William S. Burroughs Sends Anti-Fan Letter to In Cold Blood Author Truman Capote: “You Have Sold Out Your Talent”

≡ Category: Letters, Literature |Leave a Comment

On July 23, 1970, William S. Burroughs wrote Truman Capote a letter. “This is not a fan letter in the usual sense — unless you refer to ceiling fans in Panama.” Instead, Burroughs’s missive is a poison pen letter, blistering even by the high standards of New York literary circles.

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George Orwell Reviews a Book by That “Bag of Wind,” Jean-Paul Sartre (1948)

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Yesterday we featured George Orwell’s review of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf — not just an isolated newspaper piece, or one of a scattered few, in a life otherwise spent churning out important novels like Animal Farm and 1984, but a particularly perceptive book review among the many in his prolific journalistic career.

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Ray Bradbury: “I Am Not Afraid of Robots. I Am Afraid of People” (1974)

≡ Category: Letters, Literature, Sci Fi, Technology |1 Comment

Anyone remember Michael Crichton’s Westworld (or the Simpsons parody)? In this dystopian 1973 sci-fi, tourists visit a triumvirate of fantasy theme parks staffed by robotic historical re-enactors: Roman World, Medieval World, and the titular West World, with its “lawless violence on the American Frontier.

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Wearable Books: In Medieval Times, They Took Old Manuscripts & Turned Them into Clothes

≡ Category: Design, History, Letters, Life |1 Comment

I like old newspaper, smoothing it out to read about what was happening on the day an older relative packed away the good crystal or some other fragile tchotchke.
Traveling in India, I dug how the snacks I purchased to eat on the train came wrapped in old book pages.

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T.S. Eliot Illustrates His Letters and Draws a Cover for Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

≡ Category: Books, Letters |1 Comment

Like so many poets, Thomas Stearns Eliot could write a fine letter. Unlike quite so many poets, he could also illustrate those fine letters with an amusing picture or two. The T.S. Eliot Society’s web site has several examples of what the author of “The Waste Land” could do when he got thinking visually as well as textually.

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George Harrison Wrote His Last Letter to Austin Powers Creator Mike Myers, Asking for a Mini Me Doll (2001)

≡ Category: Comedy, Letters, Music |Leave a Comment

In a band full of extroverted goofballs and pranksters, George Harrison was the quiet one, the serious Beatle, the straight man and introspective mystic, right? Not so, according to Travelling Wilburys bandmate Tom Petty, who once countered the “quiet Beatle” sobriquet with “he never shut up. He was the best hang you could imagine.

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Charles Bukowski Rails Against 9-to-5 Jobs in a Brutally Honest Letter (1986)

≡ Category: Letters, Life, Literature |6 Comments

Charles Bukowski—or “Hank” to his friends—assiduously cultivated a literary persona as a perennial drunken deadbeat.

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15-Year-Old George R.R. Martin Writes a Fan Letter to Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (1963)

≡ Category: Letters, Sci Fi |Leave a Comment

The letter above goes to show two things. George Raymond Richard Martin, otherwise known as George R.R. Martin, or simply as GRRM, had fantasy and writing in his blood from a young age. Decades before he wrote his fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, which HBO adapted into Game of Thrones, a 15-year-old George R.

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Carl Jung Writes a Review of Joyce’s Ulysses and Mails It To The Author (1932)

≡ Category: Letters, Literature, Psychology |Leave a Comment

Feelings about James Joyce’s Ulysses tend to fall roughly into one of two camps: the religiously reverent or the exasperated/bored/overwhelmed. As popular examples of the former, we have the many thousand celebrants of Bloomsday—June 16th, the date on which the novel is set in 1904.

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The Famous Letter Where Freud Breaks His Relationship with Jung (1913)

≡ Category: Letters, Psychology |Leave a Comment

Freud and Jung. Jung and Freud. History has closely associated these two who did so much examination of the mind in early 20th-century Europe, but the simple connection of their names belies a much more complicated relationship between the men themselves.

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