Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/12

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The manuscripts were therefore sent to him to Villeneuve, in Switzerland. I asked him to look them over, returning only the pages on which he wished to make corrections. A month later I received a letter, from which I quote the most notable passages. It contained one page of the typoscript of The People's Theater—from my brief preface.

I ought first to explain that three years ago I spent an afternoon with a friend who had recently visited M. Rolland. He told me at the time that the author of Au-dessus de la Mêlée seemed disheartened by the weight of the great war. It was this hint, together with the fact that after diligent search I could find no record of anything new from his pen, that led me to write the paragraph to which our author refers in his letter. Let me quote a short passage from my original preface:

"The People's Theater is more than the exposition of a theory; it is autobiography of a sort Readers and lovers of Jean-Christophe will find in this less ambitious work certain hitherto unknown aspects of the soul of the creator of that monumental work. True, this 'work of combat' is youthful, but there is something attractive in the naïve impetuosity with which the young revolutionary sets to work demolishing the idols of the past and attempting to dear the field for a saner, more robust, and healthier drama, and a theater where the workingman and his family may seek relaxation and find food for mind and soul.

"The years have brought maturity to Romain