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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/519
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter DateApril 1916
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 356
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner were produced by Cronwright-Schreiner in preparing The Life and The Letters of Olive Schreiner. They appear on slips of paper in his writing, taken from letters that were then destroyed; many of these extracts have also been edited by him. They are artefacts of his editorial practices and their relationship to original Schreiner letters cannot now be gauged. They should be read with considerable caution for the reasons given. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date onto this extract. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters….
1 …I have been reading The Way of All Flesh by Butler. I think the man
2Ernest is almost too weak & disgusting to be real, & all the
3characters in the book are so repulsive. God knows I have seen the
4shady side of life & looked it in the face; but, mixed with the evil,
5the base, the disloyal, there is so much of infinite beauty &
6greatness & lovableness in human nature; even in the wrong doing of
7those you love there come in elements that make your heart more tender
8over them! But his characters repulse & disgust you all the time…
9
10 Oh Cron, one’s never sorry for bearing little things from those one
11loves. The time comes when you are so grateful you have. Often when he
12hasn’t spoken to me at all when I went there, & when ---- wouldn’t
13speak to me, I felt “I’ll give it up, I’ll never come here
14again”. But I’m so glad I didn’t. The great silence comes all
15too soon, when they can never bear the words one would like to have
16spoken...
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