Letters

Search or browse Waguih Ghali Unpublished Papers in eCommons.

8/18/1963, 1 page(s)
Author: Philip Roth
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Paul Engle

Philip Roth is giving information to Diana to pass on to Ghali, primarily the contact information for a Paul Engle, director of the Writers Workshop at the State University of Iowa. Roth thinks Ghali should get in touch with Engle, so that Ghali may work with the Writers Workshop. Roth is supportive of Ghali's abilities and thinks Ghali's work is good enough to merit acclaim.

9/28/1963, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Suzie; George (married to Suze); Ketty Cater; Barbara; Samir; Nancy; Sir EW; Rowoher (sp?); Paul Zsolnay; Janet Stewart; Smith (Barbara's husband); Barry Reckord; Kenneth Tynan; G. Green; Rolf Hochhuth

Ghali talks to Diana about her possible marriage to a friend, Suzie's widower. Ghali implores her to not rush into a decision and to not forget how much she, as a person, is actually worth. He also explains how his time in Scotland has convinced him it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. He also explains his admiration for the Tartars. Ghali continues with a discussion of Rowoher (sp?), who seems to be a publisher who Ghali was currently at odds with because Ghali believes he treated him wrongly, but is apologetic about the situation. He further discusses the foreign publishing rights to his book that Diana brings up, wondering if Diana is referring to French publishers Gallimard Jeunesse or Formenta (sp?), and plans to send it Paul Zsolnay for German publishing.Ghali explains that he has more time now, so he reads a lot and is thinking of writing another book.

Date N/A, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Barrie; Nikita Khrushchev; Heinz; Rowohlt (publishing company)

Ghali seems to be in good spirits due to great weather and a new job in Scotland. He is going to start working for the British Army as a typist/translator. He plans to work there for a while, but does not want to go to work in Iowa, he wants to go to London. Ghali explains that his friend, Heinz will pay off Rowohlt (a German publisher) so that Ghali may have sole rights to his novel. He ends his letter explaining that he is happy and grateful now simply because Heinz has lent him enough money to eat and drink which he did not have before.

10/10/1963, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Guy de Maupassant; Anton Chekhov; Samir

Ghali tells Diana that he has been thinking of her since the next day is N.S. day and Diana must be in a state. He goes on to talk to her about a short story she wrote him. He says it is too refined for his liking, but that is because she has always been a proper writer, which he never believed himself to be. He makes the comparison that her writing moves toward Guy de Maupassant's while he attempts to move to who he believes is the greatest writer ever, Anton Chekhov. He was fired from his British Army job before it even started for unknown reasons, and is now working a 'horrible' labor job, but plans to write more now. He also has sent money to Rowohlt to regain publishing rights to his book. Ghali hopes that Diana will stay in good spirits despite the impending literary reviews for her book.

10/23/1963, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Angus Wilson; Captain Allen; Captain Waime (sp?); Andre Deutsch

Ghali is so excited to have read positive reviews in the paper for Diana's book. He then goes into details about the hierarchy of officers he spoke with when he tried to get his job at the British army base back. He often highlights their ineptitude and finds it quite annoying. However, in the end he is happy to get his job back and to leave his previous labor job. He also has written back to Andre Deutsch about the publishing rights of his book.

Date N/A, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Kathleen Knott, Wyndham Lewis, Angus Wilson; TShaw Waire (sp?)

Ghali writes this half on typewriter and half handwritten, because he had to pause his writing to finish some work. He concludes a previous conversation the two had on 'pangs' versus 'love' and agrees that Diana's views are definitely more truthful and adequate. Ghali details that it is payday for all the officers and jokes they all line up to get paid for doing nothing. He implores Diana to not send him Christmas gifts or money for a flight to London. He wishes he could be there with her on this first Christmas after her publishing. Ghali tells her that she takes the glamour away of famed people like Wyndham Lewis and Kathleen Knott.

Date N/A, 5 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Gabriel Fielding; Vladimir Nabokov; Graham Green; ATURK; Mobaya; Ahlegem (sp?); Andre Deutsch; Brenda Woodgate; Helga; Ketty; Edith Seaman; Rowohlt; Paul Ingle; Phillip; Heinrich/Freidrick
Date N/A, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Iris Murdoch; Doris Lessing; Mary McArthy; Andre Deutsch; Brenda; Barbara

Ghali speaks to Diana about the recent string of short stories she has written and praises them for their technical skill, but critiques Diana for writing too efficiently like an artisan. He insists that she should write like she does in her letters, like an artist, because she is not conscious of her writing then. He also notes that a French publisher has been hearing about "Beer in the Snooker Club" and wants to read it, which comes as a surprise to Ghali. He does not want to give Andre Deutsch the American rights to his next book, but waits for Diana's discretion on business deals with him. Regarding his work in the military office at the time, he feels as though no one there knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Ghali explains that he is forced to engage in an inefficient, redundant task, so he suggested a more efficient procedure to his superior and it has been put in place. Ghali has also written two short stories that he plans to send to Diana.

