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Last letter from Dr.Henry A Christian

( Newark College of Arts and sciences Rutgers University).

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8 November,1996

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Dear Mr.Tahara,

@@@@Well, as the dates show, I haven't been very quick to work my plan to send December greetings early; but of course my medical treatments have taken so very much of my time and yet I should not complain because before they began most physicians believed I would not live until Christmas. Now it looks I shall see at least a few more months.


@@@@But to get to important matters. You cannot know how very much I appreciate all your Adamic work and all your translations of my work. And I do understand the effort and frustration of it all. Yet all that work and Louis'books cannot go hidden from the world. I understand there is financial difficulty, and I must explain two matters: Mr. Rogelj died long ago, and the Louis Adamic Foundation was set up by Mr. Rogelj only to pay Mrs. Adamic so the Adamic papers could be sold to Princeton University. So there is no money there!
@@@@But I need to know just how much money you are talking about when you mention funding. Are you saying the publishers would do a book if there was a subsidy? Here is what I want you to do. If financial aid to the publisher will allow a book to appear, choose the book you want and go to a publisher--I think Laughing in the Jungle might be the best choice, and I can send an introduction--or perhaps the Collection or certainly Grandsons, for which I can send an introduction tomorrow.
@@@@Find out how much the publisher will need to bring out the book and write me at once telling me the amount in yen and in dollars at the current rate. It may just be possible for me to help out in this money matter, depending of course on just how much money the matter will require.
@@@@So do that and keep hope, and I shall keep here trying to live as long as I can. So do not delay about this, Shozo but do not be foolish. I end now, sending my best wishes and very greatest thanks for all you have done.

@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Henry@@

 

Christian‡VHenry A

Christian was professor of English and director of the graduate Liberal Studies Program at Rutgers U. He did xtensive research on immigrant Slovenes,particularly Slovenian American author/activist Louis Adamic@

 

@August,1997

Dear Mr.Shozo Tahara,

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@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@******* Christian@

@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@(from daughters)

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May7,1993

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Dear Mr.Tahara,

@@@@Thank you for all your notes and cards lately. I am sorry I have not been able to answer; I have been doing too much, and not all of it well at all. All your news is good, and I am of course willing to help you in any way I can. Did I send you a card at Chrismas from London and say that? I hope so.
@@@@Now to this mailing: I enclose here a copy of Struggle; it is the first edition. I enclose also a copy of my article about Struggle, for which I in part received an award at the 1981 symposium. I have added a short author's note on the last next page in order to make a comment on the state of the world in the former Yugoslav territories. I think this article together with Struggle make a fine combination; but it is of course up to your whether you want to translate both and print them together. As for an introduction to Grandsons, I promise that shortly. But just now I am very tied up in preparing to go to Slovenia to lecture for two weeks, sponsored by the American government and our embassy in Ljubljana. I'll write you more on that soon, but just now I must go back to intensive work. I wish I had answered soonercyou are so very important to me and our work is important to the worldcbut I keep trying to remember that I am only one man.

@@@@Best wishes my friend,

Henry Christian

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May 12, 1991

Dear Mr.Tahara,

@@@Thank you for your recent letter.

@@@I was very sad to learn of the death of your father. Time has a way of passing by, and taking from us people we love and need. But as it passes, time also allows us to understand that there is a system to life that touches all of us in the same way.

@@@When I suffered one of my family loses, you kindly sent me a very fine book; now I have sent you a book--not so dine a gift as your gift to me--but meant by me in the same spirit. It should arrive soon; I hope it is sufficiently beautiful to bring you my wish for quiet rest in you about your father.

@@@Now to different matters. I have been very, very engaged in all my research tasks, my teaching, and my attempts to have a new life now. Therefore, I did not write to you after I sent the introduction to The Native's Return. But you must know how pleased I am with both A Young American With a Japanese Face and The Native's Return--and how grateful I am to you for all your effort about Adamic and my work.

@@@Now you have finished the translation of Laughing in the Jungle! I therefore here send you a copy--edited a bit--of an article I just received, published at the end of 1990 in the volume:

@@@The Future of American Modernism: Ethnic Writing Between the Wars, ed. William Boelhower. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 1990.

