Letter from Lafcadio Hearn to Horace Elisha Scudder

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This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

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Shimoyamatedori Rokucliome, 26 Kobe, Aug 28th 85 Dear Mr. Scudder: - Your kind reply to my cross-letters received. I never write an angry letter without feeling sorry for it - even when I know I am right. But I wonder whether you quite appreciate an author's position in such a case as mine. He knows that his editor can only write him diplomatic letters, - that in all matters of business his editor is not his friend - quite the reverse. Nevertheless he has the sense of certain psychological relationships with him, - one of sympathy; and perhaps believe,

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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it quite as intimate as the other relation is disagreeable. When therefore, a criticism appears in editorial guise which destroys that small sense of a sympathetic mind at the other end of the line, - or of the world, as in this case; - then every thing changes: the only humane factor in the acquaintanceship disappearing. I see that you did not understand I was a pioneer. So would have been very hard indeed to find somebody else who had resided in Izumo, - except a Bible-woman, - in my time. Now I know there are a few missionaries there; but I object to criticism by missionaries. There are

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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a few rare men in Japan, like the Rev. Arthur Lloyd, who have some breadth of culture; but most of them are [proven ?] fanatics, - like the man who has been exhibiting in Chicago, as emblems of the state religion of Japan, obscene images borrowed from houses of prostitution. Such men can live in a country, twenty years and see nothing. It strikes me as positively certain that Fenollosa's hand was in that article, - containing phrases first learned from me; and he is generally credited with it by those who have relations with Boston. As for some one who knows more about the

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interior of Japan - I mean the life in itself - than I do, I fear you could not find one, - except a certain Jesuit father who looks at the matter from the 15th century point of view. The difference between myself and other writers on Japan is simply that I have become practical, a Japanese - in all but knowledge of the language; while other writers remain foreigners looking from outside at riddles which cannot be read except from us inside. There is no one competent to criticize me from the point of view you suggest, because there is no one who has been able to assume that point of view

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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among writers in Japan. When informative about a certain form of belief or custom is wanted, even high authorities on Japanese subjects do not disdain to ask me. You see how conceited I am; but my conceit is based on facts. - However, I don't feel very conceited about my next book, which I hope to send the rest of by next mail. It seems to me rather heavy, - there is a preponderance of serious articles I always get tired of long before they are finished, - so that I cannot fairly judge their value then.

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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