I don't regret staying alive, but it is increasingly tough to say
goodbye to such old and steady friends just when you and they are
beginning to learn what an age we could have made of it if we'd been
able to use just a little more gold--
Anderson was to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 23, 1956, and Brooks had asked him to write a memorial for Robert Sherwood
and read it at the ceremony. Sherwood, who nominated Anderson for membership in
the academy, had died on November 14, 1955, and Anderson's eulogy of him had been
read at the funeral by Alfred Lunt. Brooks, at the time secretary of the academy, lived at
At the induction ceremony on May 23 Anderson read the memorial poem "Robert E. Sherwood," which recounts their association from the twenties onward
(printed in Wharton, Life Among the Playwrights, pp. 232-35).
198. TO VAN WYCK BROOKS
141 Downes Avenue
February 19, 1956
Dear Van Wyck--
If I were to present Conrad Aiken's name to the academy for
membership would you second the proposal? I note that five
"proposers" are needed. I have found much of Aiken's work moving,
delicate and amazingly musical.
Yours Maxwell Anderson
Anderson had long admired Conrad Aiken ( 1889-1973) and as early as 1921
had praised him as having "the most notable gift among poets writing English in this
generation," an estimate based on the subtle music of Aiken's versification ( "Conrad
Aiken and the Minor Mode," Measure 3 [ May, 1921]: 25-26).
Anderson nominated Aiken, and he was elected to the American Academy of
Arts and Letters in December, 1956.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Dramatist in America:Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958.
Contributors: Laurence G. Avery - Editor, Maxwell Anderson - Author.
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press.
Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC.
Publication year: 1977.
Page number: 276.
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