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Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 11 June 1928.

[p.1 recto]

Ecole Normale
11th June 1928

Dearest George,

I'm so glad you're stopping a night and look forward to seeing you. Must it absolutely be the 18th? The ballet won't be functioning that night the night after there is a Stravinsky gala with Noces Pulcinella and the new one, Apollon. You may be all right at your hotel but I can easily get a room at the Trianon where Lennox stays if you think better of it. What a pity that WB should be upset by these OCasey imbecilities. Tell him from me that he has never conducted anything with more dignity and consideration at the same time. Of course the Irish Times was absurd, and low, and the Statesman not much better — I wish the fence could be blown from under Russells fat behind with dynamite. And as for O'Casey himself he has made good capital out of it.

I'm sorry after 82 also, but its better not think about it any more. Dolche is the most desolated of us all I think. She really wrote piteously to me about it.

My dear it wasn' for asking for a specimen [p.1 verso]translation that I was cross with Lennox. Its perfectly reasonable and I told him I was ready to send him the whole thing if necessary before he committed himself. No. He wrote magisterially about "bad translations" being "the ruin of reputations", &c. And I told him if he felt like that about it perhaps he'd rather choose somebody else. As if I wasn't aware of the dangers of bad translations after all our drama league experiences with those American versions of Sierra. Apropos, I dont think you really agree about good writers & translators &c. Think of the difference between Granville Barker's Sierra's & the American ones or the difference between W.B. & Gilbert Murray. And as if I wouldn't be careful for a friend above all. He is obviously reluctant to give it to me and he has the usual AEish dislike of France that practically all Anglo-Irish people with the solitary exception of W.B. have so he doesn't much care whether it is done here or not. If he is not reluctant it would have been easy to give it more graciously. I went to the trouble of saying I'd be happy to be included in his anthology which was something of an exaggeration but these things make the wheels of life go round a little more smoothly. To be quite honest it doesn't thrill me at all to appear in an anthology with Higgins, ODonovan, Harry Stuart &c. But this for yourself only.

It is good of you to take so much rouble with my Valéry. I wouldn't honestly have bothered you only were always so interested in my efforts when nobody else except Phibbs was. Valery the French say isn't always very clear himself, but I think there are fine passages in the essay and if I've got any of them and if the rest read like English I'd be satisfied. I'm sure I'd make [p.2 verso]many minor corrections which would make it more vivid if I saw it printed, but in typescript there is very little more to be done with it. However if you and W.B. decide it isn't good enough I had better not keep Valéry waiting any longer but tell him to accept Heinemann's offer for the American translation. Could you perhaps bring the copy you have? I promised to give a copy to the Valéry archives whether I published or not and Sturge Moore having ruined the one I sent him I must send them that. Its a nuisance, I'm sure I put not less than 600 or 700 hours work into it at least and publication of it would do me good here but I am so dead tired of the whole history of it that I shall be glad for it to be ended one way or t'other.

I hope there is good news always of Michael. My love to Anne as to her Papa and to yourself ever


By the way I was literally wakened from a long long and interesting dream of a conversation with W.B. about gaspillant sea forces instead of working at one thing steadily and industrially – to receive your letter. He was being extraordinarily sympathetic and interesting about his own writing & everything.