Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu T H
April 5 1941
for your letter and the enclosure: THE SUCCESS, which you say reminds me
of you. The only similarity that I perceive lies in the fact that the guy
was a pulp writer. There the analogy does a complete and pathetic Brody.
I ain't writ any "It Rained Down Fortune"; I ain't goin' to write any,
because I haven't one in me. I used to think that I had, but no more. If
I ever write again, which I doubt, my deathless prose will appear in SHRIEKING
THRILLERS MYSTERY MAGAZINE, unless they reject it, as they probably will,
because as one editor said of a story I submitted under a pen name, it
was too "amateurish"!
My great trouble right now is that I still think I have to write for
the readers, when, as everyone knows, I should write for the editors. The
fact that some umpty-steen million readers like my stories makes no never
mind to the editors. If I don't use Plotto and a correspondence school
formula, my stuff doesn't get by.
From almost any angle, my stuff probably exhales halitosis, athlete's
foot, and B.O., or, as the French so succinctly express it, it stinks;
but so does most of the godawful tripe I occasionally try to wade through
in magazines like Satevepost. I guest the trouble with my stuff is that
it has the wrong bad smell. You know, probably, that we smell bad to Negroes,
just as they do to us. So my stuff smells bad to editors who can't smell
I had to smile at the very different reactions that you and Jack exhibited
toward The Racquet Club: most women like it, and I think that most men
do not. Most men do not like to be looked at; most women do, and The Racquet
Club is the place to exhibit one's self down to the barest essentials -
and sometimes even the bare essentials.
You guessed it the first time: I don't know when I am coming home. I
hope Joan's house is not a crumbled ruin before I get a chance to see it.
Maybe I shall have to peek over the edge of my cloud and look at it, if
I can ever lay aside my harp long enough. O, Death, where is thy sting,
when one can lookforward to siting on the edge of a cold, damp cloud, playing
a harp? I am going to stipulate that I be buried in rubber pants.
I hope that you have been uplifted and inspired by the delicate nuances
of literary expression in this. Yousee, I'm practicing on you as I prepare
to write a "It Rained Down Fortune".
Aloha to all and sundry,