BI. Amy Lowell

15. Letters. Quoted in Damon (29), 1935.

a. To Paul K. Hisada, 13 August 1917 (p. 55). Hisada, according to Damon, was ‘a Japanese admirer’ of Lowell’s work. She writes to him here of her lifelong interest in his country, which she says is ‘entwined’ with her earliest memories, and of the books and artefacts sent to her from Japan by her brother Percival Lowell (see D6). Her language is nearly identical with that she uses three and a half years later writing to another Japanese acquaintance (see 20b): ‘all through my childhood [Percival’s gifts] made Japan so vivid to my imagination that I cannot realize that I have never been there’.

b. To Theodore Maynard, 16 November 1921 (pp. 578-83). Lowell’s defensive response to Maynard’s Yale Review article of the previous January (25) questions nearly all his assumptions, including that the art of Japan is ‘remote from us, [and] alien to the texture of our souls’. Lowell finds the comment ‘dogmatic’ and in need of qualification, for ‘to some of us it is not alien at all’. She fears that Maynard may have ‘open[ed]’ himself to ‘the same smile which greeted the remark of that ingenious member of Commodore Perry’s expedition who, in speaking of a colour print by Hokusai [Ap], announced that the painter was ignorant of design’.





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