Dylan Thomas certainly enjoyed his celebrity status in New York, but his background and emotional sensitivity left him ill-equipped him to deal with it. The outward persona of the rock ‘n’ roll poet concealed the inner world of the creative artist, beset by doubts and uncertainties.
Whilst on the road, crisscrossing North America to give readings and attend literary functions, Thomas must have felt very far from home. Between the clamour of attention and periods of boredom and loneliness, Dylan would have missed being back in Laugharne with Caitlin and the kids, the familiarity of the Boathouse and his writing routine, and questioned what had brought him to this vast country of new possibilities, with such heightened audience expectations and a fervent reaction to every performance he gave.
Dylan kept his inner thoughts hidden, and his letters home exaggerated his misfortunes and played down his enjoyment of the adoration he was receiving across America, with all its attendant benefits. Dylan’s drinking also masked and suppressed any underlying anxiety and emotional vulnerability, and a writer’s fear that for all the heart and soul he put into its creation, his work might not receive a positive reaction from critics and fellow writers.