Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 17 May 1928.[p.1 recto]
Ecole Normale Supérieure
17th May 1928
Your letter this morning. Indeed I have it very much on my conscience troubling you at all at such a time. You must be almost as distracted with these lesser affairs now as you were with more serious ones in the winter. And I hadn't meant to bother you with the thing at all only for Sturge Moore's poison gas. I do realise however that if he gives himself airs of papal infallibility I at least may be wrong, and it may be very bad as a translation. Leonard Woolf at the same time, as I think I told you, said it was "obviously very good". But that was in rejecting it and as I have good reason to know kind words come easy to people who are turning one down. But he does dislike Valéry's work in the original and he had told me so before. Try it on W.B. by all means that is to say as much as he can stand of it. I know he didn't care for the original either, but a good word of his re the translation would obviously be of value to counteract the effect of Sturge Moore's views chez Valéry's and Co. However it is not that I pretend to be detached about it myself if you and W.B. think honestly that it is not good It'll be said by you and tell Valéry to accept the offer for the American translation with a good grace [p.1 verso]and no complaints after — au contraire. I'm very grateful to you for agreeing to look thro' it — don't trouble to read more of it than you can stomach or than you can make time for.
I'm very sorry it arrived in such a state. It was the same with Sturge Moore. Evidently big loose French envelopes and the Republican registered post are as undependable as small tight Italian envelopes and the Fascist registered post.
When you pass through to or from Switzerland there will be no Duncan or other complications in Paris and not too tired if you have half an hour's delay I'll be very happy to see yourself and Michael. I hope the news of him keeps good.
Ellie Duncan has gone away to London. Alan & Belinda are in Tours. Jim is here but is not intrusive on the likes of me these times. And there is no one else. I scarcely ever see "Lilla Vaufston."
A delicious letter from Mrs. Shakespear a night or two ago, highly shocked at my discovery of a fresco by Guido Reni worth looking at and Dorothy reported shocked because I said that most of the Piero della Francesca's at Arezzo were mathematically magnificent and psychologically somewhat uninteresting — "Dorothy does not find them uninteresting from any point of view". They are a pet of a family.
Love to Anne as to yourself and W.B. & forgive me again. Tom.