November 27, 1946
Mr. Richard de Mille
12038 Pacoima Court
North Hollywood, California
Dear Mr. de Mille:
Thank you for your letter about ANTHEM. It was very interesting to me, more so then if it were a business letter about picture rights, precisely because it was an unsolicited personal letter. I am glad that you liked ANTHEM enough to want to write me about it.
I don’t really think that you knew, while reading the book, how “it would turn out” after the escape of the protagonists. Are you sure that you know it now? Read Chapter XI again.
I don’t quite understand why you refer to my use of the word EGO as a “symbol”. I did not use it as a symbol, I used it in its exact, literal meaning. I did not mean a symbol of the self—but specifically and actually Man’s Self.
You say that there are those to whom the word EGO is “too strong—even, immoral.” Why, of course, there are. Against whom do you suppose the book was written?
I wonder why you wanted to warn me about that. I presume it means that you have not read THE FOUNTAINHEAD. If you haven’t, I think you should read it—particularly since you describe yourself as “a person with an anthropocentric attitude” (it’s a good word all right. I like it, too).
Just to show you that I appreciate your letter, I will tell you that I am making an exception for you—it is my policy never to ask anyone to read my book. I shall be interested to hear from you again after you have read it.