"Do not come, do not write, impersonal work" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/338
Epistolary Type
Letter Date9 February 1889
Address FromMentone, France
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 154-5
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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.
2Mentone, 9th Feb.
4I've a little Dream about Poet and Thinker. It's good, at least true. .
5.. This house is full of prostitutes. No one talks anything but French
6at the table and the conversation is too awful for words. I profess
7not to understand, and I don't when people talk in such a way, but I
8can gather what it is. Something like in the worst of Zola's novels.
9The woman who sits next to me is a very pretty woman of thirty. I
10fancy I might get a little power over her at last; at first she made
11fun of me and made all the men say rude things to me; now, according
12to her orders, they all bow to me, and she's always trying to please
13me. I feel affectionate to her. She's just about the same kind as Nana,
14 but I see what old Zola couldn't see, that she's yet a woman. This is
15a low hotel; no respectable people come here, and no English. Don't
16say much about it in your letters because they might open them, and
17then come up and murder me. I'm at the very top of the house.
The ‘little Dream’ about the 'Poet and Thinker' appears as 'They heard...' in Stories, Dreams and Allegories.