Hide footnotes
Display footnotes

Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 16 June 1929.

[p.1 recto]

16th June 1929.

Dearest George,

I am sending the enclosed to W.B. c/o you so that if he does anything with Russell he'll be able to say that I mentioned the things in a letter to you and Russell needn't think that he is being got at by me directly through W.B. Its a bother and I wouldn't worry you or W.B. but now that everything has come to an end I must get publicity for what little I have done if I am to keep my head above water or do anything else.

Love ever


I wouldn't have Russell or anyone in Dublin know of my difficulties with Miss Burt. The Director of the Institute remains extraordinarily friendly and says if he has anything to do with it and I'm willing I'll be back there when his [p.1 verso]own period of probation comes to an end (in a year's time). I dine with them one evening this week. As the Trinity man here at the Ecole wanted to stay on I told the authorities I was going to Rome when they asked me what I'd like to do. I am quite undecided what I'll do, but apart from the fact of my liking my colleague Beckett, I didn't think it wise to let myself be a further cause of contention between TCD and the Ecole. It's my bad luck that Herriot is no longer minister of Education here or they'd have been able to arrange for me to stay as well as Beckett as they did last year and as I believe they would genuinely like to again.

The poem accepted recently is an expurgated edition — the reference to W.B. & himself left out —of the one I showed you at Rapallo about Hester. Don't tell Dolche. She loved it — and Hester didn't mind it — au contraire — and it would give her Dolche a lot of pleasure to see it in print one fine morning. I do think Russell might at least keep a promise about a perfectly harmless little poem. Even if it weren't harmless one would think he'd do something after making a promise. It's a case of one damned thing after another coming on me just now.

[p.2 recto] Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to WB Yeats.

Ecole Normale Supèrieure
Paris, 5 me

Dear Mr. Yeats,

A favour to ask — this,

Russell has had my Leonardo translation six weeks and no review of it has appeared. If it had been sent for review in the ordinary way it would matter less to me — he ignored the book which included my essay on George Moore but that was not sent to him at my request and I felt no responsibility. The Leonardo was however sent to him at my special request, the publisher had not intended sending one, and if no review appears I'll have to offer the publisher the price of the book and insist on his accepting it.

With that Russell took a poem of mine over two months ago and said he was going to publish it in a fortnight, but it has not appeared. It is two years since he took my poem about Hieronymus Bosch and never [p.4]published it, but there at least he qualified his acceptance by saying he thought it was above the heads of his readers and I suppose I must not complain. But in this last instance there was definite and unqualified acceptance.

Can you, without putting yourself about do anything with him. It was on the strength of his acceptance of my poem that I subscribed for his paper at a time when I can ill afford such luxuries.

I hope George and yourself are flourishing and keeping well in Dublin. I had a card of the rapturous kind that would amuse you from Anne the other day. She added Michael's name so that the conveniences should be observed!

Yours sincerely,

Thomas McGreevy .

You'll be glad to hear that my Leonardo had two columns of extremely favourable notice from Arnold Bennett in The Evening Standard and the same from young Quennell in The New Statesman and a shorter but intelligent bit in The Manchester Guardian. I have no news yet as to sales however. Please forgive me for worrying you but [p.2 recto]I fear that I may be being pushed out of Anglo-Irish life like Joyce and Colum and other wild geese of the new dispensation. And in my case at any rate that would be against my will or desire. I am only too anxious to bridge the gulf from the other end without at the same time being a mere tame papist like Bodkin, Curran, Starkie etc who au fond cherish dislike and distrust and lack of courage.