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I did indeed get a long letter from you in November, but the general crush of things has delayed my reply to it. Even if I don't write often, its the realest sort of pleasure to me to be in correspondence with you again, and to be intending to write you. Things never should have been any different, and I always felt that sometime we would just naturally touch again. I often dreamed of it, and I think the things I dream of are those I really believe in.
My plans for next summer are vague, but I shall probably go West sometime. I wouldn't be able to tie myself up to a six weeks engagement, but I might be able to give three or four lectures for the Middlebury school3, which, God help me, I've never heard of before! When does it begin? I imagine I am more likely to be free in the early part of the summer than later.
Yes, the novel4 is finished, and I'm reading the proofs. The last part balances the first, I think, and that is all I hoped for. It won't be as satisfying as the first, either to me or to other people. Are our endings, in life, I mean, ever as satisfactory or as glowing as our beginnings? I will see that you get one of the first copies, next fall- I don't favor a spring market-- and you'll agree that I set myself an impossible task, but I think you'll also see that if there is any 'victory' at all in it, it's a kind of moral one. "Aphrodite''5 was one of the parties by which I rested myself from the long strain of being so unnaturally good-- a perfect saint for three years!
Have you seen the two volumes6 of hitherto
n untranslated Turgenev7 stories? There's a perfect beauty in one, called a
" A Quiet Backwater"8 I remember he speaks of it in
one of his letters to Viardot9.
I'm so glad for the good news from your family, and that you are well enough to skate. My dear father10 and mother11 are well, Isabelle12 and Jan13 are having a glorious winter in Paris14. I am sulking with a hatered of my kind, just at present; as a result of having broken over my rule and gone to a string of 'literary' dinners in New York2. My God, the faces of them are as terrible as those in the Musical Courier15! Writers don't have to grin for a living, if they only knew it. It makes me want to hibernate at Five Bank street16 and wear a never-lifting frown.With love always, dear Dorothy Willa