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The Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume I

Summer 1913

Summer 1913

I've nursed the Epilogue to no purpose. Every time I pick it up and hear “You'll keep it to six,” I can't cut it. To my knowledge there aren't any superfluous words: I mean every line of it. I don't “just ramble on” you know, but this thing happened to just fit six and a half pages. You can't cut it without making an ugly mess somewhere. I'm a powerful stickler for form in this style of work. I hate the sort of licence that English people page 3 give themselves … to spread over and flop and roll about. I feel as fastidious as though I wrote with acid. All of which will seem, I suppose unconvincing and exaggeration. I can only express my sincerest distress (which I do truly feel) and send you the Epilogue back. If you and Wilfrid feel more qualified for the job…. Oh, do by all means—But I'd rather it wasn't there at all than sitting in The Blue Review with a broken nose and one ear as though it had jumped into an editorial dog-fight. It's a queer day, with flickers of sun. The Epilogue has worried me no end: and I can still hear, tossing about, the aftermath of that thunder. “It's not fair. Swinnerton can do it … you've got to cut it”… etc., etc. Can't you cut a slice off the D. Brown? I really am more interesting than he is—modest though I be….

P.S.—Don't think of this letter. I'm frightfully depressed to-day … sad beyond words.