Date N/A, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Andre Deutsch;

Ghali is having a lot of problems with publishers and is trying to separate his personal relationship at this time with Diana from all the publishing conflict. He wants to start handling the international rights to his book by himself, and plans to send copies of his book to various requesting French publishers. He has not been writing much because he is writing again and is preoccupied with that and increased workload at his job.

11/6/1963, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Rowohlt; Mr. Busch; Knopf; Koshland; Andre Deutsch; Phillip; Engle; Edmund Wilson; Nobrakow

Ghali harshly refers to a woman who is romantically interested in him and goes on to a long explanation of why he does not understand passion because he thinks love is just like a mathematical formula that necessitates specific variables. He is once again having difficulty communicating with publishers. Rowohlt has not confirmed that Ghali owns the rights to his book, and Koshland said they had intention of publishing "Beer in the Snooker Club" in the spring, which is much later than Ghali anticipated. Additionally, Ghali is once again at odds with Deutsch who wants 20% of Ghali's American rights on his next book. His work days run late and he copes with midday drinking and buying an Edmund Wilson book.

11/29/1963, 8 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Anton Chekhov; Vladimir Nabokov; JB Priestley; GG; Samir; Sarah (Samir's girlfriend); John F. Kennedy; Lee Harvey Oswald; Jack Ruby

Ghali begins by attempting to justify his criticisms of Diana's writing. He explains that he is not a true writer, but he loves reading and developing personal opinions on writings, which include criticisms. These criticisms are not literary reviews, but personal beliefs, so they should not be taken as an attempt to expertly analyze writings. He goes on to explain that he has a limited knowledge of literature, and primarily adores Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, and Vladimir Nabokov. He apologizes for failing to write back more promptly, his work has been increasingly busy. He acknowledges his difficulties with dealing with business matters and plans to tell Andre Deutsch that he will handle foreign rights himself. Ghali eventually begins to talk to Diana about her plans for Christmas and tells her that she will be the 'queen of christmas' at her home due to her new book. Ghali has not gambled in almost a year, but is getting urges to do it again. However, he still is not being good with his money, spending excessively on expensive food and clothes. He briefly mentions his friend Samir, whose girlfriend he dislikes. He ends his letter referencing his dismay with the recent assassination of President Kennedy and how lucky the world was to have him lead the United States. He does not like Lyndon B. Johnson (equates him with Nixon) and thinks the murder was a conspiracy which makes him question the abilities of the police in protecting people.

12/4/1963, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Engle; Dr. Abraham; One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich (by Alexander Solzhenitsyn) Anton Chekhov; Vladimir Lenin; Maxim Gorky; Dostoyevsky; Isaac Deutscher;

Ghali begins by trying to console Diana about what he perceives as her recent writerís block/depression. He empathizes with the feeling of not being able to write anything and tells her that once he starts writing he cannot stop because otherwise he hits a wall. He further empathizes with the feeling of loneliness and failure that he has had on and off since he was 18 years old. His job is taking away a sense of despair rooted in insecurity that he has always had, but he fears this loss of despair will result in a loss of mental stimulation as well. He received a letter from Engle in Iowa telling him that he could possibly finance his trip to America if no one else has the rights to his next book yet. Ghali is displeased with this because he does not want to be tied to anyone and be pressured to write his second book. He wants to visit England, but thinks Christmas time would be difficult since all of his friends would be scattered around, so he wants to come when Diana publishes his book and spend time with her then. Ghali is confused with his friend, Anthonyís recent decision to marry but lead a separate life from his wife. Ghali does not understand the point of this. He tells Diana that he bought ìOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovichî and was happy to find out it was published in Russia, because he loves Russia. He attributes this to his heroes all being Russian, Chekhov, Lenin, Gorky, and Dostoevsky. He calls Lenin the most genius of men to ever live, and Russians to be human, emotional, and unpredictable people. He notes the similarities between Egyptians, especially Copts, and Russians. Ghali ends with his explanation that he often gets into the contemplative, existential mood and feels everything wasting away.

