Letter from Milada Součková to Jindřich Chalupecký dated 10 November 1947

New York 10/Nov/47
Dear Chalupecký,
I’m sending you all together – but first I still have to dictate and correct something from it – three stories, I repeat, three stories and one article with the title: A letter from Washington to Mr. Jindřich Chalupecký. I really like the title because it is “functional” and I am very curious what you will say about the stories. I am very proud of them and ask that you not assume a dialectical position and that you not say that they are worthless. For I think that they are very good. First of all, I think that they are written in a clear style, which I have never used before and which I think few people in our country are able to use. So what if I’ve praised the goods? I’m selling them. But that’s merely an automatic conclusion.
Lately, I’ve discovered that I’ve changed a lot here. I shall write differently than before. I recently read part of Neznámý člověk (The Unknown Person), and not that I want to distance myself from it, but it’s now quite foreign to me. In short, I ripen here like an apple or a pear. Let’s just hope that worms don’t get inside me. I feel it in me that I could write now, but I don’t have the time, at least not for something bigger; it would be really something if I could start working on such a piece of rock. I just walk around these massive rocks and think how wonderful it would be to have workers who would break me off a piece so I could give it a go.
I am now reading various studies on the modern novel, very good and interesting ones; these are all things that have to do with my half-written and half-unfinished work. On the one hand, I’m happy to see that there are people in the world who think like me, and yet I’m unhappy that they have all kinds of work opportunities, publication possibilities, and I’m still just this fucking Součková. I’ll tell you one thing: here the theory and modern history of literature is on a level that Europe could only dream of.
And now let’s end all the talk and get to the point: the English texts in the stories – perhaps they should be translated at the bottom of the page so that they don’t accuse us of snobbery. I wanted to translate it myself, but then I thought maybe it’s better that Hauková translates it. There is very little work to be done.
Please get me the money from Pamír. I had some things sewn in Prague and will need the money.
Please be so kind as to look into the publisher Melantrich and find out what they intend to do with my stuff. Jiránek was here from the publisher Fr. Borový and was lamenting that nobody was writing anything and that they had nothing to publish. Even here I see that they are publishing all sorts of anecdotes from the past century just to have something to print, and that Heyduk’s works and many other such things are reprinted. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but when I see people like Jiránek the blood rushes to my head and I see red. Alas, I refrained from saying anything. But then I told Münzer and now I’m entrusting myself to you – just so that you’ll do something with those manuscripts. I would feel more at ease if I knew that it will be printed, that it will endure. For the manuscript will get lost and nothing at all will be left, and considering the misery in which I live, I only plan for the future.
Believe me when I say that I’m not counting on worldly fame, especially since I know
that when my book is published only unpleasantries will ensue. In fact, I hope it is published and nobody notices, just those who understand something.
After all, that misery and confusion of literary criticism and its battlefield – a decent person wants nothing to do with it. Take Hostovský: he still writes the same. One book is twelve and the other is a dozen, and they glorify the first one and knock him down for the other. This cannot be taken seriously and no longer with indulgence.
Thirdly: I have a play somewhere in the manuscripts in the apartment, or maybe at Frejka’s place in Vinohrady (also one copy) and another one at Šmída’s. So please send one of them to me via the office. I’m also writing Hauková about this. Maybe she could do it.
All I ask from is that you please do me that favour with Pamir and at Melantrich.
And please save the money owed to me for my writings in Listy in the magazine’s bank account.
Please don’t be upset that I’m asking these things of you. Please understand.
I hope you know that this is not the reason that I’m writing you, that I’m not just sending you my writings because I want them printed but I enjoy sending them to you. You’re probably the only person in the world who has any relationship to my writing, and I’m sure you know how much that means to me.
Just today, Münzer, Kodíček (he’s here for a short time) and Jiránek were talking in my office about how clever you are. I’m not saying this to flatter you, and anyways I’m sure you’re aware of it, it just came out that way.
So once again: Please do me that favour with Pamir and Melantrich. I’ll ask Hauková to do the other thing.
My life is still the same – plenty of work and, as for my personal life, I know that you are only interested in me in a remote way, so I won’t even go into it. Nevertheless, I am interested in it, and one cannot separate one’s work and everything related to it. For you, however, my writing is dominant in our friendship.
So, I’m sending it to you, but it’s just a fragment. With very best regards and valuing your friendship.
Cordially yours, M. Součková
Write me!
Subject: A Woman in the Pantheon
Author: Součková, Milada
Title: Letter from Milada Součková to Jindřich Chalupecký dated 10 November 1947
Origin: fond Jindřich Chalupecký
Licence: Free license

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