Oct. 30 78
Thank you for the transcript that Jan made of our telephone conversation (your portion of it). I did not recall everything that you said, so its good to have it in writing.
First, I still have had no word from my advisor on whether he will permit me to change topics to the Dark Agewhich, for me, is a crucial consideration, so I have written to him again. I might not do it even if he approves, but I will not if he does not.
As to Mycenae, I comes along, though slowly. Hardly any of the original piece remains as it was. I find the whole thing frustrating since it takes so long, but there are important considerations. First, despite your offer, this may be the last thing I do on archeology, and I want to to be perfect for that reason. Beyond that, when the piece went into Pensée, with its limited number of readers (most of them already convinced of your ideas and also most of them ignorant of Aegean archeology), and when the pieced did not have Eddie Schorr as the by-line, while I tried to make it as good as possible, still there was comfort knowing that nobody well-informed would likely read it, and even if someone did, he wouldnt know I was the author. The situation is different with the book, which will go to a mass readership, many of them experts, many of the already hostile and looking for any mistakes to use as ammunication against the case, and my name will appearso its scarier for me, and I want to put forth something that is air-tight, up-to-date, correct in all details, with no room for attack. Attack will come anyway, but I dont want it to be easy for a critic to say that I have overlooked something or misrepresented something, so Im striving for perfection. The piece will be longer than before, as I indicated, and you agreed. It may be too long to suit you, but I will still make it as long as seems appropriate to me, and you can then eliminate sections or reduce them in size, or even take some from my paper and put them into your section of the book to make it more up-to-date and less reliant on debates 70-90 years ago. I still hope to finish it soon, but it is difficult under the circumstances. What is most distressing is reading something several times and finding things that I should have found the first time, and known that \i must have overlooked them before, and may be overlooking other things even now. One case that I used to think worked for use, definitely works the other way (11th-10th century tombs over a Mycenaean IIIB building, which by your scheme must be 8th century). That is disturbing. It is still only one case out of numerous ones that work for you and against them, but I cant ignore it just because it hurts the case.
It is ironic regarding the supplement that I thought Id do practically no changes; now Im doing a lot of revision and expansion. More ironic is the fact that I really am not that anxious to print it. I dont look forward to the pepercussions and the blasts it will draw. It will be the best thing I am able to produce, but I know that it wont be perfect and that bothers me, especially for knowledgeable, hostile critics to see it. You have in your cause someone who would be thrilled to contribute to your book, and is probably insulted that I was asked and he was not. He lives for the glory of having his name in print and his ideas (either foolish, wrong, non-germane or plagiarized) published . He has no great concern for perfection or even rudimentary accuracy and fairness. I got the assignment which would have thrilled him but distresses me. Ill do it to help you, but not for my personal glory (I am more concerned about criticism than about praises). If it were just for me, I think Id drop the matter, but to help you, Ill do it (how different his attitude and mine).
Regarding the bright future that you see for me, I dont share your vision. That may be because I am by nature pessimistic, or it may be that you know something that I do not. From my point of view, things look bleak. I dont know what you have in mind since you did not spell it out. Whatever it is, there is a good chance that I wont follow it. As to the 5 months, If that is time spent on the road to something better, thats one consideration. If its a dead end, then its time wasted for me and time I should use to find real employment, I cannot place my life on your optimism unless I know what prompts it and unless it seems realistic to me, cause me to be optimistic. I am pragmatic. Life requires that I make money to pay bills. Ill do that at whatever I have to do. And that choice will be mine, based on what seems best to me. Your hopes and Jans hopes for my future are only thatnothing tangible that I can see and I can base muy life on someone elses dreams. I have to do what seems best to me. Ill consider seriously any offer you ahve, since I would rather do research than go into business, but I may not decide to follow your offer if it seems impractical, insecure, unethiccal, etc. I will not take a university title under false pretenses, for example. I will not take something that has nor real future to it.I will not take something that is meant for somewone who is not like myself. The idea of my writing books is unrealistic. It takes me too long to write things and they would not sell well to the general public. That is the nature of my research and my style of writing. Neither will change, so I cannot expect to make a living as you haveIm too slow and few would purchase what I write, plus I am not confident enough to publish. That is an unrealistic occupation for me. A job that I could do, but which has no real future or security is unrealistic for me. Taking money from someone like Bruce and pretending that it comes from a university is something I would not do. I am nearly 30 years old and I need to look for something I can do for the next 30 yeras, something I would enjoy, something that will pay well, something I could do, and something with security. I dont want a 2-year post that is a dead-end, so that Ill be 2 years older and still have to look for employmentthen, instead of now. I want to settle down, feel some security, know I have a steady paycheck, know I can afford to get marrie dand have a familyi dont want to stay uncertain about my future and about my financial situation, about wher Ill live and what work Ill do. If that meas working for a company with a guaranteed salary, with increases with time, with stability, with benefits, with a knoweldge of whats expected of me and a knoweldge that Ill have steady work and regular paychecks and how large theyll be and what I can afford, Ill take that, if its the best offer.
