Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview

know what he was trying to do, which colors your whole attitude, or you know that he's in debt and the income tax people are taking his house. I flatter myself that if we had lunch together we'd be friends, but suppose we became enemies? The notion for a play which you have in mind might appeal to me; then if I wrote it we'd differ over the results. But the chances are I wouldn't like it, since I'm captious in such matters, and the rejected proffer would rankle.

This is a long letter and I hate writing letters, but I respect your work (and your target eye) too much just to say yes or no and let matters slide.

Sincerely

Not for publication, of course.

1.
Brown ( 1900-1969) published and lectured extensively on the drama, and at the end of his life was immersed in a biography of Anderson's close friend Robert Sherwood. Formerly associate editor of Theatre Arts Monthly and later drama critic for Saturday Review of Literature, he was from 1929 to 1941 drama critic for the New York Evening Post, and Helen Deutsch of the Theatre Guild had reported to Anderson that Brown wished to propose a play subject to him.
2.
Acceptance speech for the Drama Critics' Circle Award to High Tor, April 1, 1937 (Appendix I, no. 2).
3.
Drama Critics' Circle Award to Winterset, April 5, 1936.

57. TO JOHN MASON BROWN

New City
November 17, 1937

Dear Mr. Brown: 1

Your letter followed me to Maine where I was exploring a little wilderness on my own account. Your description of the St. Lawrence in conjunction with Parkman leads me to believe that I shall look into Canada some time, at least along the edges.

Also my first act on returning to the vicinity of a book store was to purchase Parkman complete and begin to find out how much I had missed by not reading him. I wish I had the volumes you read with the under-scorings and perhaps I shall be driven before I am through to beg for a personal consultation with you. Being certain so far only of

-62-

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