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You are a violinist, put the mute on the biography—no the extinguisher! Anything more deadly dull than this jacket text, I can't imagine. It's all too foolish, and I really don't think it's up to the office to hand out these dull facts. They tell absolutely nothing about the book3, or about me, nothing that the public wants to know.
Now, I want you to let me decide on this jacket text. Tell the public
something they do want know, something they
write me letters about until my hand is fairly crippled with answering them;
written! That is what they want to
know. Instead of this wooden stuff about
my grandfathers4 and
Von Schmidt's5 (who in thunder
cares about our grandfathers?) use this condensation I enclose of my letter6 to the Commonweal7 about the book. The English publishers8 had that letter printed in
pamphlet form and gave it wide circulation—wrote me it was singularly
effective in advertising. I have cut the article to just about the number of
now in the two dreary sketches of Von
Schmidt and me in the now on the jacket.
Please telegraph me9 that you
will use the copy I'm sending you, and not
that which is now in the proof of the jacket; and please write me the name
of the person who wrote this copy, as I want to talk with her—
I think or him—when I get back to town10.
Now as to the copy I send you—very ragged, but I'm lucky to have even that with me.
Please get all this to Mr. Stimson1, as I have telephoned him about it.W. S. C.