13 JUNE 1958, Page 19


SIR,—In The Angry Decade I wrote of my impression, gained from Mr, Wain's own writings, that he rather pompously overestimates his contributions to English literature to date, and remarked that he sees himself as 'a sort of cerebral golden eagle, rare and shot at' I must now thank him for confirming this im- Pression with his splendid paranoiac poem 'On Being Insulted by a Popular Journalist' in last week's SPeciator—a poem that surely will not die with that issue of the Spectator, and should be earmarked for inclusion in future anthologies along with.thc works of the Great McGonagall and Amanda Ros. Just one other thing. I am puzzled by the con- notation of contempt that is obviously meant to invest the word 'popular' in the title of Mr. Wain's Poem. I understood it to be precisely the unpopu- larity of his novels that he was bewailing in his eclaration piece.—Yours faithfully,

KENNET!' ALLSOP Alders, Digswell Water, Welwyn, Herts