September 22, 1947
I have just finished reading LET ME DO THE TALKING. My compliments to you. It is very clever, amusing and well done. I must say that I started by disliking your hero intensely, but by the time I finished the book you had succeeded in making me like him—and I consider that a literary achievement, because I feel very little affection for the general species of literary agents.
As a personal (not literary) opinion, I think you were really too kind to the profession. I can’t resist asking you the most conventional question—WHO is the prototype of Mr. Gabriel in real life? If there is an agent who actually originates ideas to build up the careers of his clients, I’d like to know it. Don’t tell me that Gabriel is just an author’s daydream of an agent—I am afraid I know he is.
If I send you my copy of the book, would you autograph it for me?
The idea you mentioned for your next novel sounds extremely interesting. I hope you won’t be too kind to the spiritualists. They are essentially, philosophically vicious. I see possibilities for the most bitter satire, and I hope your good nature doesn’t prevent you from making mince meat out of those people, as they deserve.
I have not yet “come up out of my next book”. It’s an extremely complex job, so I am
not moving as fast as I would like to, but I am delighted with what I have done so far. If I can make arrangements with Hal Wallis to give me enough time off for it, I may come to New York next spring. I feel that I need it, both for research purposes and for personal satisfaction, because I am beginning to miss New York unbearably again. I’d love to take advantage of your nice invitation and to see you again, with or without “MODERN LIVING.” So I’ll try to work hard and look forward to the trip as a reward.
With best regards from both of us to both of you,