Posts Tagged: letters

Charlotte Bronte’s Letters

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Laura June writes for Pictorial at Jezebel on the epistolary life of Charlotte Bronte. June covers Bronte’s later years, showing that the significant portion of what we know about Charlotte Bronte comes from her correspondence with her best friend, Ellen Nussey, and her former employer/love of her life, Constantin Héger.

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Defeat

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It never occurred to me to try to write poems without the guidance of other poets and poems. ...more

Sylvia Plath’s First Tragedy

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I don’t know whether it is a hereditary characteristic, but our little family is altogether too prone to lie awake at nights hating ourselves for stupidities—technical or verbal or whatever—and to let careless, cruel remarks fester until they blossom in something like ulcer attacks—I know that during these last days I’ve been fighting an enormous battle with myself.

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Kafka’s Father

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Franz Kafka’s letters reveal how the author’s father impacted his writing and his life, and a relationship fraught with fear. Kafka worried about his father’s “intellectual domination” creating an environment of “emotional tyranny.” Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova finds in Kafka’s letters a deeply haunting father-son relationship:

What I would have needed was a little encouragement, a little friendliness, a little keeping open of my road, instead of which you blocked it for me, though of course with the good intention of making me go another road.

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Julie Schumacher Author Photo

The Rumpus Interview with Julie Schumacher

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Julie Schumacher discusses going extinct, iPads and iPhones, epistolary novels, and why the number of MFA programs in the U.S. is a non-issue. ...more

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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