Dear Mr. Joyce
An answer to your last letter to me has been delayed owing to my taking a brief Whitsuntide holiday.
Heaven knows that we want to do everything that you want us to do, but for various reasons, which it would take too long to write down, our hands are to some extent tied. If this business were mine it would be a different thing.
But I did notice very clearly "An Encounter" when I first read the manuscript, and we were at that time told by our adviser that we ought to get you to omit it. I was in doubts about it, but came to the conclusion that it was unnecessary to do so. But matter which to a large section of the public will seem questionable is cumulative in its effect, and when I came to read "The Two Gallants" I saw that to publish the book with that story as you had written it would be to draw attention to other things in the book which would otherwise pass. Perhaps you can re-write "The Two Gallants" – although I don't suppose you will. Still, in producing one's first book it is just as well to be guided by somebody's advice, and I don't honestly think that you could have a more competent adviser on the matter than I am. We cannot publish the book as it stands; that I am afraid is clear. We can only publish it with the alterations or omissions that so far I have suggested. If it were I who was publishing the book, admiring it as I do, I might be willing to bear any attack, organized or otherwise. But an attack on this house at the present moment, and on such a subject, would be extremely damaging.
Your letters make me wish to meet you, and they make me wish to have your book as you have written it among my own that I value; but they cannot blind me to the impolicy of the attitude you are taking up. Believe me, dear Mr. Joyce, Sincerely yours,
Correspondence Regarding Joyce's "Dubliners":
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