As previously noted, the wonderful blog Letters of Note (mentioned here numerous times!) has spawned a book, called
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience. The book is in stores today, featuring more than 125 letters, richly illustrated with facsimiles of the letters themselves. The UK edition has been out since last October, and was very warmly received.
Some of my favorite Letters of Note:
* A letter from Morrissey at 17 to NME about the Sex Pistols
* EB White on why he wrote Charlotte's Web: "A book is a sneeze"
* Terry Gilliam's Brazil letter to Universal (1985): "I feel every cut, especially the ones that sever the balls."
* Vonnegut's letter to a book-burner: "If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are."
* Huxley's fan-letter to Orwell for Nineteen Eighty-Four: "Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World."
* Letter from ex-slave to ex-master, on occasion of a request to return to work: "I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to."
* Isaac Asimov's letter to the future patrons of a new library: "It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you---and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life."
* Advice from Ray Bradbury: Love what YOU love
* Angry letters between Hunter Thompson and Ralph Steadman: "Don't get pompous with me. I am not one of your goddamn sycophants."
* 17-year-old Tim Burton's rejection from Walt Disney Productions
* Campbell's Soup Exec Writes to Andy Warhol
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience [Shaun Usher/Amazon]
Doubtless you’ve laughed at the ideological war between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea. I laughed along with you: having grown up in politics, I know firsthand about the enmities that fester between groups that should be allies — groups whose differences can only be parsed after months of study, but who are seemingly more at odds with one another than their obvious political opponents on the “other side” of the debate.
Brian made these California Resistance mugs, sporting Jerry Brown’s promise to “launch our own damned satellite” — proceeds to Planned Parenthood.
China is engaged in a bizarre dystopian experiment to use social network ratings to punish political dissidence, “antisocial behavior” and noncomformity, using data pulled from many sources, including purchases on China’s major ecommerce networks like Alibaba; but you don’t have to be the Chinese government to spy on people with an extraordinary degree of creepy […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]
Using my iPhone while it’s charging is always a hassle. With tucked-away outlets and the meager length of included lightning cables, comfortable scrolling while plugged in is annoying. These 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cables are super convenient and probably the best iPhone accessory purchase I’ve made.At over three times the length of normal cables, these reach anywhere you […]