Posts Tagged: letters

Simply and Swiftly

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In 1906, aged 21, D.H. Lawrence wrote to his future fiancée Louise Burrows with writing advice after reading an essay on art she’d sent to him. Among many other remarkable lines, the British author told Burrows that “[l]ike most girl writers you are wordy” and suggested not being “didactic; try and make things reveal their mysteries to you, then tell them over simply and swiftly, without exaggerating as I do.

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Dear Son or Daughter

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Here is the problem in writing letters to your kids—perhaps especially as a writer, who has arguably spent her entire professional life writing letters to everyone who isn’t her kids: How do you suddenly start writing in a grand literary fashion to two small people whom, heretofore, you pretty much have only talked to as follows: “Did you brush?” “Did you wash your hands?” “Did you put it in the hamper?” and “Don’t flush it before I can see it.”

Peep here for a meditation on writing letters to your little Yous, and to read missives sent from the likes of Fitzgerald, Vonnegut, and Sexton to their offspring.

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Friends Indeed

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It turns out that French poet Charles Baudelaire wasn’t very fond of his compatriot Victor Hugo. Despite having the novelist’s support when prosecuted after publishing Les Fleurs du Malthe poet may have secretly despised (or perhaps just envied) Hugo—in a newly discovered letter from Baudelaire to an unknown correspondent, he calls the writer “stupid” and an “idiot.”

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Darwin’s Penpal

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The Public Domain Review flips through Darwin’s unusual photo collection and his correspondence with neurologist James Crichton-Browne. The correspondence between Darwin and Crichton-Browne led Darwin to write The Expression of Emotions of Man and Animals. Darwin found Crichton-Browne’s help so invaluable that he even wanted to list the neurologist as the book’s co-author (an offer Crichton-Browne politely declined).

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Next Letter in the Mail: Jenna Clark Embrey

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The next Letter in the Mail is from Jenna Clark Embrey! Earlier this year, we published Jenna’s amazing essay “Coats”.

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Mary Shelley’s Correspondence Discovered!

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Nora Crook, in perhaps the most exciting click ever to happen on the internet, made the discovery of a lifetime when she came across previously unpublished correspondence from the late Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. The article at The Guardian describes several letters written by Shelley shortly before her death.

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You Can’t Have A Revolution Unless You Make It For Yourself

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When a book is read, the story is transferred from the writer to the reader. Occasionally, however, the reader is allowed a glimpse into what the author may have been thinking through letters or interviews.

When George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, it was primarily meant to be “a satire on the Russian Revolution.” But there was a little more to it than just that.

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After 65 Years, “The Lottery” Endures

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Since its publication in 1948, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson has become an American classic, appearing in high school classrooms, as well as in the hands and on the computers of people around the nation.

On the 65th anniversary of the publication of “The Lottery,” Ruth Franklin at the New Yorker discusses the 300+ letters, most of them negative, that came pouring in—“the most mail [the New Yorker] had ever received in response to a work of fiction.”

Franklin details some of the angry and bewildered responses from readers, including some amongst the New Yorker’s staff.

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