Im willing to listen to any proposal you have, but I may not take it if it doesnt give me seucrity or if it is something that I cannot do. So far, the only proposals Ive heard are ones that do not fit me (like a temporary instructor, or an authorthey are not realistic for me). I also am not going to gamble my life on the chance that maybe some day some school will want to hire an expert on your revised chronology. You may be optimistic on that. I am not. I know those people better than you do. Even if they privately conceded that youre right, they will publicly be against you for a long time to come (except for a few places of no real significance). Maybe yourre right about colleges accepting your work and I'm wrong, but until I believe that youre right, by my seeing things happen as you hope they will, I wont gamble my life on your dreams. I need to see something more tangible. So, for now, till I know what causes your optimism, I do not share it, and will not gamble my future on it.
As to your offer for me to work for 5 months, that is tempting, but there are considerations. First, I need my advisors approval for a new topic. Second, while Houston does not have the research facilities of Princeton, I have learned over the last 2 years that I cannot tolerate northern winters. The cold is more than I can bear, so I dont want to be there in the winter. Ive also learned that as unhappy as some aspects of my life here are, I have friends in town and by living with my parents I am not alone. In Cincinnati, when I was alone in my apartment, I went through severe depressions.There, too, I had some friends, and ther were things to do and places to go. Princeton is as small town with little to do beside work, and I have no friends there. If I lived alone there, I could be absolutely miserable at any time of year, but especially winter. As to you, it owuld be good to have something to supervise my work, check on my progress, and give encouragement which I lack here, and had very little of in Cincinnati. But, realistically, beyond work, on the personal level, you and I do not get along well any longer. I find that you expect more than I can deliver, and you alsways lose your temper with me, causing big fights between us. I simply cannot live up to all your expectations, either for the quality and speed of my work, or for my opinions on things which do not always match your own, for which Im considred a traitor or a rebel or a liar or a psychotic. Our last get-together led to my bleeding ulcers. It is best for both of us to realize that our being in the same town, under those circumstances, will probably lead to friction, fights, anger, frustration and hurt feelings all around. So, I dont think it wise for me to come there. As to working for 5 months here, that is feasible, but I still need work from my advisor amd I still need to know if those are 5 months which lead to the bright future you see, or if they are a dead end and 5 months I should spend toward seniority with a business that will provide me with the king of future, stability, finances, security, etc., that, at this point in my life, I need.
I know how ungrateful I sound over all this. I am not ungrateful. But Im trying to be realistic, to consider the past and to consider the future. We both know someone who would be thrilled if you offered him half of what youre offering me, but he and I are different. He would fight viciously to get what you offer, while I am resisting that offer, as attractive as it sounds, until I learn more about it. In the past, it has cost me to put your interests ahead of mine. I am doing that now again with the Mycenae article, so that you book will benefit from it, but I wont do that for the rest of my life. I your interests coincide with mine, that will be terrific for us both. If not, then, for the first time, Ill put my interests first, and do what I need to do to feel secure about my future. I shall not take on anything that leaves me as insecure or even more insecure than I feel right now. That much I owe to myself. Ive had enough depression and enough bleeding ulcers. From now on, after that article, I look for security and something with a real future that is suitable to me as I reallly am, not as others would hope I was (e.g., a popular authorwhich I am not).
If your plans for me seem good, I will certainly follow them and bless you for them. If they are unrealistic, I will not take them. It is as simple as that/ Ill listen very carefully to them, consider them, but I will determine if they are good for me, or work against my happiness, my security, and my peace of mind. If they are not right for me, I wont take them. Still, Ill wait to hear your proposal.
In the meantime I will send Mycenae as soon as I can. Thereafter I promise nothing. If I can help, I will. If I cannot, I wont. Id still advise you to consider this as possibly the last thing I shall write on archeology. If things work out, terrific. If not, then forget about my book, as there will be none. At this point in my life, if I have to choose security, peace of mind, something with a future, and if your proposal does not provide those, Ill reject it and do other things. I might do archeology on the side, but thats doubtful. Still, Ill await you comments and your proposition for what happens after 5 months and for the next 30 years.
I do appreciate your interest, concern and attempt to help, and I may accept if it sounds good, but dont take it personally if I leave all this behind to do what seems best for me in some other area.