17. 17 March 1988 [ES] (More on detraction)

previously unpublished; © the estate of eric sams and beatrice cazac (Mrs. Mathew’s letters)

Dear Hayat,

   Forgive the intention tremor - it's the train's, not mine. Or so I hope. Here's a return PS. 'What everyone else used to get wrong' meant - before your book. Enfin Hayat vint.

   Why not just say what your second paragraph says '... and this is what is being taught today'? Then start.

   I can see, if I concentrate, why you have to rectify each detraction. But I can't see why you have to controvert each separate detractor?

   I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to Diana and Roy last night, at a club concert (highlights - for me - Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch I and Brahms Liebeslieder).

   Tonight I'm about to hear Udo Reinemann and Roger Vignoles in Winterreise. And I've just taken out of the London Library J. C. Crowther's 1960 study of Bacon. At a quick glance, he doesn't seem to feel that the topic of detraction is even worth a mention.

   Please don't think I'd venture to cavil about the book you feel you should write; that would be mere impertinence on my part. It's just that I felt I should say a word about the book that other people feel they should read (i.e. that publishers feel they should publish); and even there I'm offering only my own personal reaction for whatever that may be worth. For my own part I find the detraction of great men by petty academics so odious that I don't want even to be reminded of not even for the admittedly salutary purpose of rectification. Warmest good wishes, as ever yours Eric