In response to:
"Late Again," He Groaned from the March 23, 1967 issue
To the Editors:
The blandness with which Mr. Nigel Dennis patronizes Mr. John Wain for sullying his purity as a critic and auto-biographer in order to traffic with such disreputable publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Ladies Home Journal, is impressive in one who was formerly content to write for Time…Mr. Dennis’s top lofty reference to Harper’s Bazaar as one of those “publications to which one does not turn for works of imagination” is peculiarly offensive by virtue of its combination of ignorance and injustice. In her fifteen years of distinguished service as fiction editor of that magazine, Miss Alice Morris has published in its pages: previously untranslated stories by Chekhov, Kafka, Pirandello, and Turgenev; poetry by Theodore Roethke, Auden, Robert Lowell, Malcolm Lowry, Edwin Muir, Vernon Watkins, Thom Gunn, and many others; short stories by Marcel Aymé, Donald Barthelme, J. L. Borges, Dino Buzzati, Andre Chamson, Colette, Frank O’Connor, Flannery O’Connor, Machado d’Assis, Isak Dinesen, Maurice Duggan, Jean Dutourd, Galdes, Pierre Gascar Eugene Ionesco, Calvin Kentfield, Pär Lagerkvist, Yukio Mishima, Robert Musil, P. H. Newby, James Purdy, Terry Southern, Dylan Thomas, Eudora Welty, and many others….
New York City
Nigel Dennis replies:
Mr. West is quite right about Harper’s Bazaar, to which I must apologize humbly. But he does not tell me if he thinks Mr. Wain was right to reprint so many bad short stories in book form.
August 24, 1967