24 June 2008

Letter 2.17

As for the book I'm working on, it's only an incident in my work and not its sole purpose -- which your 'after the book, what then?' question implies. After it is done I shall have the use of the book in my work and shall not have the distractions of preparing the book to interfere with that work, which I have been engaged in for almost 2 years now. Since it is the only work which has ever had a satisfaction in it, I don't see much sense in giving it up for something which actually repels me. Do you? So I don't expect to return to the States. I was unhappy there: here I am developing the way I want to. But explanations are useless, tiresome things. Whatever my reasons, they are sufficiently strong for me not to hedge about my future: I'm doing what I have to do here and what I can't do in the States. (This, of course, does not rule out the possibility of a visit -- with a return here. Or have you considered a visit here -- most welcome?)

Received a parcel of poetry -- no customs, no declarations at all. Poetry (Snodgrass, etc.) must be in a very privileged position in Ceylon (or, perhaps, in such a low position that the customs people don't even want to look at the titles).

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