@@@My article is titled, as you see, "Beyond Dreiser: Louis Adamic's Laughing on the Jungle." 176-201

@@@I hope you can use this article for the Japanese translation of Laughing on the Jungle.

@@@You ask an introduction to Grandsons. Here there is to be, any week now, a new English edition of Grandson with an introduction I have written for it in 1989-90. I shall ask my published for permission to send this work to you for Japanese translation, or for permission for me to write it again--but the same ideas in a different text--and send it to you. Please wait for it.

@@@I am writing an article for Slovenia about Adamic, to be finished by May 31. I shall send it to you after. Perhaps it will be some help for your reevaluation piece.

@@@I am so pleased that all of this Adamic material is coming out in your country, and pleased it is well thought of. I hope all this work is proving of benefit to you too.

@@@Perhaps I have not told you that I now hold the highest rank--full professor--and am therefore now doing many different and exciting studies. I have done much work lately on the Croatian artist Maxo Vanka who came to the United States in 1936 and who is the pattern for the main character in the first half of Adamic's Cradle of Life. I was recently in Croatia and Slovenia, lecturing and doing research; I came home just before all this ethnic killing began.. Let us hope it is all over now.

@@@I have not forgotten that I am to send you material on Struggle; I send that soon, truly.

@@@Well my friend, I want this to reach you soon, so I end now. I was very moved by your remark that your father shared your knowledge of Adamic through your work and that he was glad for your work. That is something to remember over the next years. Please keep well, keep doing your good work; give my sincere feeling to your family over your loss.

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Best wishes,

Henry A. Christian

Article included.

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@Dear Shozo Tahara,

@@@Here is the introduction. I am sorry I took this long, but it could not be helped. I had two choices here--either write more than fifty pages about The Native's Return, perhaps even more; or write what I send here. I think it is a good introduction--hinting at much but allowing the reader in Japan to take the book to himself and decide about the book from the reading experience. So here it is.

@@@I send this Air Express but also mail another copy by regular air mail--just in case. The numbers in the margin are references to the English text so you can find your place in your translation and use the same characters. I shall now write to Mr.Imai, but you can tell him this has arrived. I hope it does not take you too much effort to translate.

@@@My dear friend, I am grateful to you for the rest of my life for all your work and especially for this book.

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Yours truly,

Henry Christian

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September17,1989

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Dear Shozo Tahara,

@@@It is impossible for me to tell you how very, very happy I was to receive your postcard recently. Your news was absolutely wonderful. I am happy that the "Young Manc" chapter is to be published and that my article will also appear. I am even more delighted to know that your translation of The Native's Return is to be published. Yes, I will write an introduction or preface for the book.
@@@But before I say any more I must tell you that I read again your letter from December 21,1988, and looked again at the very beautiful book of paintings you sent me in honor of my son. When that book came, I meant to write to you at once, but things were not good here and I could not write much more than my regular work; things were indeed very bad, I really hate to tell you in a letter again that there has been another death--but facts are facts. On June 2 this year my wife died. I am sad, but I have been working--hard--and I will do what I promised although until lately I could not do things well. I know you will want to respond to this news, but know that I understand my wife 's death as something that could not be otherwise and that I understand my wife's death as something that could not be otherwise and that I can go on with my life as I now have, taking each day as it comes and doing what I can in each day.

@@@My schedule just now is as follows: today I finished a contract and must by the end of September finish an introduction to a new printing of Adamic's Grandsons. October 17-21 I am to be in Zagreb to lecture, and November 1-5 I am to lecture in Toronto. I have much writing to do for these two trips, but if I finish the Grandsons introduction in time I shall begin at once to write the introduction for you. I know the story well and will make it interesting about how the book came to be written and say something about the book itself and what it can mean to readers today. Do you have an idea of how long your publisher will allow the introduction to be? Please ask, and say I am doing it, and I shall write it so that you can translate it easily--I hope. Write me when you have the answers to the length problem, so I shall know that and know too you have received this letter.

@@@Until I hear from you, best wishes and thanks for all you have done for me.

Henry Christian

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