- To the Literary Editor of The Globe and Commercial Advertiser
- The Johns Hopkins University Press and Faber & Faber Ltd
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438 ] To the Literary Editor of The Globe and Commercial Advertiser1 The Globe and Commercial Advertiser (17 Apr 1923) 16 Sir: I have received a cutting from your issue of March 6 in which you quote from the Chicago News some statements about myself which are asserted to have been made by Mr. Ben Hecht.2 According to this cutting Mr. Hecht says that he met me in London, and knows that I thoroughly hate Americans and everything they write and read, and that he considers me wholly capable of hoaxing the Dial and all its friends. In case there may be any one in America who believes this statement, I wish to inform you that if Mr. Hecht made the remarks attributed to him in the Chicago News he is a liar. I should be glad if you would make this public. Mr. Hecht has never met me in London or anywhere else. He has not the slightest ground for the opinions which he assigns to me, and he must be perfectly aware of this fact. I can only presume that Mr. Hecht believes that my being 3,000 miles away will protect him from any legal action, as it certainly protects him from any physical action on my part. I do not know whether Mr. Hecht is the author or merely the supporter of the libel which charges me with having hoaxed the Dial, but at least he appears to have found it necessary to lie about me in order to give substance to this rumor. If Mr. Hecht has succeeded in hoaxing anybody with such a clumsy falsehood as that reported in the Chicago News, it would hardly be worth my while to spend two years’ labor upon a poem in order to hoax the Dial. I am, sir, yours faithfully, 9 Clarence Gate Gardens, N.W. 1 T. S. Eliot3 Notes 1. TSE sent the carbon of this letter, dated 6 Apr 1923, to John Quinn, who had evidently sent him the cutting from the Globe and Commercial Advertiser (New York). TSE added in a note: “Very grateful to you” (L2 104-05). 2. Hecht’s statement had been reported in the Chicago Daily News on 21 Feb. It was reprinted in the Globe of 6 Mar by N. P. Dawson in his weekly column “Books in Particular,” in which Dawson exclaimed in disbelief, “And he has the Dial’s award of $2,000!” (16). [ 439 To the Literary Editor of The Globe and Commercial Advertiser 3. Dawson agreed to print TSE’s letter in his Globe column, writing: “We are all for peace. But since it is customary to print ‘corrections,’ space must be given for the following letter.” He then commented immediately below TSE’s signature: “‘The Waste Land,’ of course, is just the kind of a poem to which the Dial would give an award. Although we recall that one of Mr. Eliot’s swooning admirers said . . . that the award was not given to Mr. Eliot because of ‘The Waste Land,’ but because of a number of – er – er – a number of things. ‘The Waste Land’ will always remain for us a joyous episode” (16). ...