Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Nick Cave’s Beautiful Letter About Grief

We would rather not grieve. Because we avoid it, death can leave us numb, and we may not know how to talk about it without turning loss into a lesson. “Even when it’s expected, death or loss still comes as a surprise,” writes psychotherapist Megan Devine in her book on grieving, It’s OK That You’re Not OKAnd in grief, it can so happen that “otherwise intelligent people have started spouting slogans and platitudes, trying to cheer you up. Trying to take away your pain.” Everything happens for a reason, they’re in a better place, they’d want you to be happy, this will make you stronger….! However well-intentioned, “platitudes and cheerleading solve nothing.”

Is loss a problem to be solved? Can we avoid grief without shutting out the intimacy of love? There are many sage answers to these questions. Few, for example, have written as elegantly or agonized as publicly about love and loss as singer Nick Cave of The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds. These are subjects to which he returns on album after album and in entries of his cult-favorite blog The Red Hand Files, where Cave publishes answers to an assortment of fan questions.


Musing in 2019 on whether artificial intelligence will ever produce a great song, for example, Cave states one of his major themes plainly: “A sense of awe is almost exclusively predicated on our limitations as human beings. It is entirely to do with our audacity as humans to reach beyond our potential.” From this capacity come our greatest imaginative feats, Cave writes: our ability to conjure “bright phantoms” in our deepest grief.

Cave wrote these last words in 2018 to a fan named Cynthia who told him about her family’s losses and asked the singer if he and his wife Susie communicated with their son Arthur, who died tragically in 2015. In answer, Cave avoids the cliches that Devine says do nothing for us. He neither denies the reality of Cynthia’s pain, nor does he leave her without hope for “change and growth and redemption.”

Dear Cynthia,

This is a very beautiful question and I am grateful that you have asked it. It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.

I feel the presence of my son, all around, but he may not be there. I hear him talk to me, parent me, guide me, though he may not be there. He visits Susie in her sleep regularly, speaks to her, comforts her, but he may not be there. Dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake. These spirits are ideas, essentially. They are our stunned imaginations reawakening after the calamity. Like ideas, these spirits speak of possibility. Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them. It is their impossible and ghostly hands that draw us back to the world from which we were jettisoned; better now and unimaginably changed.

With love, Nick

Cave’s full letter, above, is as eloquent a piece of writing on grief and loss, in its way, as John Donne’s famous meditation (a poet for whom Nick Cave has a “soft spot,” he writes in another entry). At the top, you can hear a very moving reading of the text by Benedict Cumberbatch for Letters Live. Read more of Cave’s brief-but-deep meditations and lyrical replies at The Red Hand Files.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Sir Ben Kingsley Reads a Letter Written by Gandhi to Hitler (in the Voice of Mahatma Gandhi)

Several years before Indian independence as World War loomed, Mahatma Gandhi found he had little sway in international politics even as he built his movement at home. The philosophy of satyagraha did not sound noble to the British in 1939, for example, when the Indian leader wrote a letter exhorting them to let the Germans take their country, their homes, and even their lives rather than fight back. That same year, he wrote to Hitler, addressing him as “Dear Friend” and writing, “It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to a savage state.”

Gandhi’s first 1939 letter to Hitler implies that the Führer was the only world leader who wanted such a war. The Indian leader fully understood the stakes. “My sympathies are all with the Jews,” he’d written in a 1938 article. “If there ever could be a justifiable war, in the name of and for humanity, war against Germany to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race would be completely justified.” Still, he concluded, “I do not believe in any war.” He stuck to his principles even after Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.


“Not deterred by the outbreak of war,” Alexander LaCasse writes at the Christian Science Monitor, “Gandhi wrote to Hitler a second time.” Just above, you can see Sir Ben Kingsley read that letter, in character as Gandhi and perhaps sounding much like Gandhi did when reading his letters aloud. Gandhi “took correspondence very seriously,” Nick Owen writes, and he “wrote — and was written to by — almost anyone.” In this much longer letter from 1940, Gandhi extols the practical virtues of non-violence and attempts some moral reasoning:

If not the British, some other power will certainly improve upon your method and beat you with your own weapon. You are leaving no legacy to your people of which they would feel proud. They cannot take pride in a recital of a cruel deed, however skillfully planned. I, therefore, appeal to you in the name of humanity to stop the war.

