ELIOT, T.S. 2 typed letters signed ('T.S. Eliot') to Caresse Crosby, 24, Russell Square, London and 57, Chester Terrace, [London], 8 October 1928 and 23 January 1929, 2 pages, 4to and 8vo, envelopes (lightly browned, one with unobtrusive splits on folds) and a typed letter signed to Harry Crosby, the text duplicated and with typewritten inserted address, informing him that his subscription to The Monthly Criterion is about to expire 24, Russell Square, London, [n.d., c. May 1927-March 1928], one page, 4to (lightly browned).
'DO LET ME HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR PRESS'. LETTERS FROM ELIOT TO CARESSE CROSBY ABOUT HIS TRANSLATION OF ANABASE AND POSSIBLE PUBLICATION BY THE BLACK SUN PRESS. The poet Alexis Léger (who wrote as Saint-John Perse) published Anabase in 1924 (the same year that his translation of a section of Eliot's 'The Hollow Men' appeared in the journal Commerce), and some time later Eliot--a great champion of Perse's poetry--prepared his translation of Anabase, a part of which appeared in The Monthly Criterion, vol.II, no.2, February 1928. As subscribers, the Crosbys probably saw this section in the periodical, prompting Caresse to propose a limited edition of it to Eliot in a letter of 2 October 1928, which Eliot responds to in his first letter, explaining that the translation of Anabase had been completed two years ago and that he had agreed the publication of the first edition in a limited issue with Faber and Gwyer. However, having sent the translation and a contract to the author for his approval and signature respectively, Eliot had received no reply: 'So I cannot, obviously, consider publishing it anywhere else; as but for M. Leger's delay--owing no doubt to pressure of official business--it would have been published two years ago by us. Indeed I have long given up hope that it can ever be published by anybody!' Eliot ends with the wish to meet the Crosbys when they are in London 'early next year'. No doubt disappointed by Eliot's answer, Caresse nonetheless arranged to visit him in London in January, when she was searching out manuscripts for the Press, but once more failed in her objective; in his second letter, Eliot apologises for missing Caresse in London for a second time, due to influenza, but hopes that she and Harry will be in London again soon and that his letter will reach her before she departs. He continues, 'Do let me hear more about your Press, though I am so unproductive that I doubt whether I can be of any use personally'. Eliot's translation of Anabase was finally published as Anabasis by Faber and Faber in 1930, and he did later contribute two pieces to the Press: introductions to volume II of Harry Crosby's Collected Poems (Paris: 1931, cf. lots 680-681) and the Crosby Continental Editions re-issue of Charles Louis-Philippe's Bubu of Montparnasse (Paris: 1932). (3)