From a December 9, 1961 letter to David Brown:

"It amuses me to read a Time review that calls me an outsider giving an outsider's view of the upper crust. It happens that I am not quite so far outside as those people would like to think, but that isn't what's important. What is important is that those very same people accept as gospel whatever Margaret Mead writes about the savages in the South Seas, to give one example. But I have spent far more time among the American natives. I know their language and their customs, and I move about among them freely and inconspicuously because I happen to be one of them. The inverted snobs who want to believe that I am an outsider so they can attack me on that basis are revealing that they only want to have some basis for attack. I never see them at the weddings and funerals and parties I go to or at the clubs I belong to, and I never will, but when they cast doubt on my credentials they inadvertently admit that they have never been admitted. But as I say, it goes deeper than that. I get no complaints of inaccuracy from the socially secure, believe me. It would certainly appear that the complaints that come from the social nobodies, the hack reviewers, indicate that they are over-impressed by a life they  pretend to despise. That being the case - and it is - how trustworthy are their judgments of work that does not deal with the upper crust? And if they can be so wrong about me and my lifelong meanderings among the upper crust, which are simple verifiable facts, how right can they be in their literary judgments?"

"And what is the other thing they attack me on? That I am a copy of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Well, when I wrote APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA I had read THE KILLERS and A FAREWELL TO ARMS, but a critic would have a hell of a time proving a Hemingway influence there, and after that I was on my own. As to Fitzgerald's influence, it was largely in choice of material rather than in viewpoint or literary presentation. Fitzgerald really didn't like APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA or BUTTERFIELD 8,  because he was basically a prude. I wish I had saved a letter he wrote me about BUTTERFIELD 8, in which he said something to the effect that sex should be used sparingly . . . . Much as I admired Hemingway and Fitzgerald's work, my considered opinion is that I was more strongly influenced by Tarkington, Galsworthy, and Lewis than by the younger men . . . . At 57-less-one-month there is no time for spurious modesty, and I think I am the best."

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