“There is no evidence to suggest Hitler ever responded to,” or even read, “either of Gandhi’s letters,” writes LaCasse. And maybe little evidence that Gandhi expected a response. “I am aware that your view of life regards such spoliations as virtuous acts,” he writes. “But we have been taught from childhood to regard them as acts degrading humanity.” He continues to profess Hitler a friend, writing “I own no foes. My business in life has been for the past 33 years to enlist the friendship of the whole of humanity.”

Before his death in 1948, Gandhi called the Holocaust “the greatest crime of our time.” According to a biographer, he also added, “the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany.” Had he suggested this in a letter to Europe’s Jews, it is unlikely they would have been persuaded.

Related Content:

Carl Jung Psychoanalyzes Hitler: “He’s the Unconscious of 78 Million Germans.” “Without the German People He’d Be Nothing” (1938)

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Mahatma Gandhi’s List of the 7 Social Sins; or Tips on How to Avoid Living the Bad Life

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Watch Brian Cox of “Succession” Read Hunter S. Thompson’s Profanity-Laden Letter

Brian Cox has maneuvered over four decades of acting while remaining a bit anonymous from one role to the next. Or at least that was the case until his star turn as Logan Roy, the stentorian patriarch at the center of HBO’s Succession. Now it is hard to separate Cox from his character. His way of delivering the delicious insults of the show’s scripts are both frightening and hilarious–as is his way of punctuating a scene with two simple words: “Fuc& Off.”

Look, we try to keep swearing to a minimum on this site, but Cox does wonders with that phrase. Just watch one of the many supercuts of Logan Roy saying it, and hear a master at work.

So the clip above, from a UK event series called Letters Live, shows why Cox is a perfect fit to read Hunter S. Thompson’s letter to a certain Dave Allen, director of programming at the writer’s local network affiliate, KREX-TV. Allen had taken the CBS news off the local station, and Thompson was having none of it.


Thompson wrote many blistering, profanity-laden letters from his Colorado home. The above was collected in Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist (Gonzo Letters, Volume II, 1968-1976). Allen joins a list of recipients of Thompson’s venom that includes his editor at Random House, Loren Jenkins of Newsweek, Paul Gorman of WBAI-FM, and many others, most of whom owed him money for this or that writing assignment.

Letters Live keeps its epistles short, and Brian Cox acts out Thompson’s short note, pouring contempt through every turn of phrase.

The project’s YouTube channel offers many other letters from history, read by actors like Olivia Coleman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Matt Berry, Carey Mulligan, Gillian Anderson, Ian McKellen, and many more. It’s worth checking out, especially if historical swearing is your thing.

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Shakespearean Actor Brian Cox Teaches Hamlet’s Soliloquy to a 2-Year-Old Child

The History of Ancient Greece in 18 Minutes: A Brisk Primer Narrated by Brian Cox

The Scotch Pronunciation Guide: Brian Cox Teaches You How To Ask Authentically for 40 Scotches

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

Benedict Cumberbatch Reads “the Best Cover Letter Ever Written”

In the 1930s, many a writer journeyed to Hollywood in order to make his fortune. The screenwriter’s life didn’t sit well with some of them — just ask F. Scott Fitzgerald or William Faulkner — but a fair few made more than a go of it out West. Take the Baltimore-born Robert Pirosh, whose studies at the Sorbonne and the University of Berlin landed him a job as a copywriter in New York. This work seems to have proven less than satisfactory, as evidenced by the piece of correspondence that, still in his early twenties, he wrote and sent to “as many directors, producers and studio executives as he could find.” It wasn’t just a request for work; it was what Letters Live today calls “the best cover letter ever written.”

Pirosh’s impressive missive, which you can hear read aloud by favorite Letters Live performer Benedict Cumberbatch in the video above, runs, in full, as follows:

Dear Sir:

I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.

I have just returned and I still like words.

May I have a few with you?

Though not known as an unsubtle actor, Cumberbatch seizes the opportunity to deliver each and every one of these choice words with its own variety of exaggerated relish. Though none of these terms is especially recherché on its own, they must collectively have given the impression of a formidable mastery of the English language, especially to the ear of the average Hollywood big-shot. One way or another, Pirosh’s letter did the trick: according to Letters of Note, it “secured him three interviews, one of which led to his job as a junior writer at MGM. Fifteen years later,” he “won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his work on the war film Battleground.”

