Letter 039, pg. 1
To Sinclair Lewis
This undated letter to Sinclair Lewis exists only in handwritten form. It is not known if AR ever sent it to Lewis, and the relevant Lewis papers were lost in a 1989 fire. It seems likely that she did send the letter, because sometime after 1935, she received from him an inscribed (with “Love”) copy (printed in 1936) of It Can’t Happen Here. This letter was published only in the Winter 2017–18 issue of The Objective Standard.
Dear Mr. Lewis,
Being a writer—and the greatest one living—you may understand me when I say that the most important things, the most real ones, and particularly, the most sacred are the hardest ones to express. After so many years of so much that I would like to say to you I find that I can say nothing. I would like to say that you are the last hope in a revolting, pointless mess called literature, the only living mind I’ve heard, the best god of the very religious atheist that I am, the best hero of an embittered and incurable hero worshipper who believes in nothing on earth except heroes. But all this sounds like pretty loud flattery—and there is no other way of saying it. I cannot give my words the strength they need—the certainty that I mean every one of them. I can say it. I can’t prove it. I can only hope that perhaps you will believe me.