Darling, You asked me to write you a letter, so I am writing you a letter. I do not know why I am writing you this letter, or what this letter is supposed to be about, but I am writing it nonetheless, because I love you very much and trust that you have some good purpose for having me write this letter. I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love. Your father
Jonathan Safran Foer
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A letter is not a dialogue or even an omniscient exposition. It is a fabric of surfaces, a mask, a form as well suited to affectations as to the affections. The letter is, by its natural shape, self-justifying; it is one's own evidence, deposition, a self-serving testimony. In a letter the writer holds all the cards, controls everything about himself and about those assertions he wishes to make concerning events or the worth of others. For completely self-centered characters, the letter form is a complex and rewarding activity.
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You must get into the habit of looking intensely at words, and assuring yourself of their meaning, syllable by syllable-nay, letter by letter... you might read all the books in the British Museum (if you could live long enough) and remain an utterly "illiterate," undeducated person; but if you read ten pages of a good book, letter by letter, - that is to say, with real accuracy- you are for evermore in some measure an educated person.
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To Mr. Jones, she said, imagine you're looking up at a blue sky, and imagine a tiny airplane skywriting the letter Z. Then let the wind erase the letter. Then imagine the plane writing the letter Y. Let the wind erase it. Then the letter X. Erase it. Then the letter W. Let the wind erase it.
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I am so weary, even the simple act of writing is exhausting. But I do hope these few words convey the boundless joy and gratitude I am feeling: a letter from Joseph has arrived! A wonderful letter, a most longed-for letter! He is on his way home! He writes that he will do everything in his power to be back in time. I am truly blessed to have such a devoted loving husband.
I must endeavor to be strong for him."
The Gentle Storm
I must endeavor to be strong for him."
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I wanted to do the comic strip. I tried to get it syndicated, and I sent some examples to a syndication company, and they sent me a rejection letter! I wasn't smart enough at the time to realize you shouldn't let rejection letters stop you. I thought that rejection letter meant I was not allowed to be a cartoonist in this world, so I put the rejection letter down and said, well, I'll be a stand-up comedian.
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He read the letter again, but could not take in any more meaning than he had done the first time and was reduced to staring at the handwriting itself. She had made her g's the same way he did : he searched through the letter for every one of them, and each felt like a friendly little wave glimpsed from behind a veil. The letter was an incredible treasure, proof that Lily Potter had lived, really lived, that her warm hand had once moved across this parchment, tracing ink into these letters, these words, words about him, Harry, her son.
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Thor again tutored me in the seventh grade, when I was learning Algebra. Algebra was quite an experience for me. Thor spent countless hours with me, because it was very hard for me to grasp how to pull out a number from a letter. I thought it was an exercise in the absurd. Now I know how to get a number from a letter. The letter is K, as in K Street-where all the lobbyists are in Washington, and the number is billions of dollars.
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The poor girl ws keeping that student's letter as a precious treasure, and had run to fetch it, her only treasure, because she did not want me to go away without knowing that she, too, was honestly and genuinely loved; that she, too, was addressed respectfully. No doubt that letter was destined to lie in her box and lead to nothing. But none the less, I am certain that she would keep it all her life as a precious treasure, as her pride and justification, and now at such a minute she had thought of that letter and brought it with naive pride to raise herself in my eyes that I might see, that I, too, might think well of her.
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I went to my grandmother, your great-great-grandmother, and asked her to write a letter. She was my mother's mother. Your father's mother's mother's mother. I hardly knew her. I didn't have any interest in knowing her. I have no need for the past, I thought, like a child. I did not consider that the past might have a need for me. What kind of letter? my grandmother asked. I told her to write whatever she wanted to write. You want a letter from me? she asked. I told her yes. Oh, God bless you, she said. The letter she gave me was sixty-seven pages long. It was the story of her life. She made my request into her own. Listen to me.
Jonathan Safran Foer
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The length of the friendship never brought astonishment. After all, the majority of Baby Boomers could likely claim a long-standing friendship in their lives. No, it was always the letters: the-pen-on-paper, inside a-stamped-envelope, mailed-in-a-mailbox letter that was awe inspiring. 'You've been writing a letter every week for almost thirty years?' The question always evokes disbelief, particularly since the dawn of the Internet and email. We quickly correct the misconception. 'Well, at least one letter, but usually more. We write each other three or four letters a week. And we never wait for a return letter before beginning another.' Conservatively speaking, at just three letters a week since 1987, that would equal 4, 368 letters each, but we'd both agree that estimate is much too low. We have, on occasion, written each other two letters in a single day.
Mary Potter Kenyon
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A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it's not a love letter. A true love letter can produce a transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write.
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If letters did not exist, what dark depressions would come over one! When one has been worrying about something and wants to tell a certain person about it, what a relief it is to put it all down in a letter! Still greater is one's joy when a reply arrives. At that moment a letter really seems like an elixir of life.
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I prefer to make no new declarations [on southern policy beyond what was in the Letter of Acceptance]. But you may say, if you deem it advisable, that you know that I will stand by the friendly and encouraging words of that Letter, and by all that they imply. You cannot express that too strongly.
Rutherford B. Hayes
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You ever find yourself being lazy for no reason at all? Like, you pick up your mail, you go in your house, you realize you have a letter for a neighbor. You ever just look at the letter and go "Hm. Looks like they're never getting this. It'll take too much energy to go back outside. I'm gonna get that to them later on. Right now I gotta watch some 'Love Connection.' They got some new host on there."
