Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nicole Krauss | The History of Love | 2005

Dear Leo,

I wish it was me sitting next to you on that bench. I wish I was the one who found you. I wish I could be there, listening to your heart-breaking story. I wish your heart would not break.

Would you be my friend, Leo? Like Bruno is to you? I'll slip a letter under your door. You'll stare at it, wondering whose it could be. You'll slowly get out of your bed, go round the toilet and the kitchen table and bend down clumsily to pick it up. I’ll invite you for a drink. A juice, of course. If I don’t have change, I’ll know you’ll lend me some, you always have plenty of it (I hope I won’t have to pick it up from the floor first). And then … No posing, please. But we could take some dance lessons, stepping on people’s feet? Oh, no, right, you have a weak heart. What about singing? A duo in front of the NYSE, performing “Over the Rainbow” and blowing soap bubbles? Or … we could try to get people to help us measure the Central Park with toothpicks? Or ask them to contribute some money for our raft expedition to Ellis Island? Or let a hippo out of the zoo? Or, my dear Leo, you could simply unlock and let me in. Let me see you. Let me look back into the heart of Europe with you. Let me follow you across those monstrous waves of war and separation. Let me close that pipe and bring the true characters of your book back. Let me tell Alma what happened. Let me caress the glass, admiring its frail substance, its transparency, its honesty. LetmeinLeo.Letmemakeabondbetweenyou&me. What will you get in return, you probably wonder? My reflection in the glass ...

Unlock your heart, Leo. But be careful. Don’t break it.

Yours sincerely,
Katja Zupan

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

William Goldman | The Princess Bride | 1973

Dear Buttercup,

As much as I love your one true love, Westley, I think you’re probably one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met. Well, written to. Did you know that every time he said “As you wish” that he was really saying “I love you?” No. You were too busy making him do things that didn’t even need to be done. And you named your horse “Horse.” Westley is so much smarter than you. Please try to be as cool as he is. You’re kind of like Daphne from Scooby Doo (although Scooby Doo hadn’t been invented yet), except for your outfits probably cost a lot more. You’re always in trouble and Westley always has to get you out of it. Why couldn’t you have ridden closer to the castle? Why couldn’t you have freaking watched where you were going in the Fire Swamp? Snow Sand is deadly, you know. It KILLS PEOPLE. Like WESTLEY.

I think the smartest thing you could do in this situation would be to give Westley up. More specifically, give him to me. Give him my phone number and he can call me, because he needs to find a woman who isn’t such a bumbling idiot.

Rebecca McCrory

Homer | The Iliad | c. 1200 B.C.

Dear Andromache,

I’m so sorry you have to go through the loss of Hector even before he dies in battle. Knowing something is gone as it is standing right before you is heartbreaking. I myself watched family battle for their lives, knowing what they were doing would leave them dead. They too thought what they were doing would bring glory. Please stay strong as I did; one day we will both be queens.

Mo Zajac

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arnaldur Indriðason | Arctic Chill | 2005

Dear Detective Erlendur,

I am on a beach. Does that make you mad? No snowstorms, no horses, no murders, no mothers who can't make a go of it. I couldn't be further from your world and yet I feel close.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

William Gibson | Idoru | 1996

Dear Colin,

I think I can see nodes, too. I mean, I used to be able to. I saw some of the things we are experiencing now.

I would like to get in touch with you but am worried that we won't be in contact before we are found out.

While I was typing this letter a man walked by me and then walked by me a second time. I wonder if he knows that I am writing to you.

I do not know what Rez is doing either. It seems like a bad idea at best. But are there good ideas? Or are there just ideas that are turned to good (or bad) ends?

I'm not that much older than Chia. Am I? I'm not that much younger than I'll be.

Send help,
Kathleen Jensen

Friday, September 3, 2010

John G. Schneider | The Golden Kazoo | 1956

Dear Blade Reade,

You tried every trick to get your candidate elected. I commend you. But what would you do if you were alive today? Would you have gone to work for Obama? For Romney? I have a feeling maybe Palin, because that's where the real Golden Kazoo is.

John Lewis

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jonathan Swift | Gulliver's Travels | 1726

My dear Lemuel,

I hope this epistle finds you in the best of health and humour for I have unfortunate news. I have striven to the best of my abilities, but try as I might I have been unable to convince my employer to publish your Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World in its current form. My superiors believed it not to be an instructional guide as you intended, but instead a flight of fancy.

A series of researches was ordered to seek references from similar works in the hope that they might be able to corroborate your assertions. There are naturally scores of mentions of Japan available to us, and we were successful in finding a single obscure allusion to a flying island which may or may not be the Laputa which you mention.
Despite our best efforts we can find no proof of the existence of the countries of Lilliput, Blefuscu, Brobdingnag, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib or that of the Houyhnhnms.

I am sorry to be required to inform you, that without some form of evidence of these nations, we will be forced to publish this text as a work of fiction instead. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please pass on my best wishes to Mary, the children and your Cousin Sympson.

Yours sincerely,
David Black

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Samuel Beckett | Waiting for Godot | 1953

Dear Estragon,

Vladimir must go. He is a chatterbox and thinks too much of himself. He has not had blows rain down around his head -- ach, his precious head! He doesn't know a thing about the foot, the boot, or the poet.

Pale with weariness,

Bram Stoker | Dracula | 1897

My Dearest Mina,

I know you are busy in Roumania being both Jonathan's wife and nurse, but I couldn't help wanting to distract you from your task for a few moments. Things are becoming awfully strange back home, and I must admit that your marriage has caused conflicting emotions to possess me. What of Lucy? I know you felt very grown up and affectionate while you watched her embroiled courtship from the stronghold of your own engagement, but did you ever really ask why it happened the way it did? Did you not notice that it was after your own engagement that she rushed into hers, and seemed so immediately consumed with the desire to know the same state of possession? All those years of being so close, of sharing those secrets in your shared bed... Lucy missed you enough, Mina, that she thought only a man's proposal could erase the difference your engagement set between you.

I'm sorry, but I must tell you that she is suffering from the acquaintance of a certain gentleman, who is no stranger to your husband. Dr Steward has brought in a foreign expert who seems to be going about things the right way, but every time her condition seems likely to improve, some sad coincidence leaves her vulnerable to further attack. As a result of this she has now had the blood of three men - both doctors and the Texan - siphoned into her veins, without the knowledge of her fiancé. Mina, Lucy is in the hands of men I do not entirely trust - especially the doctors, one of whom fosters lunatics and is tempted by delusions of grandeur, the other with a mad wife whom he has locked away somewhere while he gallivants around England tending to unmarried and under-clothed young women.

My Darling, Lucy has been lost since the moment they diagnosed her. All I can do is beg you to be careful when you return - these men have insinuated their very essences into Lucy's body, and I believe they will not hesitate to destroy her in the name of restoring her purity. So please, keep records of everything - do not let a stray remark from them escape you. Do not trust Jonathan to keep you safe - if it is not their blood they use to ensnare you, it will be their tears, and he will aid them.

Oceans of Love,
Rose Edwards