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Italo Calvino's Letters

The New Yorker is publishing excerpts from Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985, translated by Martin McLaughlin, on its book blog. (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on May 22, 2013 - 15 comments

For the study of nature and the search for truth

Even though you've heard of Darwin, it's quite possible that you're not familiar with Alfred Russel Wallace (previously), co-discoverer of the theory of evolution (a shame; in many respects he's the more interesting of the two!). Fortunately you can now learn more about the man through transcripts and scans of his letters with family and colleagues, which the UK Natural History Museum have just published online. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Jan 29, 2013 - 15 comments

What are a few galaxies between friends?

In November 1966, Isaac Asimov wrote an article for TV Guide lamenting the shaky science of Star Trek. Roddenberry replied, arguing that simply knowing about science, and writing sci-fi novels, was not sufficient qualification to criticize television sci-fi. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Jun 25, 2012 - 342 comments

¶ THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTE.

David Foster Wallace Writes to Don DeLillo: Among the many curiosities of this correspondence: “No offense intended” by the card’s image (a book cover from Sheldon Lord’s A Woman Must Love), the mention of Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker piece on William Gaddis, the brick shithouse of a palm tree, and a request to eyeball DeLillo’s “new novel” (Cosmopolis?). So many of the sentences create space for wondering what more there is to know. [Via: The Outlet] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 13, 2012 - 21 comments

This is why America can't not have a postal system.

Floating Worlds is a new book detailing the never-before-seen correspondence between illustrator Edward Gorey and author Peter F. Neumeyer, who collaborated on three children’s books between September 1968 and October 1969. During that period, they regularly sent each other letters and postcards, many of which Gorey embellished with illustrations. [more inside]
posted by flyingsquirrel on Sep 15, 2011 - 8 comments

A Story of Love, War and Science

"This is the story of Walter and Ina…" "It begins before they met, when he was taking aerial photographs of occupied France from a Sopwith A2, and she was looking for work in rural Texas and worrying about the boys “over there.” They continued on separate paths until 1924." I'm a sucker for a good love story, and one that elicits nostalgia through historical documents is even better. Here is one such story. Although I have only just now begun to read the correspondence myself, I immediately thought that MeFi was a good place to share it. The curator of these letters is Dr. Alan Dove, a virologist and podcaster. Walter and Ina were his grandparents.
posted by Moody834 on Apr 10, 2011 - 4 comments

Anonymous Postcard

Ever want to tell the Beta 90 Computer company it was time for a name change? Or maybe you have it in for 2008 and thought that year sucked. A vegetarian Chick-fil-A sandwich request? Or you can submit your own claim and Tucker Nichols has you covered. He'll make a postcard, find the appropriate person, and send it.
posted by cjorgensen on Jul 21, 2010 - 14 comments

These bastards let your brother die

Robert Heinlein really, really didn't like early Science Fiction fandom.
posted by Artw on May 28, 2010 - 129 comments

Awwwwww.

Valentines from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here).
posted by Miko on Feb 14, 2010 - 11 comments

Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here.

Blade Runner will prove invincible My life and creative work are justified and completed by BLADE RUNNER. Thank you..and it is going to be one hell of a commercial success. It will prove invincible. (via Letters of Note) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jan 12, 2010 - 52 comments

Or was that squeal thing you did supposed to be the crying doves? How did it go? "Aii! Aii! Aii! Aiaiaiai!" It was a massive turn-on, but it was not science.

John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences

Including:
An Invitation to
Joni Mitchell to Sing
at the Opening of
the Tree Museum.

"Why couldn't we have just cut the trees up? Then it would have been a log museum. And we wanted a tree museum." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 24, 2009 - 10 comments

I've got a box full of letters, think you might like to read

Letters of Note reproduces and transcribes letters from the famous, the infamous, and the not-so-famous.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 21, 2009 - 7 comments

The Missive Maven

The Missive Maven. Extolling the virtues of snail mail: old-fashioned postal letter-writing and all of its yummy accoutrements
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 20, 2009 - 7 comments

Field Force to Lhasa

Field Force to Lhasa 1903-04 Captain Cecil Mainprise accompanied General Sir Francis Younghusband's expedition to Tibet in 1903. He wrote 50 letters home which trace the expedition’s progress into Tibet. Read this insider's account on the day they were written some 105 years later. Final post is 18 November 2009. [Via]
posted by Abiezer on Apr 4, 2009 - 8 comments

"Letters and letters and letters."

I love you because you play awesome songs on the jukebox. Who are you? Come here, we can talk. That's Number 165 from 300 Love Letters (but there are really 400 and here's why, and here's an explanation of the project itself). Asia Wong's other projects.
posted by amyms on Sep 7, 2008 - 26 comments

"I have a great Deal of Leisure, which I chiefly employ in Scribbling, that my Mind may not stand still or run back like my Fortune."

"John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career. These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area." The Adams Electronic Archive has transcripts [example] as well as high-resolution scans [example] of the letters. You may be familiar with some snippets of their correspondence from the movie musical "1776" ("Til Then" and "Yours, Yours, Yours" scenes on YouTube).
posted by amyms on Sep 30, 2007 - 17 comments

The Darwin Correspondence Project

Darwin wrote to 2000 people during his life; 14,500 of these letters still survive. The Darwin Correspondence Project is putting annotated transcriptions of these online, and they've covered about 5,000 so far, including a letter written when he was 12 after he had got into trouble with his sister for not washing regularly while at school. There's an intro here. See also Darwin Online, discussed here. And the prolific network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi has co-authored a paper on statistical similarities between Darwin's and Einstein's correspondence (#51 on the list).
posted by carter on May 16, 2007 - 11 comments

Papa & the Kraut

“The thing about the Kraut and me is that we have been in love since 1934, when we first met on the Île de France, but we’ve never been to bed. Amazing but true. Victims of unsynchronized passion.” Author Ernest Hemingway and actress Marlene Dietrich met while traveling across the Atlantic. Their friendship lasted until the Nobel Prize-winning author's death in 1961. In 2003, the JFK library received a donation from Marlene Dietrich's daughter of 30 letters, cards, and other documents that had been written to her mother by the author. Hemingway's estate had already donated 31 letters from Dietrich. These letters have now been unsealed and are set to go on view.
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 29, 2007 - 24 comments

Childrens Letters During the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, thousands of young people wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for help. They asked for clothing, money, and other forms of assistance.
posted by jonson on Oct 4, 2006 - 20 comments

A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright

“To speak in a flat voice / Is all that I can do. / . . . I speak of flat defeat / In a flat voice.”
James Wright's letters chronicle many of the major innovations in American poetry in the middle of the twentieth century. They also provide a compelling personal narrative of his life. Here, the American Poetry Review publishes a selection taken from the new volume "A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright". More inside.
posted by matteo on Aug 16, 2005 - 8 comments

Van Gogh's Letters,

Van Gogh's Letters unabridged & annotated. Searchable by topic or keyword.
posted by jragon on Jan 22, 2003 - 12 comments

Notorious American correspondence player and chess writer Claude Bloodgood has died. 'A convicted murderer who was sentenced to death but reprieved, Bloodgood was the best known of US prisoner players.' I love obituaries. And what could be sweeter than the cold hand of death dragging Chess Rogues down to Gehanna?
posted by crunchburger on Oct 29, 2001 - 3 comments

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