July 25, 1956

Dear Sister:

There is no need to worry over a few type errors in your manuscript. I make more myself when I pound the typewriter. It is a pleasure for me to read your letters and have your enthusiasm.

You ask about symbolism and imagery.

The central idea to me was to get hold of a symbol which at the time of the Crucifixion represented the very limit of shame in the eyes of the pagan world, but later became the transcendent glory of the Christian theology and experience, namely, the Cross. I had to end on that note.

It was necessary to work in correlative ideas such as the singing of 'the Gloria' by the Fathers, their comradeship, their willingness to face their martyrdom, their complete renunciation of material gain and such like considerations; and, technically, for dramatic purposes, a rather extensive description of the lull before the storm broke. When I took a trip to the Martyrs' Shrine near Midland I found a spring of clear cool water with water cress at the bottom; I wondered if Brébeuf saw it.

You ask about the recording. A few years ago I was invited to Harvard University to give a couple of lectures. One was on 'Brébeuf.' They asked me to give a recording of 'Brébeuf' and shorter poems, which I did. Victoria College bought one hundred copies and is ordering more next October. The Librarian may be in touch with you after the summer holidays.

The very best to you,
Yours sincerely,
E.J. Pratt

symbolism and imagery
She had inquired about imagery and symbolism in BB, already looking ahead to her proposed doctoral dissertation.

See the letter to Viola and Claire Pratt, 2 March 1946, especially the note to 'they may be marketed'.