“You ask kindly after my work…”–Stephen Mackenna

You ask kindly after my work:  ’tis my heartscald, would God it would be my death.  ‘Tis too hard and high for me:  gin I but grind at it two hours, I get a headache like a slow furnace and reel like one that has quaffed off the winecup–I doubt I will ever finish it, tho’ most unhappily I’m so situated, on many grave counts, that I have to keep pegging on, trying until my brain frys and I long to be quietly dead.  Otherwise my life is happy here:  I seem to have given you a false impression; no grandeurs:  but space and peace and delightful meditative walking, all around my mudcot (save where the villagers pile their dreadful heaps of dead salmon tins and broken glass and leaky kettles and Daily Mails–by choice just at my shrubbery gates.)

This from a letter likely of January 1927, to Mrs. A. F. Dodds.  Mackenna was working to translate Plotinus.  If you don’t know his translation, take a look.  It is a translation that is both all wrong as translation and all right (not just alright) as Plotinus.

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