Diana Trilling, June 8, 1965

From Project Mailer
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
June 8, 1965

Dear Diana,

Just a line. I’m getting ready to start work on a novel, so I’m doing my best to try to clear up correspondence ruthlessly, ruthlessly. There’s no pleasure in it now, but the alternative is to let it feed upon half the week. But it does deprive me of writing a long letter in answer to yours, and that’s a shame because I think in replying to your honest and most gently stated criticisms of An American Dream I would have formulated certain things about the book for myself. I don’t know if I’m getting mellow or if it’s the nature of the book itself, or even just the way the book was written, but for the first time I’ve written a novel about which I feel altogether two-headed, which is that there are any number of occasions when my private opinion comes close to the worst of the reviewers, and I really think it is an extraordinary piece of crap. But of course there are just as many other days when I decide quite calmly that it’s probably the first novel to come along since The Sun Also Rises which has anything really new in it. And that with all my faults, I’m the only one around who’s doing anything interesting in writing at all. So you can see that with this unresolved argument going on in my dear head I hardly can get excited when my friends are unhappy about the whole thing. Anyway, angel, you and Lionel will be back in the fall. Maybe by then it will be clearer in all our heads. Incidentally, we’re going to be in Provincetown until October 5. So if you come to the city before then and it inspires you with horror, which has happened to me after many a year in Europe, and you feel that you have to get out for a few days, take a flying trip up to us. We’re going to have lots of room this summer and would of course love to have all two of you, all three of you, however it might go.

Give our best to Guronay and Margie, and the very best of everything to Lionel,


P.S. I look forward to your description of Upton House up close, and bless you for your jealousy when they said nice things. How human you are. The very last one.

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An American Dream Expanded.