25 November 2011

Letter to a Polish reader

Thank you for writing, and saying

I think Celia Green is one of the great modern British writers – in the perfect world she would be a household name.

It is nice that you get something out of my books, even if I do not get much out of modern British writers.

The reason I have produced so few books, and none of recent years, is that the publication of the books did nothing to relieve the frustration of my position as an exiled academic.

Debarred as I was from any academic career to which I was suited, I needed the books not only to generate income to replace that which I should have had as an academic, but also to build up capital towards the establishment of an independent academic organisation to provide me with living conditions compatible with intellectual productivity.

Unfortunately the books did not in any way generate opportunity. Writing, publishing and distributing them remains a heavy burden on our limited manpower and resources.

We need more people to come and live nearby, to do voluntary or paid part-time or full-time work. This should seem attractive to those approaching retirement, but apparently does not in this country, as nobody of that age group comes.

This is apparently because there is such a taboo in helping anyone who complains of their bad social position and attempts to remedy it. Possibly the taboo is less strong in Poland, where everyone is less cushioned by the welfare state.

Would you be able to come for a short break in Cuddesdon? We are too overworked to spend unlimited time with you, but could meet enough to give you some information about our needs and about the advantages there might be for those working here.

Then perhaps you could tell other people in Poland who might be interested, and this could eventually help us to write more of the books we are currently prevented from writing and publishing by the constriction of our position as well as our lack of academic status.