Nov. 12, 1956

Dear Des:

Thanks for your grand article. It is a superb bit of analysis – the sort of thing I like (1) appreciation and (2) helpful criticism.

I agree with most of your judgments. You may have noticed that I discarded in the Collected edition most of those heterogeneous verses in Newfoundland Verse. To me now they appear very amateurish.

I am so glad you like the three of my favourites – the R & A, the Titanic and Brébeuf. In fact I put so much energy into the last one that I developed a severe chronic eye-strain which certainly interfered with the later composition.

Poor John Sutherland. I didn't know that he was writing his book until two weeks or so before his death. To give him credit he was the first critic who tried to get inside those years I spent in Psychology. Some of his conclusions are far-fetched such as the representing of the dinosaur as a phase of Christ, but John did insert a 'caveat' at the beginning that he was going beyond the 'conscious intention,' a perilous excursion indeed. And, again, though I had to teach Wundt, I hated Wundtianism and its mechanisms. You properly place that period in its proper orientation.

Thanks for letting me see your article. I should have answered before but this is my first day out, having wrestled with a bug for two weeks.

My love to Mary, yourself
and family.
Ned Pratt


your grand article
The chapter on Pratt that Pacey had written for his projected Ten Canadian Poets. (See the letter to Pacey, 29 October 1954.) Pratt, it seems, was not aware that it was a chapter for a book rather than an article for a journal.

R & A
Roosevelt and the Antinoe.

his death
This, as we know from letters to Sutherland and others, is not true. Pratt had responded to Sutherland's enquiries and seen a draft of the analysis (see the letters of 12 May and 21 May 1954), although he did not receive a copy of the book until about two weeks before Sutherland's death on 1 September. It is curious that Pratt should have felt it necessary to make this denial. In the draft of his letter, Pratt is much more explicit in his explanation of why Sutherland may have felt that his interpretations of Pratt's poems, particularly 'The Great Feud,' had been endorsed by the author.