A World War II picture, Battleground was written at least in part from Pirosh’s own experience: a few years into his Hollywood career, he enlisted and made a return to Europe, this time as a Master Sergeant in the 320th Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, seeing action in France and Germany. After the war he went right back to writing and producing, remaining active in the entertainment industry until at least the 1970s (and in fact, his writing credits include contributions to such programs that defined that decade as MannixBarnaby Jones, and Hawaii Five-O). Pirosh’s was an enviable 20th-century career, and one that began with a suitably brazen — and still convincing — 20th-century advertisement for himself.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Kurt Vonnegut’s Letter of Advice to People Living in the Year 2088

A few years ago we posted Kurt Vonnegut’s letter of advice to humanity, written in 1988 but addressed, a century hence, to the year 2088. Whatever objections you may have felt to reading this missive more than 70 years prematurely, you might have overcome them to find that the author of Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions single-mindedly importuned his fellow man of the late 21st century to protect the natural environment. He issues commandments to “reduce and stabilize your population” to “stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems,” and to “stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars,” among other potentially drastic-sounding measures.

Commandment number seven amounts to the highly Vonnegutian “And so on. Or else.” A fan can easily imagine these words spoken in the writer’s own voice, but with Vonnegut now gone for well over a decade, would you accept them spoken in the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch instead?


First commissioned by Volkswagen for a Time magazine ad campaign, Vonnegut’s letter to 2088 was later found and republished by Letters of Note. The associated Letters Live project, which brings notable letters to the stage (and subsequently internet video), counts Cumberbatch as one of its star readers: he’s given voice to wise correspondence by the likes of Sol LeWitt, Albert Camus, and Alan Turing.

Cumberbatch even has experience with letters by Vonnegut, having previously read aloud his rebuke to a North Dakota school board that allowed the burning of Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut’s work makes clear that he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and that he considered book-burning one of the infinite varieties of folly he spent his career cataloging. In light of his letter to 2088, the same went for humanity’s poor stewardship of their planet. Vonnegut may not have been a conservationist, exactly, but nor, in his view, was nature itself, a force that needs “no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things.” This is, of course, the personifying view of a novelist, but a novelist who never forgot his sense of humor — nor his tendency to play the prophet of doom.

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Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Albert Camus’ Touching Thank You Letter to His Elementary School Teacher

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Langston Hughes’ Homemade Christmas Cards From 1950

Who doesn’t treasure a handmade present?

As the years go by, we may begin to offload the ill-fitting sweaters, the never lit sand cast candles, and the Styrofoam ball snowmen. But a present made of words takes up very little space, and it has the Ghost of Christmas Past’s power to instantly evoke the sender as they once were.

Seventy years ago, poet Langston Hughes, too skint to go Christmas shopping, sent everyone on his gift list simple, homemade holiday postcards. Typed on white cardstock, each signed card was embellished with red and green pencils and mailed for the price of a 3¢ stamp.

As biographer Arnold Rampersad notes:

The last weeks of 1950 found him nevertheless in a melancholy mood, his spirits sinking lower again as he again became a target of red-baiting.

The year started auspiciously with The New York Times praising his libretto for The Barrier, an opera based on his play, Mulatto: A Tragedy of the Deep South. But the opera was a commercial flop, and positive reviews for his book Simple Speaks His Mind failed to translate into the hoped-for sales.


Although he had recently purchased an East Harlem brownstone with an older couple who doted on him as they would a son, providing him with a sunny, top floor workspace, 1950 was far from his favorite year.

His typewritten holiday couplets took things out on a jaunty note, while paying light lip service to his plight.

Maybe we can aspire to the same…

Hughes’ handmade holiday cards reside in the Langston Hughes Papers in Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, along with holiday cards specific to the African-American experience received from friends and associates.

via the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Her latest alter ego, L’Ourse, wishes you a very merry Xmas and peace and health in the New Year  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Hear Readings of Albert Einstein’s Love Letters (and Chilly Divorce Letters) to His First Wife Mileva

Beware the fake quotation. They have become so ubiquitous they often appear in books and speeches by politicians and their family members, not that anyone seems to care much. But most of us feel a measure of shame at being duped, as Katharine Rose did when she found herself moved by a letter supposedly written by Albert Einstein to his daughter, Lieserl, “regarding the ‘universal force’ of love.” The letter is a “beautiful read,” and it’s a fake. But many admirers of Einstein were eager to believe it.

