to Mr. Chambers

May 22, 1950

Dear Mr. Chambers:

You find me in a captious mood.  Maybe I ought to address George Stevens, who wouldn’t give a damn.

In the first place, I feel that a publisher who sends a book to a writer uninvited has to take his chances.  There is yet no statute that compels a writer to read it unless he feels like it or say what he thinks about it unless he wants to.

In the second place, there is something screwy about a publisher’s requiring a writer to comment on a book which has not been sent to him.  So far as I am aware no copy of Guests of Don Lorenzo has appeared at this house and no copy of any other book by Mr. Robert Pick.

It is possible, of course, that you sent me galleys.  If you did I certainly threw them away without looking at them, and I will add that in the third place, a publisher who asks anybody to read galleys has forfeited the ordinary immunities of citizenship and would not be entitled to kick if the grizzly bit him, I hope to God.

Sincerely yours,