Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 7 February 1928.[p.1 recto]
Ecole Normale Supérieure
7th February, 1928
I hope my letter to W.B. was of some slight interest, but I fear, it was the fourth effort one of the three previous efforts extending over 3 1/2 pages this size. It was all the more difficult as Lennox had told me W.B. liked the Wyndham Lewis stuff and to me its an adulterated re-statement of something with which I have for a longish time been familiar through Massis, Maritain, Maurras, and Gonzague Truc here and Eliot in London, the adulteration seeming to me to be all bad (and disorderly besides) and dating from Otto Weininger! I detest sado-masochistic misogyny.
About hotels, the Foyot is Mrs Shakespear's, Eliot's, the Pounds etc. It is, I believe, not dear. The restaurant however is dear, but its one of the most famous in Paris. Another hotel is the Triônon Palace where Tinche stays more up to date and more reasonable so far as price of food goes, but the table is reported L. does not eat there however to be rather Shelbournish flavourless and the ensemble is more pretentious. Both are in the rue Vanguard, 6th arrondissement
I hope you will manage to stay more than [p.1 verso] 2 days. For symphony concerts frequently including intently modern work Thurs, Sat & Sunday are the best days to be here. At the opera and the theatre the good things may happen any day. I am rediscovering Moliere. After 7 years of Racine worship he seems very undesperate but also very sympathetic. Racine was the born if not the original misanthrope, much too personal. As Eliot said about Blake the other day, The universe, created by any one man is much less interesting than the universe we all make together. There was a superb performance of Tartuffe for Molière's birthday a fortnight ago. I enjoyed every minute of it. At first I used only to go to opera here, the plays were too much for my French, but now I am more at my ease in the theatre only — a reversal of my old experience — I now get modern French better than classical. But tonight I saw the bitterest comedy I ever saw in my life I think and it nearly 250 years old, Le Sage's Turcaret. Beside it all modern bitterness were romantic theatricality.
Did you know that Tinche took a bottle of scent from Grasse to Merìel Moore and that she has broken off her engagement to a young man in Trinity. A big Rubensy woman I'm told which sounds significant. On the other hand she has neither moustache nor squint which are more important to him in a woman than any voice that ever was — soft & low. No Cordelias for Tinche. I feel more intrigued not having seen the lady. Do say what you think about it.
My Love ever and I hope you are both of you[p.1 recto] less worried healthily financially and every way and that the news of the children is good always.
Of course if I had a line from W.B. to discuss I could write away easily. It was the propounding of something abstract out of the blue that was difficult but I referred sufficiently to the change in attitude ??