12/9/1963, 5 page(s)
Author: Diana Athill
Addressee: Waguih Ghali
Names: Marion; Anthony; Barbara; Clive; Andrew Athill (Diana's brother); Mary Athill (Diana's sister-in-law); Michae; Pan; Kelly; Samir; Anthony

Diana is concerned that Ghali is too dependant on his despair like she was on her pain, and warns him that suffering alone will not suffice as a long-term solution. Where she once wallowed in her own loneliness, she has reached a point past that. A point, where she feels the little things in her life are fleeting as she approaches closer to death, and wishes she had more time to appreciate them. This reminds Diana of a girl who stayed with her, Marion, who could not cope with the loneliness after the end of a relationship. Diana goes on to update Ghali on the lodgers in her home and neighbors. These include, Barbara who is having a tough time during her pregnancy. Her lodger is cooking for her boyfriend tonight, and Diana commends this believing that cooking is more a social exercise than anything else, most enjoyable when done for someone else. Diana assures Ghali that few, if any of her family members will talk to her about her new book, and they will make sure she does not see her uncle who strongly opposes the book. She plans to stay some time with her brother who lives in a small, shanty cottage with his wife and four sons who are havoc-wreaking children. All in all it will be an exhausting Christmas that she would rather spend by herself than with her chaotic family. Diana speaks of an anonymous fan letter she received from someone using the pseudonym, Pan. He sends her numerous poems and she believes she has figured out his identity. Her brother warned her that his old officer friend. Michael was planning on sending Diana some writing soon. Michael had lived in Diana's apartment with her and Barbara and he had various peculiar characteristics. He had regimented schedules of sleeping and waking up, and he was basically an alcoholic. When drunk he would first find it necessary to go to a monastery, and after drinking more he would get lustful and attempt to enter Diana and Barbara's rooms at night (to which he had to be turned away, but not reprimanded the next day). He eventually became a spy for the British Secret Service (as Diana found out when he got drunk one day) in Persia. The poems he sent her were often about nature and Diana could never understand what made him so odd. She adds that there is a job opening where she works in the accounts department and decided to try and see if her office could get a permit for Ghali to come work there. Diana writes an additional page to her original letter explaining that her theory that "Pan" was Michael has been proven wrong. Pan has been calling her house in the mornings and she has begun to detest him because she thinks he is the kind of person who is delusional about his own sensitivity and spirit because of his loneliness. However, she prevents herself from being rude because she simultaneously feels sorry for people like Pan who are so lonely that they can fall in love with a book. She also mentions Ghali's previous explanation of his views on marriage. She notes that his views prove wrong the misconceptions that people have about "Oriental" people's views on marriage. He proves that their views are not limited, but drastically varied. However, she also believes that Barbara and Anthony's decision to live together, but lead separate lives was not their initial intent with marriage as Ghlai believes. Diana sees it as a response to a marriage going wrong and an attempt to salvage the marriage as a label because they are so dedicated to the concept of 'sharing,' even if they want to live separate lives. She ends with a note saying letters are not sufficient, for she had numerous other replies she wanted to include to his last letter, but this letter already went on too long. Also, she adds that she wants to see all the writings he has been working on more than she wants another letter from him.

12/10/1963, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Michael; Pan; Barry Reckord; George Faludy; Flora Papastavrou; Barbara; Anthony; Knopf; Knowles; Andre Deutsch;

Ghali is surprised by how seriously Diana took his criticism of her writings. He did not realize she was so sensitive to criticism, and if he knew would have been more clear in his criticism because he truly believes her to be a real, great writer. He does not even consider himself a writer and for that reason also she should not take his comments too seriously. The Captain at Ghali's work continues to to treat Ghali very well, almost permanently including Ghali in his insurance business on the side, while also being promoted at his proper job. Ghali is worried about the mysterious Pan that is sending Diana letters. He has had a premonition that leads him to believe that Pan is evil and tells Diana to act carefully. Knopf has sent Ghali a contract and he is having trouble still contacting Andre Deutsch who is in Africa. He recounts an exchange he had with a French woman that begin as hostile until the two helped each other and learned they could both speak French and they eventually went out together. He ends with thanking Diana for the gifts she has sent him including nuts and a book.

12/22/1963, 4 page(s)
Author: Diana Athill
Addressee: Waguih Ghali
Names: Pan; Barry Reckord; Barbara; Adam (Barbaraís son); Anthony; Donald Hall; Rouchli(sp?)

