Item 43 - Letter from Oswald Valentine Sickert to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Oswald Valentine Sickert to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 2 Nov 1920 (Creation)

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Diccionario Enciclopedico Hispano Americano, Fernanflor, 6 - Madrid - Apartado 847. - Asks Trevelyan if he can look out of a young Chinese friend of his, F. P. Ling, who has recently come to London and is currently staying at the Chinese Legation. They worked together for a year in Shanghai; Ling is very young, affectionate and clever. Does not know what 'overlay of bright & vague Americanism' he might have acquired during his year in the States; Sickert feels it is wrong that so many Chinese look back with affection to America rather than England. Don Julio [Álvarez del Vayo] has returned to Madrid with his wife, 'very full of Bolshevik propaganda in Germany' but unsure how their methods would work in Spain; Duran is still 'a staunch believer in violence wherever & whenever', but fortunately, since Sickert does not know how he would manage without him, this resolution 'is somewhat in abeyance here'. The Liberal leaders totally insipid: they not been heard of since Dato called a new election early next year. Supposes that one reason for the Liberals' failure is that though they 'want things for other people - for Irish, Indians & working men... they have not for a generation & more wanted anything for themselves' and would therefore be content, 'selfishly & personally' with a regime they do not approve of. Sorry Trevelyan has, at least for the moment, put aside his work in which a young man went through 'a wonderful medley of adventures... embracing, like the encyclopaedia, the whole range of human experience.' Excitement in Madrid as Catalina Bárcena is returning to perform "Pigmalion" [sic: Shaw's "Pygmalion"]; does not know if Trevelyan remembers her from the Eslava [theatre]; says Margarita Xirqu is the only other actor worth talking about. Argentinita not yet back from the Argentine. [Ramón] Menéndez has suddenly returned from Toulouse: he does not like the French, which Sickert believes is generally the case with Spaniards. Ocaña is studying for a consular exam so Sickert has not seen him for months: cannot imagine a worse consul. Would like to see Cossio again: liked him and did not find him a bore. His wife has been reading "Howards End', the latest book by Pio Baroja, "Sensualidad Pervertida" and three new Russian grammars by Fowler; she liked "Howards End" as much as ever, and has always admired Forster. Sickert himself did read Corneille in the past, but he was either too young or 'not up to him'. Hopes to see Trevelyan's Swedish friend. Sends regards to Trevelyan's wife; his own enjoyed the Hague very much when she was on a conference in Flanders 'under false pretences'; says he cannot forgive [Walter] Jackson for not having a Dutch encyclopaedia instead of a Spanish one.

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