It was the summer of 1946 when a young and war-fatigued J.D. Salinger reached out to another writer whose career had also been shaped by war, a writer he had arranged to meet while both had been in Europe.
"The talks I had with you here were the only hopeful minutes of the whole business," Salinger writes at the close of his letter to Ernest Hemingway, which will be displayed publicly for the first time on Sunday at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
The letter, which has been available to and referenced by scholars over the years, is part of the Ernest Hemingway collection that has been kept at the JFK Library for 30 years. It offers a fascinating glimpse of a sardonic Salinger, then serving in the Army, in the period before the 1951 publication of "Catcher in the Rye."
The author even jokingly compares himself with Catcher in the Rye protagonist Holden Caulfield, who had appeared as a character in earlier short stories.
Salinger died Jan. 27 at age 91 at his home in New Hampshire. JFK Library director Thomas Putnam said renewed interest in the reclusive author was one reason why the library decided to display the letter during a presentation of the PEN/Hemingway Award, given annually to a first-time fiction writer.
Salinger addresses the letter "Dear Poppa," a Hemingway nickname, signaling a friendship possibly beyond just casual. He signs it "Jerry Salinger." (Salinger's full name was Jerome David.)
Writing from a hospital in Nuremburg, Germany, Salinger offers that nothing is wrong with him except "an almost constant state of despondency," and that his purpose in writing was "to talk to someone sane." The doctors, he wrote, had quizzed him about his sex life and his childhood, a suggestion they were employing Freudian tactics to get at the root of his melancholy.
Salinger asks Hemingway how his latest novel is coming and implores him not to sell it to a movie producer: "As Chairman of your many fan clubs, I know I speak for all the members when I say Down with Gary Cooper."
Of his own fledgling career: "I've written a couple more of my incestuous stories, and several poems, and part of a play." Possibly foretelling publication of "Catcher in the Rye," he relates that he has a "very sensitive novel in mind," and while he wishes to get out of the Army so he can pursue his writing, he worries that a psychiatric discharge might label him a "jerk" and damage his career.
Putnam said there was no indication that Hemingway answered the letter.
"Because we don't have other letters, I assume there wasn't other correspondence. There may have been and it may just not be here, but Hemingway was very good about keeping his correspondence so it could be the only letter between the two," he said.
Hemingway's widow, Mary, donated the letters to the library partly out of gratitude to the Kennedy Administration, which had helped arrange her to travel to Cuba and retrieve his papers after her husband's death in 1961, Putnam explained. The papers are kept in a room at the library that is not generally accessible to visitors.
Hemingway's son, Patrick, will attend the Sunday ceremony to honor Brigid Pasulka for her first novel, "A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True."
Sherman Alexie has won the PEN/Faulkner prize for fiction for his short story collection "War Dances."
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced Tuesday that Alexie will receive $15,000 for the prize. His collection touches on everything from parenthood to the Sept. 11 attacks.
The prize was established in 1981 and has been won by Philip Roth, E.L. Doctorow and others.
Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" won the National Book Award for young people's literature in 2007.
Get your read on with great literature from the past and present. Engage and wrap yourself with authors who have made their mark in the world of literature. Dig deep and find something new that you've never read before. It's important that we all continue to up our literacy skills so we can evolve and progress like we are suppose to. As you keep reading and writing share your fabulous abilities with someone close to you or volunteer in your community to help others better themselves. When we do these things we can all progress and continue to get our read on.
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Ernest Hemingway's Key West home, where the American author lived in the 1930s, has been designated a literary landmark.
Hemingway, who lived in the Spanish-colonial home with his second wife Pauline and their two sons, owned the property until his death in 1961. It became a museum honoring the Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author in 1964.
He worked on many of his best-known manuscripts in the Key West property's second-story writing studio.
"Hemingway was probably our first and most popular writer to take residence in Key West," said Dave Gonzales of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. "He lived here only nine years, but wrote 70 percent of his lifetime works in that nine-year period — the most prolific period of his life."
Among them were "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and the Key West-based "To Have and Have Not," Hemingway's only novel set in the United States.
"This is a recognition long overdue," said author Les Standiford, who presented the designation. "There are a number of other literary landmarks in Key West, but none dedicated to Hemingway."
Literary landmark designation is conferred by a division of the American Library Association. The Hemingway home is Key West's eighth literary landmark. Others include the former homes of playwright Tennessee Williams and poet Elizabeth Bishop.
Join for a special Sunday book chat with author Rhonda McKnight. She is a author, editor, and vice president of the Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. We will be diving into her new book "Secrets and Lies." As we chat about her book we will also get to know her and what compelled her to write such an interesting story. Tune in for a special Sunday book chat with author Rhonda McKnight. Stay tuned and keep it locked.
