16. 14 October 1966 (Journalism; book on cipher)
I was backing in my superlative form of address for some minutes before going on to read what you had to say about postage; when I was chasteningly reminded of Tom Hood's address to his tailor, beginning "Oh my very dear Sir". But never fear; restitution shall duly be made. If I spoke of a debt that could never be repaid, I didn't mean the postage.
As to criticism; I enclose a faded cutting of almost no interest, which you may keep. As to journalism, – you may call yourself a journalist, but (otherwise I shall write you querulous letters of complaint) only on condition that you do so within the sense of the following quotation, which you will place instantly –
"... journalism can claim to be the highest form of literature, for all the highest literature is journalism. The writer who aims at producing the platitudes which are ‘not for an age, but for all time’ has his reward in being unreadable in all ages;... I also am a journalist, proud of it, deliberately cutting out of my works all that is not journalism, convinced that nothing that is not journalism will live long as literature, or be of any use whilst it does live."
Thank you for the latest batch. I'm very proud of my ticks, which I'm thinking, of publishing separately. Speaking of publishing, I have today written (as we say) to Donald Mitchell asking whether Faber & Faber might be interested in a book on cipher, Clara-themes, and the like; and in dong so I have Mentioned Your Name – in vain, perhaps; but I thought I had better tell you so that you can brace yourself for the resounding silence that will no doubt follow.