The New Yorker is publishing excerpts
from Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985
, translated by Martin McLaughlin, on its book blog. (via
) [more inside]
Even though you've heard of Darwin, it's quite possible that you're not familiar with Alfred Russel Wallace
), 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]
In November 1966, Isaac Asimov wrote an article for TV Guide lamenting the shaky science of Star Trek.
, arguing that simply knowing about science, and writing sci-fi novels, was not sufficient qualification to criticize television
sci-fi. [more inside]
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]
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]
"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 I'm a sucker for a good love story, and one that elicits nostalgia through historical documents is even better.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.
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.
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
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]
John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences
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]
The Missive Maven. Extolling the virtues of snail mail: old-fashioned postal letter-writing and all of its yummy accoutrements
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]
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.
"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).
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).
“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
During the Great Depression, thousands of young people wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
for help. They asked for clothing
, and other forms
“To speak in a flat voice / Is all that I can do. / . . . I speak of flat defeat / In a flat voice.”
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.
Van Gogh's Letters
unabridged & annotated. Searchable by topic or keyword.
Notorious American correspondence player and chess writer
'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?