Monday, October 11, 2010
"You Have Sold My Pride" November 2, 1964
In a letter written upon news Dad's second short story had been accepted by the New Yorker, "Christmas with Charles Street", about a Yale freshman's uneasy visit with his recently divorced father, Grandpa Joe all but disowned Dad. All of this happening the month of my first birthday and just 19 days before my sister Lansing was born.
What you are trying to befog with all your words, words, words is one clear fact: I have begged you twice not to humiliate me, and twice you have chosen to do so. You have sold my pride for dollars and applause. You, my son!
I will see that you are notified when Mother dies. I have nothing more to say to you.
Signed Joseph Bryan
2 November 1964
The first "humiliation" came at the hands of Dad's first short story, "So Much Unfairness in Things" published June 2, 1962. Again, "Stewart Wilkinson" comes across as cold and distant. Grandpa Joe sent Dad letters he received from friends.
As Grandpa Joe wrote Dad "They were angry letters, and you chose to dismiss them as written by 'stuffy fools'. But they weren't, Courty. They were written by wise, honorable men whom I am proud to call my friends and who had been ready to be yours. Many of them are men of influence in your profession and your social circle. Is it good policy to remind them that you carry a knife, and are quite willing to use it on someone who can't, or won't, hit back?"