THOMAS, DYLAN. Two autograph letters signed ("Dylan") to Elizabeth Reitell ("Liz darling," "Liz love"), Boat House, Laugharne, Carmarthen shire, Wales, 16 June and 15 July 1953. Together 5 pages, small 8vo, usual fold creases, with the original envelopes addressed by Thomas
"ELIOT...MANN, FORSTER...CAMUS, HEMINGWAY...FAULKNER"
Elizabeth Reitell was an important member of Thomas's support group during his two trips to America in 1953, a close friend (and lover), producer of The Poetry Center staging of Under Milk Wood, and one of the few who were with Thomas at his passing in St. Vincent's hospital on 9 November 1953. 16 June (discussing various subjects, just having returned from America): "...this is the wet, gray morning, all seabirds & mist and children's far-off voices and regret everywhere in the wind & rain, -- I'll write to [Igor] Stravinsky [regarding an opera they were planning to do]...I've been asked to go to an International Literary Conference -- oh God, oh Pittsburgh -- in October, with Eliot, Thomas Mann, Forster, Elizabeth Bowen, Camus, Hemingway, Wilder, Faulkner...With those boys' names there must be money. Oh, and Arthur Miller will be there too, so he and I can be avant-garde together and write a play in which everybody takes his clothes off in a sewer..." 15 July: "...Boston bloody University has just cabled to say 'Necessary to postpone our commissioning opera with you & Stravinsky until we are able to complete necessary financial arrangements'...But I'll be over for October...anyway, with a better & fuller script [of Under Milk Wood]. Is John [Malcolm Brinnin] going into the financial part (for me) of this? The script, in its amended form -- & the amendment is still under away -- will be published as a book over here, broadcast, & printed in Botteghe Oscure..."
[With:] THOMAS, CAITLIN. Two autograph letters signed to Elizabeth Reitell, Laugharne, 3 [March?] 1954 and n.d., together 10 pages, 8vo and small 4to, with one envelope, bitter, sorrowful letters about the Thomas-Reitell love affair and her husband's death in America: "...I just want to repeat, while you were lying in each other's arms, discussing his great love for me: did you never, either of you, have any compunctions...One thing I am unchangeably convinced of, is that America, and all that went with it, including John Malcolm Brinnin [Thomas's 'handler' in America], as the devil's pawn, is responsible, with no cloud of doubt, in the death of Dylan. And if he had never got swallowed up into that stewpot, he would still be here with me, quietly vegetating and writing; as people do in England, for all their lives. I don't say it would be better, or more amusing, but, at least, it is the only way to make poetry..." Together 4 items.