Charles Olson to Robin Blaser



 [undated letter – possibly early April 1959]


Dear Robin:  Miss you very much. But then also don't, in the exact sense it always feels as tho you are extremely kin--going abt yr own biz, so the next time we do see each other we are going on fr there. Delicious. And rare (?)

Again, I come to you with a technical question; and one which has rattled in my head a long time (like that TRAUMBUCH I may have told you abt, which I proposed to Harry Murray ((there, still head I think, of the Psych Clinic on the street Grolier's on the top corner of--down it, a way)): that we make a 'dictionary' of dream objects words etc, including archetype situations (equals 'myths'?)

The OTHER great missing tool, is a NEW dictionary of ROOTS. That is, with Webster-Oxford plus Harper's Latin and Liddell-Scott's Greek, say, one can dig behind and down along the path of any word has any such 'history'--the Indo-European possibility at least. Ending: Sanskrit.

OK. But since the great I9th century DICTIONARY WORK, Hittite has been discovered, and such crazy people as those Rudolph Steiner-ites (I am thinking of Wedler's, I believe the guy's name is, his "One Language Source of All Tongues", no less!

I love it; and there's some truth in it. Which brings me to MY QUESTION: wld any of those 'knowing' people about there, whom you might ask, advise WHETHER THERE IS ANY NEW WORK WHICH BRINGS THESE root QUESTIONS within the range of discoveries of the past 75 to 100 YEARS??????

I don't mean on a discursive level but on as firm (with 'probables') as ANY OF THE ABOVE DICTIONARIES???

That is, I shld imagine that some linguistic scholarship has got around to relate Hittite grammar & vocabulary to Sanskrit, and so to the base of Indo-European

ditto the other wider comparative that the theosophical nuts have made too much of (I know of Hogben's The Loom of Lang, but that's discursive: I mean a TOOL, to add to my present dictionary EQUIPMENT!

That wld be abt it. And only if it interests you yrself, push it. Maybe it's easily answer-ed (swear-ed). I don't know. (My only knowledge of a DICTIONARY OF ROOTS is the English translation of Curtius' Grundsage on Greek etymology: 1875!

It's probably that I just don't know enuf. But if you cld end my ignorance, and put me on to an equally creditable work (happily including, as well as Sanskrit and Old Norse, say, Hittite and universal-comparative disclosures!) I'd be MOST AIDED!

     Love, and 0

Chas (I send this to work hearing

I think you now live in Cambridge


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