Aerogram Signed Edward Mendelson to Stella Musulin 1980-12-01
AuthorMendelson, Edward
  • Mayer, Sandra
  • Frühwirth, Timo
PublisherAustrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Vienna 2021
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Cite this Source (MLA 9th Edition)Andorfer Peter, Mayer Sandra, Frühwirth Timo, Mendelson Edward, Neundlinger Helmut and Stoxreiter Daniel. Auden Musulin Papers: A Digital Edition of W. H. Auden's Letters to Stella Musulin. Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2022, .

0001                                          39 Claremont Ave, apt 32
0002                                          New York NY 10027
0003                                          USA

0004                                          1 December 1980

0005 Dear Stella,

0006 I just got back from a month in England to find your letter. I was
0007 rather worried as to how you were, and am delighted to hear that
0008 you're on the ascent after a "decline."  I'm also abashed not to have
0009 been in touch with you before about the collapse of our four-memoir
0010 book, but the whole thing has been farcical and uncertain.  Here are
0011 the basics.  First, there should be no need to repay any of the
0012 advance (I haven't spoken with Random House about this, except with
0013 an ill-informed assitant, but there shouldn't be any problem), and
0014 second, I hope you haven't gone out of your way to work on the thing
0015 again.  The structure collapsed in two or three stages.  First Lincoln
0016 Kirstein read the forthcoming biography by Humphrey Carpenter (not bad,
0017 not spectacularly good), and decided he didn't know enough Auden to
0018 add new facts, that he wasn't really worthy to be a memoirist, etc.
0019 None of this has any truth, but Kirstein is not a person to argue with.
0020 He managed to persuade me, in September, that the book should at least
0021 be left to stew for a while.  Then Spender finally sent in a first
0022 draft of his piece, which, between us, was a disaster.  At this time
0023 Charles Monteith had a look at it, and agreed.  When I saw Charles
0024 in London a couple of weeks ago, we formally let the thing drop, and
0025 I think he already wrote you about it.

0026 I still think your piece is first-rate (the copyright is yours, by the
0027 way), and I hope you'll publish it, perhaps with a word or two of
0028 information from Christa Esders if that's possible.  (Did you learn
0029 anything from her??)  If you want me to try to place it in this country,
0030 I'll do my best with it.  Do let me know.  I feel very sorry that you
0031 went to all this trouble for--up to now--nothing, and for many reasons
0032 I should like to see the piece in print.

0033 No, I haven't got to Vienna for five years now, and couldn't afford
0034 a visit this year.  Next summer, if my job is sorted out, I would very
0035 much like to come over again.  This past summer I tried ringing you a
0036 few times at 4217175, but got no reply.  Is that your number?  Mine here
0037 is 212 222-0679 if there's ever a reason to need it.

0038 Please do forgive me for the muddle over the book.  And please do keep
0039 in touch.  Incidentally I finished that critical book--to be published
0040 in the spring--after doing nothing but work on it for a year.  My "summer"
0041 trip to England got postponed to November while I revised.

0042 Yours ever,

0043 Ed

0044 Edward Mendelson
0045 39 Claremont Ave apt 32
0046 New York NY 10027

0047                                          Frl Baronin
0048                                          Stella Musulin
0049                                          Schlösselgasse 8/17
0050                                          A-1080 Wien
0051                                          Austria