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dear old tiger that sleeps



What am I, that I didn't wake everybody up? I wish I knew. A worrier, at the very best. I worry about big jumps that I can measure off with my eyes. I think I dream of your daring to jump right out of my sight. Excuse this. I'm writing very fast now. I think this new story is the one you've been waiting for. And me, too, in a way. You know it's mostly pride that's keeping me up. I think that's my main worry. For your own sake, don't make me proud of you. I think that's exactly what I'm trying to say. If only you'd never keep me up again out of pride. Give me a story that just makes me unreasonably vigilant. Keep me up till five only because all your stars are out, and for no other reason, Excuse the underlining, but that's the first thing I've ever said about one of your stories that makes my head go up and down. Please don't let me say anything else. I think tonight that anything you say to a writer after you beg him to let his stars come out is just literary advice. I'm positive tonight that all 'good' literary advice is just Louis Bouilhet and Max Du Camup wishing Madame Bovary on Flaubert. All right, so between the two of them, with their exquisite taste, they got him to write a masterpiece. They killed his chances of ever writing his heart out. He died like a celebrity, which was the one thing he wasn't. His letters are unbearable to read. They're so much better than they should be. They read waste, waste, waste. They break my heart.


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