Diana tells Ghali not to worry about Pan, she has had experience with this kind of guy before and knows how to handle herself better than Ghali gives her credit. Barry Reckord went to Jamaica the day before she wrote this letter, and she explains how he dislikes traveling and feels shameful returning to Jamaica for such a short time and as someone who is not rich and famous. She goes into some length describing the troubles Barbara is dealing with at the time. She went to church with some friends and was delighted by the ceremony especially because the preacher turned out to be a Marxist who gave a very enjoyable sermon. She described the whole experience as 'like a dream.' She plans to be busy with Christmas things for a little while so she will be less communicative.

12/28/1963, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Editions Robert Loffant;

The entire letter consists of Ghali's reent mental thoughts of loneliness and anguish, He explains his daily thoughts of feeling empty and hopeless, keeping to himself and not wanting to interact with anyone else. He is aware of how dismal his mental state is and feels like there is nothing he can do about it. At the end, he also notes that Editions Robert Loffant has given him an offer for the distribution of his book and asks Diana if she thinks he should take the deal.

1964, 6 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Editions Robert Loffant; Bob Hugel (sp?); Possible reference to Jane Goodall; Constance Garnett; Rowohlt; lots of family members named;
Date N/A, 9 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Hitler; Franz Bohme (his daughter);
Date N/A, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
5/11/1964 or 11/5/1964, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
7/24/1964, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Samir; Rami; Andre Deutsch; Liz
1/20/1964, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Nikolai Gogol; David Magarshack; Anton Chekhov; Constance Garnett; Vladimir Nabokov; Gunny Luther (sp?); Aldous Huxley; M Webb (sp?)
9/25/1964, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Rami; Samir; Kurt; Edda; Keith
10/26/1964, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Samir; Ketty; Kurt; Rami; Herbert; Bubi Reuther; Dr. Orth; Helmuth Breuer; Captain Ayton; Peter Sellers; Princess Margaret; Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip;
11/24/1964, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Brian Moore (author of "An Answer from Limbo"); Herbert Zander; Edda; Kurt; Rolf; Agatha Christie; Detective Hercule Poirot; Fyodor Dostoevsky
12/3/1964, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Francisco Franco; Ketty; Samir; Miha, Miss Prudence; Mrs. Uhde; Rowohlt; Barbara; Angus Wilson;
11/2/1964, 4 page(s)
Author: Diana Athill
Addressee: Waguih Ghali
Names: Barbara; Edith; Julian Huxley; Barry Reckord; Alison; Brenda; Heinrich During; Arno Schmidt; Mordecai; Man Ray; Pablo Picasso; Marc Chagall; Giorgio de Chirico; Penrose; Lee Miller; Kathleen Nott; John Gross
Date N/A, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Barry Reckord; B. Rutter; Wofick (sp?)
5/4/1965, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Captain Allen; Titi; SamSam;
6/28/1965, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Alex; Mrs. Mix; Ketty; Samir;
7/12/1965, 5 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Dais; Alfred; Guy Wheeler; Birsitta (sp?); Mrs. Mix; Edna; Pandora (the Illiad); Chekhov; Abraham; Driss; Andre Deutsche; The Song of the Red Ruby (Agnar Mykle); Barry Reckord
7/13/1965?, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Ketty; Edna
11/5/1965, 9 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Edith; Heinz; Samir; Michael Almaz; Barbara
Date N/A, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Date N/A, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Samir
10/18/1965, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Ketty
Date N/A, 7 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: David Higham Associates; …ditions Robert Laffont; Chekhov; Guenther Simmowski; Graham Greene; Edda; John Wain
1/18/1964, 5 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Edith; Heinz; Pierre Gascar
Date N/A, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Fraulein Loose
2/9/1964, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Ramzi; Heinz; Edith; Rowohlt Verlag; …ditions Robert Laffont
12/28/, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Samir; Sarah; Leila; Fakia; Ketty
4/6/, 4 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Bob Beine; Peter Schelo; Henry Brooke; Smithmich (sp?); Janet; Barry Reckord; Juan Castelliano; Alfred; Anton; Adolf Hitler; Francisco Franco; R. Riepert; Peter Scholo; Paul Roth; JP Donleavy
Date N/A, 1 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Edith Piaf
Date N/A, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
4/, 5 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Barry Reckord; Vetty; Benyl Abraham (sp?); Bob; Brenda; Peter
11/30/1963, 3 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
1/19/1966, 2 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Barry Reckord
Date N/A, 2 page(s)
Author: Diana Athill
Addressee: Waguih Ghali
Date N/A, 8 page(s)
Author: Waguih Ghali
Addressee: Diana Athill
Names: Don Vutty (sp?); Brigitta
Date N/A, 2 page(s)
Author: Diana Athill
Addressee: Waguih Ghali
Names: Anne
2/4/14, 1 page(s)
Addressee: Diana Athill