Item 6 - Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 19 Apr [1919?] (Creation)

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British Museum, W.C. - Lucky that he did not come [to visit Bob, see 17/4], as he developed flu; is alright now, and asks if the weekend of 17 May would work instead. Hopes the Shoves came; has not seen them; sure Francis [Birrell?] arrived. Has been 'deluged' with proofs for "Jap[anese] Poetry", "The Story of Ts'ui Ying-ying ", and "More Translations from Chinese", though the last is not due to be published until September so he need not rush. Asks if Bob would be kind enough to look it over after Miss [Beryl] de Zoete, who is 'fairly good at spotting howlers'. The sum he mentioned as a possible fee from the Art Theatre '[for Bob translating Aeschylus' "Prometheus", see 17/2?] was too large; believes it would be about twenty-five pounds, but this is unofficial. Enjoyed James [Strachey]'s piece about Claudel's "L'Otage" in the "Athenaeum", as well as Lytton [Strachey]'s essay on Lady Hester Stanhope [in the issues of 4 and 11 April]; it 'ought to be rather an entertaining periodical under its new management'.

Received a cheque for a hundred and forty five pounds from Constable; this seemed very little, but it turned out to be for his cousin Adolf Waley for "The Re-making of China". He himself had sold about 1300 copies [of "A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems"] by 31 December. Asks Bob whether he agreed terms with Constable for his [translation of Sophocles'] "Ajax"; heard that he could not do so with Unwin. Yoshio Markino visited him yesterday and 'got very excited trying to write down his favourite Chinese poems'; however, he could not remember the characters and 'sat holding his head in his hands & groaning'; he learned them in Japan as a child, nearly fifty years ago. Heard from [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson 'discovering a "Chinese passage" in Shakespeare'; has 'not quite succeeded in deciphering his letter'. Dickinson also told him that Thomas Hardy prefers Cranmer-Byng to him which is 'hardly surprising'; he was 'astonished' to hear Hardy liked his own versions at all. Ezra Pound is going to settle at Toulouse, where he will 'wake up the sleepy Meridionals'. Wonders if [John] Rodker's [Ovid] Press has begun to print yet; feels he should order some books from it, but knows he would 'hate them so when they came'. Has got a gramophone and 'catalogues of all the exotic music of the Globe' but does not know how to choose. Has lots of 'India, Chinese, Lithuanian, Russian, Arabian, Serbian, Hungarian and Spanish records [to choose from?]'; has only got Mozart and rag-time at present.

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