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Summer Blogging: Life and Letters XI

byron_lettersOld friends…over the past couple of weeks I read Byron’s Letters and Journals: a New Selection from Leslie A. Marchand’s twelve-volume edition, edited by Richard Lansdown.  Having read Byron’s letters edited by Marchand in twelve volumes when I was in graduate school, this was visiting with an old friend.  Of course, none of the letters are to me, but like most people who suffer some degree of Byron-mania the voice that resonates in the letters is enough of the man to make him feel familiar when you read.  One of the pleasures of reading letters is the exploration of friendship, the way letters can convey and confirm intimacy between two people.  The way letters convey how someone loved, looking around simply for letters about friendship and love and come upon titles like A Chance for Love: the World War II letters of Marian Elizabeth Smith and Lt. Eugene T. Petersen, USMCR edited by Eugene T. Petersen, or Hemingway in Love and War: the Lost Diary of Agnes von Kurowsky, Her Letters, and Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway edited by Henry Serrano Villard and James Nagel, or The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy  edited and with an introduction by Katherine Bucknell. The lost generation in war and in love, read about it in letters.   Another one I found on this short search was Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958 Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson with an introduction and commentary by Joyce Johnson, another generation and for me another familiar voice in the form of Kerouac.  Writing about what it means to be a friend, as far as he was capable, human frailty is certainly a quality that comes through in letters…

~ by pdoty on August 8, 2016.

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