"About Rebecca Schreiner, OS's childhood, her writing" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/74
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date9 April 1885
Address FromHastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 69
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.
2Hastings, 9th April.
3
4You know I think the brain works hard when one is not conscious of its
5working. I told you this afternoon I had not been working for some
6days. I'd sit at my table but nothing would come, only a strange blank
7feeling in my mind; couldn't think, couldn't feel. Suddenly, this
8evening, the feeling came to sit down and write. I have been writing
9hour after hour, page after page. I could write till to-morrow morning.
10 I don't know where all the ideas come from if they've not been
11forming slowly these last few days while my mind has felt so blank. I
12have had the same experience over and over again before. I work very
13hard for some days, or think very intensely on some subject day and
14night. Then suddenly my mind strikes work. For a day or two days or
15three day I seem quite passive. Then suddenly, as in a moment, it all
16bursts open again, and I find all the thoughts that were half-formed
17and in confusion when I left work, completed and ready. I wonder
18whether other people have the same experience.
19
Notation
The ‘writing hour after hour’ refers to From Man to Man.