Friday, June 1, 2007

Robertson Davies Conkled

To Tyrone and Judith Guthrie

[Peterborough, Ontario]
May 27, 1946.

Dear Tony and Judy:

I read you an early version of this [the one-act play Overlaid] at Christmas & you urged me to extend it. I did so, & put the result in the Ottawa Drama League competition, & got First Prize ($100) out of a field of 47.

The adjudicator's "remarks" were depressing: "A hilarious folk-comedy that could stand comparison with the best of E. P. Conkle," said he. Upon looking up the said Conkle in French's Catalogue I discover him to be a concocter of gummy fantasies. A friend insists that I call my next piece "He Honks To Conkle." Still $100 is not to be sneezed at, whatever insult may go with it.

Yours till Niagara Falls,
(this is the Conkle touch)

-from Robertson Davies: Discoveries, Early Letters 1938-1975 Selected and Edited by Judith Skelton Grant (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2002) p. 28.

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