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Last week’s New Yorker magazine included a series of letters written by Saul Bellow to other writers. I’ve often thought epistolary exchange between writers to be the most nettly of writing, both the most effusive and the most sincere, the most pretentious and the most vein-splittingly self-conscious. It’s hard to get it right.
(An aside: I know, sitting in a hotel bar reading the New Yorker says all sorts of things about my character, and you can judge and you’ll probably be right. Case in point: I like arugula.)
But I loved these letters, and couldn’t stop reading them, and blame the quantity of booze consumed that night on the fact that I had no choice but to sit and dumbly nod at the barman for countless refills while plying my way through. This is the one, for the curious among you, that really made my seat wobbly.
Really, just to say that if you want to be penpals, that’d be okay by me.