Dear Mr. Chalupecký!
Your offer has brought me great joy. Yet there’s a catch – but fear not (if you would even be afraid in this case). I have decided to give you, and am truly glad to do so, Mluvící pásmo (The Speaking Zone), but I would like for Melantrich to pay me well for it, either by publishing it in book or other form after it is published in your magazine. For I need money – otherwise I would give it to you without a second thought. When nobody wanted Mluvící pásmo I entered it into the Umělecká beseda competition, I guess it’s the Theer Prize for a new form in art. They won’t give me anything anyways, I only entered it out of desperation and can pick it back up. I just ask that Melantrich treats me fairly. In their view I am still considered a second or even third rate and that pisses me off. But I would do anything for you. I mean this seriously. So I’d like to discuss it all with you. Whether I should speak with Dr. Träger about the money or you would. If Rykr heard how I “negotiate”, he wouldn’t believe it. This is what seven sparse years have turned me into. It’s not so bad now, but the fact that since 1940 I’ve had to do whatever it took, navigating the authorities, taxes, fees, pensions, estates, etc. I guess it had to be that way, otherwise, without these hardships to overcome, I probably would have died. I still have the possibility of giving up this “life struggle” and going to “my auntie in America” (no joke), but I still don’t want to play the poor relative. But enough of me unloading all of this; let’s get to the point!
It would be something like that with the diary. I would have other suggestions for you; I have a drawer full of the stuff and would really like to organize its publication somehow. I know that the financial boom has come to an end, but would still like for my things to be published, if possible, under good conditions, but not only financially.
Mrs. Pujmanová invited me to work on the magazine that she will run – you certainly know what it’s about. I gave her part of the “Study of the Artist’s Head”. I had some things prepared for her, but you know I would prefer being with you.
I personally respect Mrs. Pujmanová in many ways, but we are artistically far apart. I wanted to translate for her a story by Saroyan, perhaps you’ve heard of him, he’s a contemporary of Miller and Anais, their acquaintance, but he became “famous”. I’d been peddling his writing for years. Then I recently read an interesting interview by René Lalou with Eliot, Spender and Morgan in “Nouvelles Littéraires” – perhaps you also read it. One is relieved that someone in the world thinks a bit like her, and that she is not all alone like a silent fool. Then something revolutionary from Sand and the likes.
P. S. Today I read in the newspaper about the exhibition at Mánes. So Janoušek – God rest his soul – is now famous, but Rykr still isn’t. It may be worth it someday, but it seems that we won’t live to see his true fame.