36. 8 June 1990 [ES] (Mendel; Swinburne; disrelish of anything mysterious; holocaust as catastrophic consequence)
Thanks for yours. I fear that the mechanisms of inheritance are rather opaque to me, as I believe they were to Mendel. I think his peas were rather privileged in being either wrinkled or fat; many of us are, alas, both. I don't know whether blue eyes are ineluctably dominant over recessive hazel, without exception. I bet Jean Overton Fuller doesn't either. Didn't I once read her on Swinburne, of whom she rather disapproved?
No, I've never been a Baconian in the Shakespearean sense. I have a great disrelish of anything mysterious, and the occult horrifies me. Truth ought to be naked and open daylight: otherwise one might be tempted to yield to a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself, with catastrophic social consequences such as the holocaust, the direst legacy of lunatics like Luther.
I can't now recall whether I've sent you the enclosed, the latest blast of the trumpet. There are signs that the walls are at last tumbling: they have long been crumbling. I've just sent a plan for a new big book to a publisher friend; I'll tell you how it goes. What f your own work? Shall we sight you on these shores this summer?
Best as ever,