The Letters of John Cowper Powys
to Ichiro Hara
These letters are among the last that came from the pen of John Cowper Powys. Written over a period of nine years, these sixty-eight unpublished letters to Ichiro Hara, his Japanese friend and translator, constitute a body of correspondence greater that that of Powys's celebrated collection of letters to G.R. Wilson Knight. No comparable body of letters from Powys's old age has so far appeared in print. At a time when Powys was ailing physically, the letters show a mind and spirit full of verve and ebullience.
The range of subject-matter is predictably vast, from universal philosophical issues to personal domestic details, but whether Powys is talking about Homer and Kwangtze or raw eggs and walking-sticks, he does so with his characteristic humour and candour, penetratingly eloquent and exasperatingly verbose. Powys said that Ichiro Hara had done more than anyone else, save Henry Miller, to make his name known and Hara here provides an introduction explaining the background to his relationship with Powys, written shortly before he died. Taken together, the letters are a remarkable testimony to a rare and unlikely cross-cultural relationship between two elderly philosophers on opposite sides of the world, who were only to meet once in their lives but who were drawn to each other by a mutual love of Wordsworth, a common interest in Taoism and Zen, and a shared sense of wonder at being alive in the world.
214mm x 133mm, 160 pp. and 4 pp. of illustrations.
ISBN 0-900821-96-5 £19.95