.note I see 'ErbHerbert Vincent Reade, or 'dear little 'Erb' was one of George Yeats's oldest friends.note once a fortnight. I met Eliot who was rather sweet (though we weren't easy with each other) and has been kinder than ever since.It is likely that MacGreevy met with Eliot at The Criterion offices on 19 January.note

No, instead of not speaking to you ever again I'll write a lament like this every week if you don't write to me. That'll be much worse for you. I was glad to hear from Lennox that Anne is so much better. My love to her and Michael. I expect you loved the Abbey riots.Referring to the riots that ensued during the performances of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars which examined the events and impacts of the Easter Rising. At the 11 February performance WB Yeats addressed the audience to defend O'Casey's play and admonish the protesters who had taken to the stage and started a fight with the cast. The controversy sparked "something of a whirlwind in Dublin" in the words of O'Casey and fueled a heated exchange of Letters to the Editor in Dublin papers.note I read the shocking O'Flaherty in the shocking rag last week.Liam O'Flaherty in a letter to the editor of The Irish Statesman attacked WB Yeats's defense of the playnote I've had a squint at the philosophyWB's A Vision: an explanation of life founded upon the writings of Giraldus and upon certain doctrines attributed to Kusta Ben Luka was actually founded on Yeats's automatic writing; it was first privately printed for subscribers only by T. Werner Laurie and issued in January 1925.note and hope to get hold of it again quite soon. Lennox advised AE on it. Bah-ee. I had a precarious evening with Lennox and Hester.Robinson, who was passing through London, invited MacGreevy and Hester Travers-Smith to dinner and the theatre on 16 January.note Three and a half hours on the tight rope between Elective Affinities!MacGreevy associated Goethe's Die Wahlverwandtschaften (translated as Elective Affinities, or Kindred by Choice) with Hester Travers Smith, using the phrase in his poem 'The Other Dublin', in which the protagonist is loosely based on Travers Smith. MacGreevy compares his evening with Hester and Lennox to the interaction between the characters in Goethe�s novel who are drawn to each other through 'elective affinities'. note I hope W.Bs. health is good & that he has been able to enjoy all the wars.

God Bless —


An encounter with your step-father at Mrs. Shakespeare. I think he must have thought me rather awful, but I liked him — so gentle and friendly & dignified & unlike me.

I got my horoscope done for £1.1s. and would love to have your comments on it. My God isn't Neptune dangerous. I am promised an appalling March!