[Letter excerpt, September 8, 1941]
What puts me in this mood is a week-end spent in a mountain cabin with two families of females — Midwestern schoolteachers! I went along in hopes of seeing a new part of the world (and there is a magnificent snow-cave, such as you won’t find anywhere in the Northwest this year), but presently found myself swept along like some lost planet in a cosmic drift of small talk; a galactic haze of syllables, vast and tenuous, filled all the valleys and shaded the sun. This sort of thing frightens me: what if these people are to go on talking like this to the end of time; what if no war or plague comes to put a period to their deliberate and willful trivialities? Are these people to inherit the earth whose only monument is a thin debris of papers and cans?