Hart Crane

July 21, 1975

O Mark!

I write on your letter of July 11th.-A note as to the Fugitive piece:

I am scheduled with myself to revise, and should that, with reference to two other books besides those referred to in it; and a Chairman of a S. univ. Eng. Dep’t interested in the subject wants to try to find a placement for it when I have finished, revised. But you have a good deal in the (is it not) first version (I made a second).-I shall try to space out my replies to your questions. I know your feelings about the labor this will make for me. But it is owed by me to you personally and generally.-There is no reason other than pains of work against my writing on Hart Crane. I shall do this for Praeterita  [1], and I have done it incidentally here and there. Nothing that you can have read on the subject is other than a version-by malicious beggars of the literary world. H.C. himself got so corrupted with literary beggary that he eventually joined the circus of distortion of fact and jealous derogation. The Horace Gregory matter (that difficult name of his wife [Marya Zaturenska], I think she the source, main, of the jealous malevolence in that quarter) account is just about the lyingest piece of writing on me on record-personally, and critically. But you should grasp that there is not serious part of Hart Crane in the story of my work. For a short period there existed in N.Y. city a beautiful palship between us-we were, at least I was, and he was still a little, different from the parchment-coloured-souled lit.-jungle creatures of there. He had still some remnants of a natural wildness. I was, as he put it once to me, in moral nature of character, ‘virginal’. There was very little of mutual attention to our poetic work. We played together, quarreled sometimes as children might, did at times a nightly prohibition rounds-making-for drink but, mainly innocent hot rum at an Italian place, where all the crime-figures were on best behavior, and at another more open place, where there was a little dancing. ‘They’ used to think I was reforming him from his far-gone homosexuality. But that was out of the question-he was happy. Then the corruption of being watched, gambled on by the N.Y.C. and other literary watchers, for the ‘likely’ to attract widening critical attention, got him. But, no more, at this time.

I’ll comment in time on 14A [2] adequately for your dissertation’ s purposes. I am sure that you and Alan will get all this in order, between you, and of yourselves. I am happy about you and him, separately, and in your relation, one to the other.

I shall keep your questions as a schedule feature of the time ahead; and you will receive now and again an instalment of ‘data’.


1. A planned book on her experience in the literary world, eventually published as Under The Mind's Watch, Peter Lang, 2004

2. 14a, Laura Riding & George Ellidge, Arthur Barker,1934