Collecting material on Celine for L’HERNE, Miss Lucia Evans wrote to Henry Miller & Jack Kerouac (who responded handsomely, with the letter reproduced opposite). Henry Miller, courteous as ever, sent the following reply; while apparently declining, it is relevant both to Celine & to Miller's own work.
from Percha-bei-Stamberg, Germany
October 1st 1963
Dear Miss Evans,
The trouble is I can’t collect myself enough to write anything worth while when traveling—and I have been doing a lot of traveling these past few months. All I can suggest is to use something I have already written on Celine. Maybe New Directions could help you there—or if not, Mr Thomas Moore, secy, of the “Henry Miller Literary Society”—121 North 7th St. Minneapolis (3) Minnesota. He has just recently been thru all my books. I myself never know where anything is. I adored Celine's writings and owe him much. But I don’t feel too bad about not offering something for these “post-mortems”. I did what I could for him when he was alive. Now that he is dead, what matter all these words? People say—for the living. Those who would be drawn to his work will be, whether he is now eulogized or not. Don’t you agree ? (I suppose you don't.) Somehow it all makes me think of funerals, of standing by the grave and throwing flowers into the empty hole. Something I could never do. In fact, I never go to funerals or wed- dings.
Forgive this long explanation. Celine lives in me still, always will. That is what is important.
P.S. Am off again tomorrow for parts unknown.