Letter from Har Dayal to Van Wyck Brooks (December 8, 1934)

Written from England, Har Dayal's December 8, 1934 letter to Van Wyck Brooks addresses Brooks' support of socialism in the U.S. Dayal admits that he does not "think much" of Communist parties outside Russia, and reports on the activities of socialists and liberals in the U.K. and their campaign against "War & Faciscm." Dayal also mentions a few people by name: Dr. Conze, a scholar and socialist, who fled Germany for the U.K., and John D. Barry, a long-time acquaintance, who published favorable articles about India in the San Francisco-based Bulletin. Dayal also explains his plans to write a short "History of Civilization" volume.

Freedom Movement

Date: December 8, 1934
Type: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Har Dayal
Location: 34 Churchill Road, Edgware, United Kingdom

34 Churchill Rd. Middx England 12.8.34 My dear Brooks, Many thanks for your book, which I have read with keen interest & pleasure. You seem to be a good Mentor for American literary life. I have read out passages from the book to some friends, who also appreciated them very much. I shall be pleased to meet that Indian gentleman, if he calls upon me. I have been enabled to establish this institution here on a modest scale through the aid & cooperation of some European friends. We try to follow a programme according to the ideal of Self Culture outlined in my book. We have lectures, study-classes, social service, a sun-ray clinic, political propaganda for socialism, ethical sermons, etc. etc. Many people have expressed sympathy with our work, especially the young people. I am glad to learn of your support of Socialism in U.S.A. I do not think much of the Communist parties outside Russia & I am not working with them. I came to England from Sweden in Oct. 1927 ?? I was not here when you were in London. I look forward to reading Charles's translation of Amiel's journal, I hope it will have a wide circulation. If I meet him, I wish to tell him that I knew him as a small baby in Palo Alto. Here most socialists & Liberals are carrying on a vigorous campaign against War & Fascism. I had a visit last week from Dr. Conze, a scholar & socialist, who has flew from Germany with his family. I learned much from him about the internal situation in Germany. He speaks English well, and lectures, & writes for the Labour Party. We are doing something for the German refugees, but it is not much as the funds are quite insufficient for the purpose. The German socialists have published a pamphlet secretly - "Socialism's new start," which will also be issued in U.S.A. soon. You may come across it. Which is the leading Socialist monthly now in U.S.A.? I should like to get it. Has "The Modern Monthly" much influence over there? I am trying to write a short "History of Civilization," ending with contemporary problems & conditions. This will be a kind of companion volume to "Hints for Self Culture." John D. Barry has written a favourable article about my book in San Francisco News. I saw a review of the new edn. of your "Ordeal of Mark Twain" in "The Listener" (Radio paper) here. Please remember me to Mrs. Brooks. Yours sincerely, 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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