Epistolary Exchange

Ahhh I love this blog! Esther emailed this to me back in October, but then she forwards me a ton of great stuff and it usually takes me a while to catch up to them:

Letters Of Note, which began posting in September, is a blog that shares letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, memos of fascinating (sometimes famous, sometimes not) people. There are scans/photos, and handy transcripts included as well. I especially love that each note is preceded by a short historical context. This blog is a treasure trove, and not just for the History major in me that is sitting here and savoring them one post at a time – it brings back evenings spent in Bobst Library, digging for primary sources, sitting on hard footstools, hunched over the book in my lap.

Also, I love reading correspondence – I spent a month a couple summers ago reading the David Starr Jordan papers. I remember feeling overwhelming feelings of gratitude for everyone who typed their letters, and loving people who sent wires. I had a love/hate relationship with the handwritten notes, since on the one hand, those were for the most part beautifully written. On the other hand, they were also more often than not illegible.

(After that month, I was determined to write letters to everyone. I was imagining all sorts of things, like, my handwriting for posterity! If one of my friends becomes famous, my letters could be found in their collection! I could donate letters they wrote to me and/or sell them on ebay and make money! This plan was derailed because I do not like the post office. One could even say that I fear the post office. I do not know why this is – perhaps I endured some deeply traumatizing experience in a post office when I was young, and am now disinclined to like post offices. It’s a mystery. But this blog makes me want to take up that lofty goal again.)

Anyway! Letters Of Note is updated several times a week, and it’s definitely one for the blogroll!

Notes of note:

  • Hunter S. Thompson’s rant to a studio exec about The Rum Diary film adaptation, which opens with “Okay, you lazy bitch.”
  • Dear Mr. Ford, signed by many third graders and sent to President Ford, about the injustice of it all
  • “It was hard to give five sons to the Navy” written by a woman trying to discover what happened to her sons
  • JFK not signing a letter
  • “My dear little one day old baby”
  • Apology to offended guests, from 9th century China. In the apology written the morning after, the drunken offender writes, “I was ready to sink into the earth with shame.”
  • “My good friend Roosvelt” by Fidel Castro to FDR. Castro asks for $10.
  • TO A TOP SCIENTIST, rocket ship blueprint (previewed above)
  • 3 thoughts on “Epistolary Exchange

    1. I laughed at the post office comment. I'm not scared of it, but it still confuses me and sometimes the employees really scare me. One woman yelled at me once because I did not choose the right box! Some of them have machines now, maybe you should try that, it's way less stressful.

    2. Oh my god. I think machines would make me feel less self-conscious while I AGONIZE over all the choices. That's what always got to me, I felt like everyone in the lines were just staring at me b/c I had no clue what I was doing.

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