I was beginning to worry because of your long silence. But nichts für Ungut. If I could, I would envy you your quiet time and your friends for conversations. I live (internally) like a hermit and travel the continent like a nomad. Since we last exchanged letters, winter has turned to summer, and so have my circumstances. This is my last year in Chicago, and I’ll be moving on to Berkeley in San Francisco for the next academic year. But I’ll be in Cambridge for the summer. I’ve been hoping to get a break and work on my legacy, too, but somehow fate has not allowed that to happen yet.
You will soon receive „Případ poezie“ [The Case of Poetry] from Rome; I will have about three copies sent to you, so that you may give a copy to Topinka, etc. But it does not interest me anymore and it’s not new for you. When I get around to it, I will send you some new stuff. A brand-new original, just to show you that there have been new developments in poetry. It may not be what I think it will be, but you know how it is with us „artists“ – because you ought to know.
I agree with you about Hrabal – you make an excellent point. That is literature, after all: nous contraint á une définition de plus en plus précise de nousmeme sous la pression ďun „complexe“ de souvenirs, de jalons, de repéres, de références toujours plus nombreuses áce qu'il convient ďappeler le passé. Hrabal doesn’t have an ounce of that, even though I read him with interest.
Other than that, dear Jindřich, I’m doing about as well as a naked person in a thorn bush. I’m not sure I’ve told you that my apartment in Cambridge was ransacked, that I schlepped all the way to Denver for a conference, or how gorgeous the Rocky Mountains are, and that Buffalo Bill and buffaloes were real, or how much hardship I’ve had recently and that more is on the way. Living out of suitcases and moving around, under such complex circumstances and in so many directions, has been pure hell. I don’t see how I could possibly make it to Washington amid all this tumult. But who knows – perhaps I’ll bump into that lady here and then think of you, like in that fairy tale.
Greetings to Mrs. Jiřina. Write me again, and you may take your time; you're forgiven even if you don’t write to me, but I will think that you don’t like me anymore.