Why? Like other famous figures to whom spurious words are attributed, Einstein isn’t just well-known, he is revered, a celebrity, and celebrities are people we feel we know intimately. (A common defense for fake-quote-sharing goes: “Well, if he didn’t say it, then it’s exactly the kind of thing he would say.”) Discussing the theft of Einstein’s brain after his death, Ross Anderson at Aeon observes that “an ordinary person can live and die privately, but a genius—and his grey matter—belongs to the world.” We might add, “and so do the intimate details of his private life.”


The details of Einstein’s marriage, and of his very unpleasant separation and divorce, from Mileva Marić have long been public knowledge. “Few public marriages have been subjected to a more unnuanced verdict,” Maria Popova writes at Brain Pickings. Their love letters first came to light in 1986, discovered by Einstein’s granddaughter Evelyn. They were published in 1992 as The Love Letters, “a collection of fifty-four missives exchanged between the beginning of their romance” when they met as students in 1897 to their marriage in 1903. Dozens more are available at Princeton University’s online collection of Einstein’s papers.

The letters are real, and they are “spicy,” as YouTuber Tibees shows us in the video at the top. No awkward private expression is safe: we begin with letters Einstein wrote to his high school girlfriend, Marie Winteler, including a breakup letter at 3:13. The excerpts here are all timestamped on the video’s YouTube page, with helpful summaries like “Einstein’s mom trying to break them up” (them being Albert and Mileva), “Einstein having an affair with his cousin Elsa,” “Breaking up with Elsa,” and “Getting back with Elsa.”

Elsa, you may know, was Einstein’s second wife, in addition to being his cousin, and the cause of his separation and divorce from Mileva, to whom he had professed undying devotion. In the interest of fully invading the genius’s privacy, we have, above, some readings of his harsh “divorce letters” to Mileva, with hits like “Separation,” “Proposing divorce,” and “Court proceedings.” Love may or may not be a “universal force”—we do not, sadly, have Einstein’s thoughts on the matter—but we do know he found it a troublingly chaotic, unpredictable one.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Frida Kahlo’s Venomous Love Letter to Diego Rivera: “I’m Amputating You. Be Happy and Never Seek Me Again”

Painter Diego Rivera set the bar awfully high for other lovers when he—allegedly—ate a handful of his ex-wife Frida Kahlo’s cremains, fresh from the oven.

Perhaps he was hedging his bets. The Mexican government opted not to honor his express wish that their ashes should be co-mingled upon his death. Kahlo’s remains were placed in Mexico City’s Rotunda of Illustrious Men, and have since been transferred to their home, now the Museo Frida Kahlo.

Rivera lies in the Panteón Civil de Dolores.

Other creative expressions of the grief that dogged him til his own death, three years later:

His final painting, The Watermelons, a very Mexican subject that’s also a tribute to Kahlo’s last work, Viva La Vida

And a locked bathroom in which he decreed 6,000 photographs, 300 of Kahlo’s garments and personal items, and 12,000 documents were to be housed until 15 years after his death.

Among the many revelations when this chamber was belatedly unsealed in 2004, her clothing caused the biggest stir, particularly the ways in which the colorful garments were adapted to and informed by her physical disabilities.

Her prosthetic leg, shod in an eye-catching red boot was given a place of honor in an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.,

These treasures might have come to light earlier save for a judgment call on the part of Dolores Olmedo, Rivera’s patron, former model, and friend. During renovations to turn the couple’s home into a museum, she had a peek and decided the lipstick-imprinted love letters from some famous men Frida had bedded could damage Rivera’s reputation.

In what way, it’s difficult to parse.

The couple’s history of extramarital relations (including Rivera’s dalliance with Kahlo’s sister, Christina) weren’t exactly secret, and both of the players had left the building.

