Posts Tagged: letters

The Sunday Rumpus Essay: Pandora and the Naked Dead Woman

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Bite that apple, open that jar at your own risk and see how your garden grows, how hopeful you remain. Paradise is, after all, blissful self-ignorance.

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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.

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Letter From Woolf Costs A Pretty Penny

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For the Guardian, Alison Flood reports that a letter from Virginia Woolf to her friend Philip Morrel will go to auction with a guide price of £1,000-£1,500. The letter tells of Woolf’s experience during the Battle of Britain and urges her friend “to go on living” after he’d become ill. Chris Albury at Dominic Winter Auctions says of the […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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Dear Alice

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Alice Munro’s birthday was last week (happy belated, Alice!). She’s also Elliott Holt‘s favorite writer, and over at Literary Mothers, Elliott wrote a beautiful letter to her:  Your stories provide deeply private pleasures. You are our writer, part of our family. Now that you’ve won the Nobel, even more people have joined our ranks. And I’m […]

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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 Mal, the 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 […]

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Yuppies Read

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Now’s your chance to get your very own piece of David Foster Wallace. Today in New York, Sotheby’s art auction house is offering a small collection of letters the post-post-/meta-modern literary great once sent to his old friend JT Jackson, which Jackson sold to the Ransom Center in 2012. The correspondence includes everything from candid […]

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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 […]

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Strangling Yourself While Trying To Sing

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Over at Maud Newton’s website—a letter, to you, on old family letters. Dusty old leaves from the early 1900s, excavated from here or there. Grandpa’s love triangle. An apology from the sanitarium in which Aunt Louise died. There’s magic in letters. Ah—but where? In a letter I wrote last year for The Rumpus’ Letters in […]

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Eulogy for the Love Letter

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Paper notes and postcards have all but joined rotary phones and singing telegrams in the history books of communication. Email and text messages might have the advantage of speed (and sometimes playful naughtiness), but neither can compensate for the tangible quality of a physical letter. Writing for Vogue, Rumpus contributor Jami Attenberg reminisces on the […]

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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”. Jenna Clark Embrey is a writer living in Brooklyn. Boston-born, she received an MFA in Theater Dramaturgy from Harvard. Before making the inevitable switch to nonfiction, her curiously autobiographical plays were produced at such places […]

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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. “Perhaps most touching is her pride […]

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Old-Fashioned Correspondence

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I started trawling through books, visiting local museums and exhibitions and navigating various online archives, looking for examples of interesting correspondence, and, within a few days, I’d found so many fascinating documents – letters, memos, telegrams – that I was hooked. I’d also become convinced, during my research, that they would make a great subject […]

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