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Letter ReferenceLetters/256
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date24 November 1887
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 124; Rive 1987: 130-1
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Havelock Ellis.
2Alassio, 24th Nov.
3
4What work I do is splendid, but my heart is somewhat like stone.
5Perhaps it is when one is so altogether dead that one's work lives. ...
6 Isn't it curious I have dropped all my friends, I never write to
7anyone, never hear from anyone. It is as though God had suddenly
8struck me with paralysis; and it is good. The great lesson I have had
9to learn in the last three years is that one must be true to oneself
10in the first place and think of your fellow men second. I had to learn
11the opposite lesson in the few years before. Perhaps now I shall keep
12the balance, at least as long as I don't see a human being. You have
13never needed the first lesson, nor certainly the second. I am working
14whenever I can. Can you send me a volume of Heine's poems? Living
15absolutely alone is the only life possible just now, but I'm glad of
16books.
17