To Humbert Humbert of Nabokov’s Lolita: “Hey Humbert, How’s jail? I hope it’s as bad as they make it out to be in those undercover exposes. I mean, I really hope you’re suffering, I want to be clear on that from the outset.”
To A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh character (affectionally called Edward, the original name of Milne’s bear): “Dearest Edward, Have you gone mad, Bear? I noticed that you’re wearing a shirt, not just into the pool anymore but all the time. You’ve changed. Are you embarrassed or something?”
To Ernest Heminway’s Brett from the Sun Also Rises: ”Dear Brett, I find myself in the horrible position of telling you what a truly terrible human being you are. I know what you’re doing with Jake and Robert when you’re very much engaged to Michael.”
These are just some of the letters written by real people addressed to fictional characters, featured in the blog Letters With Character, a spin-off project from Ben Greenman‘s collection Correspondences, which included an incomplete story. Greenman writes, “There was a seventh story printed directly on the outside of the box, and it was intentionally uncompleted: I left lacunae in the story in the form of unwritten postcards sent between the main characters, and I invited readers to imagine them and send them to me. Early last year, Correspondences migrated over to Harper Perennial and evolved into a longer collection called What He’s Poised to Do, named for the intentionally uncompleted story. My editors and I briefly debated reviving the Postcard Project, but decided instead to come at the question of letters and readers and fiction, and how they collide and collude, from an entirely different direction. The result was Letters With Character, a blog that invites readers to write letters to fictional characters.”
Have you ever wanted to tell Toru-san from the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle that you too have been down in that well? Or maybe you wanted to stick it to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and let him know what he’s made of?
Now’s your chance.