Thursday, November 12, 2009

1930, July 19: HMK to RH - Errors in Silver Lotus Publishing

Saturday July 19th, 1930

My dear Miss Harrell;

     The advance copies of the August Review have come to hand and I am exasperated beyond words.  I asked them to send me an author's proof but they said that they had discontinued that practice as unnecessary.  They then proceeded not only to cut the story which is, of course, their privilege but also to leave out some  words and substitute others which change the story into something crude and careless.

     Do not, I beg of you, read it, if they have not as yet sent you your copy, but wait until I can send you the original manuscript which will reach me Monday.  I should not like you, of all people, to see it as it is and think that I had submitted it like that.  Then you may read it and see what they have done to it.  The most unforgivable thing was the substitution of the "with" for the word "for," so making of what was a beautiful picture of my little "Silver Lotus" doing the exquisite ancient dances of her calling into a bawdy scene of a kind familiar only in the brothels of the Occident.  Even in this jazz crazed age, the Japanese do not dance with each other and these old dances are still  done in the Yoshiwara, not with men, but for them.

     You will note the absence of important predispositions, etc. and they put in the word "able" in connection with the white Iris, for no reason that I can discover.  So on this lovely morning I am in a temper that is not nice to see or to think of but I am sure you will know what one feels when a child of the mind is thus mutilated.

    Thank you for being patient with me.  
HMK Smith

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