"Desire for self-expression not sermonising, writing desecrated by showing to others" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/1/70-73
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 6 November 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from late October to late November 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Friday
2
3 Thank you for the letter. I had a nice note from her this morning. I
4do feel intense interest in "the Russians". for a time it was almost
5an absorbing interest. I believe the next great blow for human freedom
6that will be felt all round the world, will be struck there. But now,
7just now, I don’t see what work my nature has there. You must live
8among people, be one of them, work from inside is your work is to be
9true. At least it is so with a nature like mine. One of my day dreams
10for years was to go to Russia & become a nihilist. Now, today, I see
11another work but I don’t know what the future will bring.
12
13 //Sometimes years pass, as you say the ^your^ last four have, & we feel
14they are years of decay, we are growing old, & we feel a kind of
15despair; then of God cometh not with observation." Sometimes while we
16are regretting that our branches do not blossom; there is a great
17store of sap silently rising & forming, which will cover them with
18blossoms afterwards, – one day.
19
20 It’s so wonderful that we never know the meaning of what is going on
21within us? isn’t it. You will do some great work some day (perhaps
22not everything you think of now) but you will grow silently for some
23years first. I’ve never done any of my real work yet, but I think I
24begin to see what it is. I don’t despise the work you have done, but
25it doesn’t in any way represent you.
26
27 Yours ever
28 Olive Schreiner
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