Letter to Václav Černý (1939)

Slatiňany, 16 Feb. 39
My Dear Doctor! Thanks for the message and the manuscripts. Maybe it will be good this way. I know (illegible) what you wrote to Kritický měsíčník about our poetry. But it is not without meaning and topicality in other (illegible) to repeat such consequences. As the editor of the daily Lidové noviny and the weekly Pestrý týden, I have returned so many manuscripts – and to what people! – that I would be extremely surprised if anyone felt insulted over a returned manuscript. I cannot serve in that way as an old editor. It is a complicated matter, and lastly a matter of “fitting in”. Please note that I will be very grateful if you return the manuscript to me, without delay, like you did this time, since then things do not begin to stink and can be used elsewhere. The second thing is that I ask you to make changes in the manuscript in all minor matters because there are extraordinary conditions and I, living in the country, lack the sensitivity of what can and cannot be written, and do not forget that we are all at the publisher F. Borový and not at Novina. We all have to make this situation easier, not harder, for this publishing house in everything it publishes. So just cross out, tone down, etc.
I have – knowing full well that you have a positive, amicable view of that which I have published and of who I am as a person – the best intentions to serve Kritický měsíčník, however necessary. But I have to make myself compatible. I would like to know what you would say if I wrote a piece in the form of a more complex article packed with ideas. I would like to do that for no other reason that they are constantly forcing me at the daily Lidové noviny to adopt a more popular diction for people who
“don’t want to think”. As a journalist I understand that newspapers are not cultural reviews, but I have to forcefully push myself to use this popularist language in e.g. Šibalství svršků. And yet they cut out entire pages of my text because they find them too scholarly.
So should I ponder these themes for you?:
The matter of personality (Personalism)
The school did not lose, socialism lost (an article on this thought; on a new school)
Therefore, I would like to agree on something – please suggest something that you would like to see in K. M. – those things, if I write to someone (illegible), I would find it difficult to place them somewhere.
If I were in Prague, we could quickly arrange it at the Metro. This way – I know – is harder.
Thank you once again and with my very best wishes,
I got 170 crowns today, that’s really, for the times, a noble fee for that Chalupný. If I get an advance, it will go straight to the tax office; they are chasing me and want the shirt off my back. This year I will be writing only for the tax authorities (4,000 owed for my pension tax.).
Subject: In the network
Author: John, Jaromír
Title: Letter to Václav Černý (1939)
Licence: Free license

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