One thing that’s taken for granted is Kahlo’s passion for Rivera, whom she met as girl of 15. Tempting as it might be to view the relationship with 2020 goggles, it would be a disservice to Kahlo’s sense of her own narrative. Self-examination was central to her work. She was characteristically avid in letters and diary entries, detailing her physical attraction to every aspect of Rivera’s body, including his giant belly “drawn tight and smooth as a sphere.” Ditto her obsession with his many conquests.

Not surprisingly, she was capable of penning a pretty spicy love letter herself, and the majority were aimed at her husband:

Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.

Her most notorious love letter does not appear to be one at first.

Bedridden, and facing the amputation of a gangrenous right leg that had already sacrificed some toes 20 years earlier, she directed the full force of her emotions at Rivera.

The lover she’d tenderly pegged as “a boy frog standing on his hind legs” now appeared to her an “ugly son of a bitch,” maddeningly possessed of the power to seduce women (as he had seduced her).

You have to read all the way to the twist:

Mexico,
1953

My dear Mr. Diego,

I’m writing this letter from a hospital room before I am admitted into the operating theatre. They want me to hurry, but I am determined to finish writing first, as I don’t want to leave anything unfinished. Especially now that I know what they are up to. They want to hurt my pride by cutting a leg off. When they told me it would be necessary to amputate, the news didn’t affect me the way everybody expected. No, I was already a maimed woman when I lost you, again, for the umpteenth time maybe, and still I survived.

I am not afraid of pain and you know it. It is almost inherent to my being, although I confess that I suffered, and a great deal, when you cheated on me, every time you did it, not just with my sister but with so many other women. How did they let themselves be fooled by you? You believe I was furious about Cristina, but today I confess that it wasn’t because of her. It was because of me and you. First of all because of me, since I’ve never been able to understand what you looked and look for, what they give you that I couldn’t. Let’s not fool ourselves, Diego, I gave you everything that is humanly possible to offer and we both know that. But still, how the hell do you manage to seduce so many women when you’re such an ugly son of a bitch?

The reason why I’m writing is not to accuse you of anything more than we’ve already accused each other of in this and however many more bloody lives. It’s because I’m having a leg cut off (damned thing, it got what it wanted in the end). I told you I’ve counted myself as incomplete for a long time, but why the fuck does everybody else need to know about it too? Now my fragmentation will be obvious for everyone to see, for you to see… That’s why I’m telling you before you hear it on the grapevine. Forgive my not going to your house to say this in person, but given the circumstances and my condition, I’m not allowed to leave the room, not even to use the bathroom. It’s not my intention to make you or anyone else feel pity, and I don’t want you to feel guilty. I’m writing to let you know I’m releasing you, I’m amputating you. Be happy and never seek me again. I don’t want to hear from you, I don’t want you to hear from me. If there is anything I’d enjoy before I die, it’d be not having to see your fucking horrible bastard face wandering around my garden.

That is all, I can now go to be chopped up in peace.

Good bye from somebody who is crazy and vehemently in love with you,

Your Frida

This is a love letter masquerading as a doozy of a break up letter. The references to amputation are both literal and metaphorical:

No doubt, she was sincere, but this couple, rather than holding themselves accountable, excelled at reversals. In the end the letter’s threat proved idle. Shortly before her death,  the two appeared together in public, at a demonstration to protest the C.I.A.’s efforts to overthrow the leftist Guatemalan regime.

Image via Brooklyn Museum

Once Frida was safely laid to rest, by which we mean rumored to have sat bolt upright as her casket was slid into the incerator, Rivera mused in his autobiography:

Too late now I realized the most wonderful part of my life had been my love for Frida. But I could not really say that given “another chance” I would have behaved toward her any differently than I had. Every man is the product of the social atmosphere in which he grows up and I am what I am…I had never had any morals at all and had lived only for pleasure where I found it. I was not good. I could discern other people’s weaknesses easily, especially men’s, and then I would play upon them for no worthwhile reason. If I loved a woman, the more I wanted to hurt her. Frida was only the most obvious victim of this disgusting trait.

via Letters of Note and the book, Letters of Note: Love.

Related Content:

Take a Virtual Tour of Frida Kahlo’s Blue House Free Online

What the Iconic Painting, “The Two Fridas,” Actually Tells Us About Frida Kahlo

Discover Frida Kahlo’s Wildly-Illustrated Diary: It Chronicled the Last 10 Years of Her Life, and Then Got Locked Away for Decades

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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