Evelyn Blackett
aan
E. du Perron

Oxford, 27 oktober 1929

N.B. dates. - Read after Saturday (to be read first) - & Friday (to be read afterwards). -

 

Sunday - 11am.

 

Darling, -

The hurt was bad this morning till a while ago. After breakfast - music & visions - & then I went out chuckling to look for cigarettes (chuckling because of something funny somebody had said - & not cynically! - the ‘somebody’ was our little maid who is the most deliciously funny little soul that ever was: I must tell you some of the things she says - as I allow her to talk sometimes. The child is intelligent: I shall import her into my own home one day. She ought to get on famously with a French one I shall also import - who looked after me in France. I like to have things I like round me - congenial maids as well as pretty flowers & a delightful lover (you, my dear love!) & books, etc., etc.) - The day was fine, for the little birds twittered & the fair sun shone - & the young woman looked so pretty. I broke into somebody's apartment (a friend's of course) as all the cigarette shops here were closed - got the cigarettes, swore to accept an invitation for tonight - chuckled more coming back in the sunshine - & behold, my love, here I am! - Do you know what has happened, my dear Edward? The impersonal artistic instinct has come to the top - taken the edge off the hurt - & is enthusiastically reviewing our love with intent to turning it into literary matter! Now I loathe poetesses & women novelists who are sloppy - & write in maudlin fashion, about how they loved & lost, etc. I never imagined myself devoting a whole book to love - but I honestly think I could turn out something really interesting. Its saving grace in my eyes would be its sense of humour - & fantasy. It would be delicious to tell of the ‘microbes fragiles’ which make me desire you like fury - & of my maternal moments - when I would very much like to smack you hard for being a bad little boy - or kiss you better when you have got hurt - & all - & all based on a literary correspondence. Pure fantasy is out of fashion - which is a pity. You had it in the ‘historiettes’ & that's why I translated them - for I think it ought to be rescued from a cruel death.

- How quite things would wind up in this projected novel, I know not yet. It would be consummate fantasy to make both the heroine & the hero commit suicide - through their ardent love - which had never known physical contact!

- Do you know I feel as strong as six hundred lions! The thing is, I think, that I feel I've got you safe - that love biblically or sexually or both (which is love à l'anglais: poor dear old Edward) - that things will work out right according to the U.H. - The fact that you are married comes to hurt me profoundly every little while - but, as I have often said, I do not expect anything more than the ‘relatif bonheur complet’ in this delicious old life. - Besides, I shall make the most of the ‘relatif boheem complet’ in this delicious dd life. - Besides I shall make the most of the ‘relatif b.c.’ - I must make you suffer a little as you have made me suffer. Thus, I tell you that very soon one of the ex-fiancés (he is very handsome! - there, I hope that hurts horribly) is coming back to his beloved (myself) - after an absence of two years in the Bermudas - &, really, I may get re-engaged - because he is such a dear soul, - I cite him rather than some of the other ex-fiancés & possible new ones - because I rather incline to him at the moment. He is such a comfort - doesn't bother me when I don't want to be bothered - loves me in a profound & pure & loyal English way - & I remember I loved him terrifically at the time. So I shall probably let him take me in his arms & kiss my lips & feel my body very close to his - & have my love for a long or short period according to circumstances. -

Does that make you writhe? I hope so, profoundly. I would like you to see me with my lips against his - & his hand on my breast. I'd love you to - & would hope with all my strength - with all the force of my youth - that it would hurt, hurt, hurt - that you would want to cry out to heaven to stop it before you agonised. - Do you still think me so deliciously young my dear Edward? I should laugh at you - while loving you with all my strength. -

- Don't come immediately. Come to Oxford round about the 24th of November - or to Durham the last day of the Fellowship business. I should prefer you, however, to come to Oxford when I am back (that is about November 24th) for you are so inextricably woven into my Oxford life. -

Then, when you come, perhaps I shall be able to laugh aloud if I discover I don't love you after all. And you may not love me - or you may - & in that case you will have to stand aside & let me depart to the arms of the Bermuda gentleman, - if I don't love you.

All this reminds me of some ancient system of torture. -

I wish I could get on at once with the novel - but Rotrou & the bloody Fellowship & everything - However, I'll do my best. Rotrou is ‘passionant’. The last scene of Saint Genest makes me think of one possible & serious interpretation of the end of my projected novel, (that is the double & fantastical death of the heroine & hero) - a sort of inner meaning on Greek classical lines. - ‘Saint Genest’ is an actor - & takes the part of a Christian who is to be martyred for his past. Little by little, he becomes his hero - & is himself put to death because he has become a Christian. -

 
Plancien
 
‘Par votre ordre, Seigneur, ce glorieux acteur,
 
Des plus fameux héros fameux imitateur,
 
Du théâtre romain la splendeur et la gloire,
 
Mais si mauvais acteur dedans sa propre histoire
 
Plus entier que jamais en son impiété
 
Et par tous mes efforts en vain sollicité,
 
A du courroux des dieux contre sa perfidie
 
Par un acte sanglant fermé la tragédie ...
 
.......................................
 
Nous souffrions plus que lui par l'horreur de sa peine
 
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .....
 
Valérie
 
Vous voyez de quel soin je vous prêtais les mains
 
Mais sa grâce n'est plus au pouvoir des humains.
 
Maxime
 
Ne plaignez point, Madame, un malheur volontaire,
 
Puisque l'a pu franchir, et s'être salutaire,
 
Et qu'il a bien voulu, par son impiété,
 
D'une feinte en mourant faire une vérité.’

I think the possibilities are very great. Tell me what you think.

Eveline.

 

Origineel: Den Haag, Letterkundig Museum

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