1945-1960. An archive of 15 EE Cummings and Marion Morehouse Cummings items sent to Selden Rodman
A set of 3 letters, the first being an ALS from Marion to Rodman, dated July 27, '59 about having Seldon visit them. The second is a TLS by Cummings to Rodman, dated September 4, '59, that reads in part: 'when you suggested calling here with your little daughter, en route to friends in Maine, neither Marion nor I suspected that we might find ourselves entertaining a professional interviewer in disguise[.] now that (Via the book which you so kindly gave me) I realize who was our guest, or rather who he has become, let me make two things perfectly clear--1st, under no circumstances should I consent to be interviewed by him;& 2nd, anything I said in his presence was said privately (id est:not for publication)" and is signed. The third is a carbon copy of Rodman's response, reading in part: "Your letter of September 4 hurt me deeply. I do not go anywhere, or do anything, "in disguise." Had I wanted to write an interview, I would have asked your permission, and taken verbatim notes on the spot, as I did in the case of each of the artists in the book I gave you...Had I had the underhanded intent you so unkindly suggest, surely the last thing I would have done would be to make a gift of a book capable of arousing such a fear...I did say that if ever in some remote future I become nostalgic enough about the past two write what used to me [to write what used to be] called "memoires," I would illustrate it with my photos, and would appreciate adding yours to those that such poets as Frost, Williams, Pound, Jeffers,, Auden, et al seemed glad to have me take."
3 Typed Letters Signed by Cummings with some scorching in the margins, some loss of letters and edges trimmed, as is not unusual for material from the Rodman archive. All also have some water-staining and minor folds; The first is dated September and reads "may I somewhat tardily but most sincerely salute your generosity and ask it to believe that the present writer is as sorry to disappoint you as he is delighted to learn that just for a change I'm expensive? --yours for living P.S. no poet is dead. The second is dated February 8 194- and tells Rodman to write Cummings' agent regarding him including poems in something Rodman is putting together. The third is dated August 20 1945 and reads in part "Now as for "future plans", never have plans of any sort; as as for "this war's war poetry", I feel that the undersigned (being a participant, however feeble, therein) should hold his peace."
1 folded newspaper clipping of Marion Morehouse Cummings' obituary.;
1 greeting card with artwork based on a painting by EE Cummings, "greetings to you + B. from Cummings + Marion". Mild wear and rubbing, primarily to creases;
1 TLS, dated Dec 3, from EE Cummings answering three questions posed to him, being how he writes his name and two corrections to his poems, with a note that they can correct any other mistakes in the proofs. Water-staining to the uper edge and upper left corner. Signed by Cummings on the reverse.;
2 postcards, dated October 28 and Nov 14, '58, the first with greetings and asking for a copy of Rodman's "Mexican Journal" [Mexican Journal: The Conquerors Conquered], the second reading "Marion's now perusing (with delight) your Mexican Journal; while our unhero wrestles with his autumn-winter "readings", not to mention --ars longa", both signed with "eec" in red";
1 postcard, dated September 10, '59, with a line from Cummings poem 'may my heart always be open to little…,' reading in red ink "and even if it's sunday may i be wrong" and signed by him with 'eec' in blue.;
3 ALS on 4 sheets from Marion, dated 1959/1960.
RW consignment; shelved case 0.
Shelved Dupont Bookstore
All are from the archive of Selden Rodman, a prolific American writer of poetry, plays and prose, political commentary, art criticism, Latin American and Caribbean history, biography and travel writing. Publishing more than 40 books, he also founded The Harkness Hoot at Yale in the early 1930's before traveling to Europe and integrating himself with the literary giants there, including Pound, Joyce, and Mann. Upon his return to New York, he co-edited Common Sense magazine, which Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. stated became "the most lively and interesting forum of radical discussion in the country." He is known for the conversations and letters he had with some of the premiere literary and art figures of his time, many of which are housed at Yale, as well as his love and promotion of Haitian and other folk art.;