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Letter from Har Dayal to Van Wyck Brooks (July 12, 1912)

Letter from Har Dayal to Professor Van Wyck Brooks dated July 12, 1912, written from Stanford University. Dayal describes going to the city, and meeting John D. Barry who intends to publish a small magazine in the style of Elbert Stubbard's Philistine. Dayal mentions that he lectured for the International Workers of the World, subsequently published in the San Francisco-based Bulletin, and that he probably will give a course of ten lectures on sociology at the Civic Center in San Francisco in the Fall. In one section of the letter, he writes of "soul-nurture," "objective action," and "spiritual growth." Towards the end of the letter, Dayal mentions house meetings in San Francisco with fellow radicals, including with someone named Neilsen and Mrs. Parks.

Freedom Movement

Date: July 12, 1912
Type: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Har Dayal
Location: Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Stanford Univy (Cali) July 12, ?? 1912 ??

My dear Mr. Brooks,

Your kind letter to hand. I have been to the city for a week and met Barry and others. Barry intends to have a small magazine of his own, like Elbert Stubbard's Philistine, but he is not sure when he will start it. In the meantime, you will be glad to learn that the circle of our Radical friends and comrades is growing. I too am growing in moral stature, for there is no limit to growth, is there! I have been very much vexed lately about some questions relating to the lives of some friends. But I am calmer now. How I long to meet you and bask in the tranquillity of your presence. Your company has always had a desirable and much needed sedative influence in my spirit, for I am always overstimulated every minute of my life. When are you returning? I may come down to spend a few weeks at Carmel in August. Have you made any friendships? Do you think I shall be able to talk to interesting people if I come? I hear that Carmel is a kind of rendezvous for clever and literary persons. I wish very much to come.

I have not read your essay in Rome yet, through sheer laziness. I was in the city last week, lectured for the I.W.W. The Bulletin published a fairly good report of the lecture on Monday evening. It was a great pleasure to stand out boldly for my ideas. I hate ?? of-corner hypocrisy and silence. I think the University will notice it, but I don't think they will say anything this year. Besides, I have not sold my soul to Stanford in agreeing to lecture there.

Barry wants very much to meet you. When you are here, I shall ask him to come up and see you.

I shall probably give a course of ten lectures on Sociology at the Civic Center in San Francisco this fall. That will be a good opportunity.

How are you getting on, in mind and body? Are you approaching some synthesis and coordination in your ideas and ideals? It is a great thing to harmonise our thoughts and evolve a working scheme for soul-nurture. Believe me, nothing but Action -- objective Action -- can aid spiritual growth. Thought and Aspiration are only sickly, puny things compared with Action. And Action is impossible without a coherent view of things, and a faith born of a large vision. I find that action is the sole cure for a safeguard against spiritual sterility and intellectual stagnation. Oh how Life reveals truths that could never have been known by mere speculation and cogitation!

Let me know what kind of a place Carmel is! I feel strongly drawn to the idea of coming over for a fortnight.

Please write to me if any of your writings have appeared in the magazines. Our meetings at Neilsen's house are continued. We also hold another class at Mrs Parks', where social questions are discussed. I have a good circle of Radical friends in the City too. There is more Radicalism in society than we suspect. It requires to be organized, and made self-conscious.

Please convey my heartiest fraternal greetings to Mrs. Brooks. Love and mille baisers to Charlie.

Please write soon. I shall be sad if you don't write soon.

Yours even Har Dayal

Holding Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Collection: Van Wyck Brooks Papers
Item History: 2011-11-27 (created); 2020-04-24 (modified)

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