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Letter-writing I imagine is counted as 'work' from which you must abstain, and I scribble this letter simply from the self-satisfied notion that you will like to hear from me. You see, I have asked no questions, which are the torture-screws of correspondence. Hence you have nothing to answer.
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. . . I wrote a letter to Thomas Pynchon asking, Can I have your permission to try to make an [adaptation] of your book? And I had no idea that he would answer me, because he's pretty elusive. But he did send a letter back that said, Yes, you can do that - as long as the only instrument in the opera is a banjo. I thought, That's an interesting way of saying No.
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Every first thing is always a miracle. The first person you fall in love with. The first letter you receive. The first stone you throw. And in my conception of the novel, the letter becomes important. But what's more important is the fact that we need to continue to tell each other stories.
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It was a good 15 or 20 years before anyone at Rand would be in the same room with me. They didn't want the question raised, 'What's your relationship with Daniel Ellsberg?' And not one of them wrote me a letter because they didn't want a letter of theirs to show up in my trash - which the FBI had been going through.
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It pleases him how Spell is how the word is made but also, in the hands of the magician, how the world is changed. One letter separates Word from World, and that letter is like the number one, or an 'I', or a shaft of light between almost closed curtains. There is an old letter called a thorn, which jags and tears at the throat as it's uttered. Later he learns that Grammar and Glamour share the same deeper root, which is further magic, and there can be neither magic without that root, nor plant. He's lost in it like Chid in Child, or God reversed into Dog. Somewhere inside him is a colon. A sentence can last for life.
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In a letter (no matter how quickly it is written or honestly or freely or lovingly) it is more possible to be loving and lovable, more possible to reach out and to take in ... I feel I have somehow deceived you into thinking this is really a human relationship. It is a letter relationship between humans ...
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Not the letter again?' Simon's roommate at the Academy, George Lovelace, groaned. He flung himself down on his bed, sweeping an arm melodramatically across his forehead. 'Oh, Isabelle, my darling, if I stare at this letter long enough, maybe I'll telepathically woo you back to my weeping bosom.
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Hey, Meg, " she said without preamble. I need you to write a letter of recommendation for me. I'm applying for grad school." Meghann screamed into the phone. "Oh, my God! I'm so proud of you. I'm hanging up now; I have to draft a letter that makes my best friend sound like da Vinci in a bra and panties.
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And here I am, instead of there. I'm sitting in this library, thousands of miles from my life, writing another letter I know I won't be able to send, no matter how hard I try and how much I want to. How did that boy making love behind that shed become this man writing this letter at this table?
Jonathan Safran Foer
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It's been said that happiness writes white. It doesn't show up on the page. When you're on holiday and writing a letter home to a friend, no one wants a letter that says the food is good and the weather is charming and the accommodations comfortable. You want to hear about lost passports and rat-filled shacks.
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A letter is paradoxically the most revealing and the most deceptive of confessional revelations. We all have our inconsistencies, prejudices, irrationalities which, although strongly felt at the time, may be transitory. A letter captures the mood of the moment. The transitory becomes immutably fixed, part of the evidence for the prosecution or the defence.
P. D. James
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What is needed is the imagination of the poet and the reasoning power of the mathematician. The thief of "The Purloined Letter" successfully hides the letter from the police because he is both a poet and a mathematician. Dupin is able to find it because he too meets both conditions.
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Friends will write me letters. They run out of room on the front of the letter. They write 'over' on the bottom of the letter. Like I'm that much of a moron. Like I need that there. Because if it wasn't there, I'd get to the bottom of the page: 'And so Kathy and I went shopping and we--' That's the craziest thing! I don't know why she would just end it that way.
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It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (which I guessed at). There's a singular and a perpetual charm in a letter of yours; it never grows old, it never loses its novelty .... Other letters are read and thrown away and forgotten, but yours are kept forever - unread. One of them will last a reasonable man a lifetime.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
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If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape. The spoon and the letter are tools; one to take food from the bowl, the other to take information off the page... When it is a good design, the reader has to feel comfortable because the letter is both banal and beautiful.
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If written in the three-letter words of the four-letter alphabet,a human being is determined by a genetic narrative long enough to fill the equivalent of 500 Bibles.In the meantime human beings have discovered this for themselves. That's right. They have uncovered our profoundest concept -- namely, that life is ultimately reading. They themselves are the Book of Books.
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Mama wrote a letter to my father saying' I want to work with you' and she ended the letter saying' in Italian I can only say ti amo( I love you)' and of course the press used that to say women are sexual predators, in 1949 they made a first film together,' Stromboli', and they fell in love and my mother became pregnant with my brother Roberto before she could obtain a divorce.
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A man writing a letter is a man in the act of thinking, and it was an exercise Reagan obviously enjoyed. After his first meeting with Gorbachev, for example, he sent a 'Dear Murph' letter about it to his old friend George Murphy, a former senator and actor who had once played Reagan's father in a film.
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A letter?' repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. 'Really Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous-a legend-I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future-there will be books written about Harry-every child in our world will know his name!
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This letter [to the Romans] is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes.
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I wrote a letter to Harvard, explaining that I was having difficulty deciding between it and the University of Pennsylvania. Could I come and visit? Years later, the dean of students at Harvard told me that my letter had been posted in the dean's office for the amusement of the staff. Thus did I learn the measure of institutional arrogance.
J. Michael Bishop
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