OLSON, CHARLES. (1910-1970).
Rare Typed Letter Signed, 2 full separate 4to pages, Lerma, Campeche, Mexico, April 13, 1951.
To. C.O.S. [Carl Ortwin Sauer] A professor at University of California, Berkeley for 50 years where he influenced a generation of geographers, trying to unify the areas of physical and human geography through a historical methodology. "Do you know anyone or anything (Texas oil foundation, or, old-line outfit with merely loot of mercantilism) which would take young workers in your rear to a small piece of some loot (500 or 1000 bucks) . I am going to be absolutely out of funds, done in, with all the last of the Guggenheim gone and what personal monies wife and I added to get us here, to keep us, and to manage digging, study, and moves, up to now . -what looks like my business- is, the art of the language of Mayan glyphs. And if I don't get some help quick, I am going to have to creep back to the States without having got the base work done on such important grounds as Uaxactun-Tikal, and Copan-Quirigus. As well as that basket of all but the 60 ton pieces, the Musco Nacionel, in the City, over there. I write to you, because of course, you are, to me the jefe or culture morphology there is in this early today's .I am scared to death of you, and, this week, when the first number of the new Boston magazine is out, with a long prose piece of mine, chiefly on the Sumerians, in which I quote you, occupying its center, constituting its "cultural" position, I am so scared I don't dare send you a copy.).I have dug, on my own: small sites, chiefly, along this west coast, from Jaina, on the north, to Champoton; just to get my hand in. I have also ranged the northern Yucatan sites: Uhiohen, Uxmal, Kabah, Labna-Sayil, Santa Rose Xtampak, Edzna. And I have bore in hard, on collections, basing this work on the fine small Campeche Museum. What I have found is, I take it, the simplest of discrepancies: the Maya thing was, if it was anything, a triumph of culture, yet, in the modern uncovering of its remains, and their examination, the conspicuously absent thing has been a methodology of culture-morphology and of men able to use same methodology. It is general, so far as I can make out, to the whole research as well as the digging and judgments in the field." Olson then continues by discussing digging, it is to continue to study and to examine the complex of Mayan "writing"- stone and wood inscriptions, the codices, and living Mayan speech as well as the host of other things (custom, legend, myths, etc.) which bear on language- until I am in a position to write what I tentatively can call a study of The Art Of The Language Of Mayan Glyphs." He continues with very specific lengthy details about Mayan glyphs, topics that certainly were a great influence on his own writing. This letter is signed, "Charles Olson" (Item ID: 209)