Mr. Don Fabun, Editor
The Rhodomagnetic Digest.

My Dear Don,

I have no wish to give wider publicity to the somewhat humorous ideas propagated by Mssrs. Gold and Browne. I doubt if even they believe what they have said. Perhaps, to paraphrase Franklin, they believe all editors should hang together, lest they all hang separately. Let me say that when a good story appears in Amazing I shall be the first to cry "O joy, o rapture unforseen ..." I have no wish to write on the duties of the critic so shall merely reproduce here several paragraphs of a very fine report which explains my position very well:

Man's taste and preference for the best are formed even by literature commonly dismissed as the "literature of escape" or the "literature of delight." All depends here on what one delights in, or what one escapes to. Delight and escaping must in themselves be counted benefits, especially in these times when men and women need relief from the tensions of life. The light romance, the detective story, the wild-west tale, the adventure at sea, the book of fantasy or humor are wrong only when they fail to function, 1 when they are not "escape" at all, but the repeated confirmation of all the dreary commonplaces, the dullness and cheapness that too often beset poor mortals. They are wrong when their trivial patterns are repeated ad nauseum, when continuing to read them is to ride on a sub-mental merry-go-round, its tinkling tune a monotone, and its painted scenery a shambles all the way.

For the mere act of reading, and humane letters, even the humane letters of "escape", are not the same thing. We are, in fact, swamped with "letters". We encounter them in newspapers, or billboards, in neon lights, in soup even, till both eye and brain revolt. This depressing tyranny of print, with its triviality and galling repetitions, is one of the burdens of modern life -- it makes, of necessity, a potential critic of every man who prefers to save his nerves. 2

1 A good story is literature, only the stereotyped are categorized under letters of "escape".

2 H.F. Lowry. "Literature in American Education." Report of a Special Committee of the Association's Commission on Trends in Education. PLMA Dec. 1950. p. 990.

Two final points. Unless Mr. Gold understands the subject of "snob appeal", whatever that may mean, better than he appears to, I would suggest he drop it. To Mr. Browne -- I only move my lips when reading Amazing and allied magazines.

Very truly yours,

David G. Spencer

Data entry and page scans provided by Judy Bemis

Data entry by Judy Bemis

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