Walter H. Page
THE WORLD'S WORKDOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY-PUBLISHERS34 UNION SQUARE,EAST NEW YORKWALTER H. PAGE EDITORMr. John Muir #2.Then you put down the big thing, your autobiography. And in writing about this you said some characteristically modest things about how much more important the big world seemed than any man's life; but you betrayed, nevertheless, the everlasting necessity that is upon you of writing this book, when you said that it would offer opportunities here and there to say a good word for God. Now if I do not mistake the temper of these times a good word for God would come very opportunely. In all this rampant nature study, since it has become a fad, there is too little said of its bigger aspects. In order to balance and steady it, we need this book from you.I know I have written this same thing to you dozens of times before, and I know that dozens of wiser men than I have told you that your autobiography is a thing that you owe to your readers. You owe it, too, to the mountains and the glaciers that you have been in such close partnership with for so long a time.-3-Now I am going to be vain enough to tell you some news about my enterprises, not because they are particularly interesting in themselves, but because I hope they will interest you with reference to the publication of your books.Our publishing house has had a success that has outrun our expectations. I do not mean by this that we have done any extraordinary thing, but I do mean that we have had the good sense or the good fortune, or both, to lay the foundations of it without making any structural mistake. We have just now moved into a building that has been built especially for us, which is six stories high, filled with workers in every part of it, in spite of the fact that our publishing list is, of course, not a large one. We are not particularly ambitious to build a largo publishing list very quickly, for our ambitions lie rather in the cutting of good books and in making the most of then, rather than in getting many books.The main trouble with the business is that, when a good book is put forth, it comes along with such a multitude of other books that it gets a hearing for a day or a month or a season and then the continuous flood of new publications pusher it out of public attention.02452
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 28 cm.
Reel 14, Image 0578
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