If you missed the live show with this talented author then play back the archives.
Fearing an apparent assault by Amazon.com on Canadian culture, the Canadian Booksellers Association is urging the federal government to block the U.S. Internet retailer from establishing a physical presence north of the border.
Amazon.com has applied to the Heritage department for permission to establish its own fulfillment business here after using Canada Post for product delivery since 2002 to serve a Canadian version of its U.S. website, Amazon.ca.
But the local booksellers told Ottawa that allowing Amazon to operate on Canadian soil would contravene the Investment Canada Act, which requires book publishing and other cultural industries to comply with national cultural policies and benefit the Canadian economy.
"Individual Canadian booksellers have traditionally played a key role in ensuring the promotion of Canadian authors and Canadian culture. These are values that no American dot.com retailer could ever purport to understand or promote," CBA president Stephen Cribar said in a March 8 letter to federal Heritage minister James Moore.
Cribar urged Moore to place "reasonable limits on American domination of our book market" and to reject Amazon.com's current application.
Ottawa in 2002 ruled that the Investment Canada Act did not apply to Amazon.com, despite existing laws aiming at protecting the Canadian book industry from foreign competition, as long as it operated without a physical presence in the country.
The latest Amazon.com application has placed Ottawa in a bind as its cultural protectionist policies paradoxically allow the U.S. Internet retailer to freely sell books, e-books and other digital products to Canadians as long as it does not establish offices or warehouses north of the border. Allowing Amazon.com to establish a new business in Canada, while opposed by local booksellers, would enable Ottawa to place conditions on the U.S. online retailer's business here. Ottawa will rule on the Amazon.com application in the coming months.
Appealing and very emphatic I see them hiding but willing. Melodious rhythms are all around me as I reach out and grab on to their sweet delicious thoughts.
It’s music to my ears as their thoughts run through my mind and I taste the desire of many as they give off the sweet scent of orange spice.
As I take a breath I can feel them all over me. With my eyes closed I dive into my soul and it feels like my climax moment is starting over and over again as it’s pushed to a lyrical rhythm that encases me and takes my thoughts to heaven.
Feelings of excitement but loneliness pour over me as I try to capture this delicious moment in time. No boundaries of many, I try to reach heaven and stay as I savor the moment of their thoughts all over me.
I’m fascinated with them as the moment continues to engage me with hardcore thoughts but gentle touches that flow organically.
Time is evolving as I come to the end of a notorious evolution that has touched my body with many thoughts of being wanted, desired, and loved. I feel okay to have connected with their thoughts as we fell into a moment of bliss and rage.
Tried and true is believable as I move on and seek out more of them. Closing things up and smelling the great taste of organic wonder I slowly seep into a heavenly crack of obsession like a crack addict who is addicted and want more.
I want more-more of them to want me as I lay still and hold their thoughts close to mine to savor, taste, and smell for the last time their salacious egos.
Laughing as I walk away with my head down, it was the best time of my life. The purple and white mini with the white stiletto heels was what turned him on. The smell of fresh organic lilies that just sprung up on a warm spring day is what he smelled like.
As we talked and laughed and enjoyed our time together it was a moment that I broke down into a million as I swallowed the abilities of his nature to touch me in the right way.
Learning and digesting each word that flowed from him was like a baby learning to crawl for the first time. Amazing, delicious, and tragic as we held hands and let our thoughts crawl into one another’s mind like a cockroach crawls into one’s ear at night.
As he touched me softly and gave me hints I ate his words; and his ability to engage me came with no reservation. My breath was soft and willing as our time came to an end and it was time separate.
Getting up I shook like a drug addict waiting to get my next fix. I wanted more and I couldn’t help myself.
Walking out the door and carrying my white stilettos in my hand I place my finger in my mouth and taste for the last time his happy evolution. An evolution that left me laughing and walking slowly with my head as I had the best time in my life.
It's "READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK" and I encourage all parents to get involved by helping their kids take part in their favorite books. It's also Dr. Suess's birthday! Help your kids have fun with reading by picking up their favorite Dr. Suess books as well as dressing up like some of the characters.
Make this week the start of all weeks to help your child get involved in reading and have fun while doing it. Also stop by your local community library to check out fantastic books.
All in all read lots and have lots of fun doing it!
DIVA'S NATION: THE YEAR OF SOUND, MIND AND BODY! COMING SOON!
Join us for our new series "Diva's Nation." This exciting new series will cover all aspects of life, food, how-to's, relations-relationships, fashion, news and more. Everything at your fingertips will be here on "Diva Nation." So get ready for a fun new series starting Wed Jan 5 at 12pm est. Remember it's going to be a new year so why not start the year off with us for our weekly "Diva's Nation" experience. Stay tuned and keep it locked.
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