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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I was naturally pleased to read the piece on the study of American Literature at Harvard, by Richard N. Levy, which you ran on Friday, October 18. As far as I know, it is factually correct, as to dates, etc., though perhaps a bit indulgent in its judgment of personalities. I write this, however, to lament that Mr. Levy appears not to know the name of W. Ellery Sedgwick, who in the late 1930's was associated with Professor Matthiessen and me in the conduct of English 33. Both Matty and I learned as much from him as we did from any formal instrcutor of our own, and as a personality exciting the interest of students in this area throughout these years, he was of immense effectiveness. For the sake of the record, as well as for the sake of affectionate memory and inconsolable grief, let me ask you that his name be recorded, and with it my conviction that his tragically early death in January of 1942 deprived not only the Harvard community but the scholarly world of one of the subtlest, most gracious minds in the area of study. Perry Miller,   Professor of American   Literature.

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