Third impression. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Aurelio Valls esq[ui]re with the author’s compliments, T. S. Eliot. 13.iii.46”. Loosely inserted is a typed letter signed by Eliot on Faber letterhead responding to a request for comment on Valls’s poetry and his bilingualism. Eliot writes that, “Señor Valls’ accomplishment in English is certainly remarkable. One would have no reason to suspect that his English poems were written by anyone but an Englishman, and they compare very favourably with most of the new verse that comes to my notice… The question in my mind is whether it is possible to be a poet in two languages. What a man writes in a second language will always have something of the character of a tour de force”. He goes on to explain that a poet must keep in contact with the language that he chooses to write in, so that it would be wise for Valls to write poetry in English if he chose to live in Britain, but if not he should stick to Spanish, “which, after all, is a magnificent tongue in which great poetry has been and can still be written”. Valls continued publishing poetry throughout his life, and also served as a Spanish diplomat, playing the role of negotiator during both a 1970 hostage-taking in the Dominican Republic and the American hostage crises in Iran.
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Octavo. Original cream cloth, titles to spine gilt. Cloth rubbed and dulled, light spotting to title pages. An excellent copy.