Walter H. Page
2Literature and that lays the greatest stress on preserving and fortifying it and in doing a permanent and continuous service for it. The attention to permanent editions, from one generation of publishers to another, by a house that by reason of the body of permanent literature that it has to do with has become itself a great institution--this is a matter of great importance. But I am preaching the sermon that Professor Sargent said today that he would himself preach to you: it's a sermon so true that it'll bear repeating.The point is that you concentrate your work (if you will) on the series of Alaskan articles till you get them done, writing from the beginning as if you were writing the book, and giving the chapters to me, so you get them done, for publication in the Atlantic. Can you not let me begin[letterhead]7, October, 1897.My dear Mr. Muir,I had a long talk with Professor Sargent to-day, and I was immensely fortified in my old hope (and resolution to accomplish it, if I can) that you will go ahead with the Alaskan articles, will let the Atlantic publish them and afterwards permit Houghton, Mifflin & Co. to bring them out in book form. Professor Sargent says (and says truly) what I had had some hesitation in saying, directly and with emphasis, myself, till he was kind enough to insist on my saying it--that the kind of literature that you will make of these Alaskan articles is the kind that ought to be published in the very best literary ways--to wit, in the magazine that has to do with the best literature at first hand and by the publishing house that has the largest body of first-hand American02345
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