1930 -1933. Letters. Fine group of letters from Lewis SIGNED in full to critic Selden Rodman. Two of the letters are brief social exchanges. Another is a two-page typed letter dated 22 October 1930 from Vermont. In part: "I'm delighted by the HARKNESS HOOT [Yale University campus magazine co-founded by Rodman in 1930]. I'm sure that whether it lives to be a grand old Etruscan ruin like the LIT. [THE YALE LITERARY MAGAZINE, the oldest literary magazine in the United States], or whether it lasts only a few years, it will have an -- no, I won't say an 'enlivening' but rather, a maturing effect on the (decreasingly) immature mind of Yale. I was once on the LIT.; I know what your revolt must have been." Lewis then expounds on co-founder William Harlan Hale's essay in the first number of the magazine, "Twenty or Over," saying that he thinks Hale "is wrong in saying that 'the literary movement begun a decade ago by Lewis, Dreiser, Anderson, and Mencken.....a movement of disillusioned intellectuals.....its spiritual father was the war.' In the first place, Mencken and Dreiser or Anderson and Lewis have about as little in common as Cabell and Willa Cather. In the second place, I don't think the war was the spiritual father of any of these -- certainly it wasn't of Dreiser. His SISTER CARRIE was published, first, thirty years ago, in 1900! -- and it is characteristic of all his work." The one-page AUTOGRAPH LETTER, from Austria, dated 9 December , regards Rodman's initiating the magazine COMMON SENSE. In full: "Good luck to your magazine. But I haven't much optimism for it. I have seen far too many new periodicals started of late. And I don't see anything in your program that won't, between them, already be covered by NATION, NEW REPUBLIC, + NEW MASSES. But I shall be delighted if you prove me wrong." Accompanied by two envelopes hand addressed by Lewis. Both long letters are scorched in the margins to varying degrees, the handwritten one with some loss of letters. Both envelopes are also scorched. Condition ranges from Fair to Near Fine. Item #019823
Selden Rodman was a prolific writer of creative and critical works, an editor of several important anthologies, and a co-editor of the socialist magazine COMMON SENSE. We in years past had a collection of letters from Robert Lowell to Rodman that also showed signs of surviving a fire.