• Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Archibald MacLeish, Under Fire From McCarthy And Hoover, Writes Bizarre Letter To Norman Donaldson

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    ARCHIGALD MACLEISH (May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982) was an American poet and writer, associated with the modernist school of poetry. He studied English at Yale University and law at Harvard University.  He enlisted and saw action during the first World War and lived in Paris in the 1920s.  MacLeish was the ninth Librarian of Congress, a post he accepted at the urging of President Franklin Roosevelt.  He was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work. MacLeish came under fire from such anti-communists as J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy resulting from his involvement with left-wing organizations.

     

    One page, 7 ¼ x 10 ¼ TLS on his letterhead, MacLeish writes to Norman Donaldson, director of The Yale University Press, signed Archie in pencil. MacLeish refers to Donaldson as “Nig.”  Fascinating and rather bizarre letter, he writes:

     

    “About the fifteen dollars I loaned you when you were under the ice lump at the bottom of that silver pitcher just before we dictated the letter to the Ningle-nangle-noo which was about the time we ran into the rusty-feathered darling-bird singing drinkety drankety drunk in the cool colloidal cellars of the sterling memorial great-grandfather exhibit and Benet museum which was shortly before the apotheosis of the French-speaking Gene-jean with the Mississippi accent and the Irish tongue which was somewhat after the farrar-furiosus had torn with the talons of his zipper zoot the reputation of the Chester Kerr was a’barkin and a’barkin which was along toward the end of the afternoon your secretary (darling and sweet-sightin girl) had well foreseen you would never...come back at all if you went out to lunch with me which was all of six days ago and the Rum the cup...is still a swirling...to that fifteen dollars...”

     

    Comes with a carbon copy of a letter from Donaldson’s secretary, stating, “Your letter to Mr. Donaldson will be carefully preserved for his return from Bermuda in the middle of July...Many thanks for those kind words about the secretary.”

     

    Cover to the Donaldson letter is included.

     

    Folds with a couple of corrections and a filing notation from Donaldson’s secretary.

     

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