Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Memoir Monday... What There is to Say We Have Said by Suzanne Marrs

What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell by Suzanne Marrs... Here's what Publisher's Weekly wrote: While Welty and her New Yorker editor Maxwell were contemporaries, he 34, she 33 when they first met at a New York literary party in 1942, they seemed to be virtual opposites. He was a devoted family man; she was a loner. His nearly 200 letters to her divulged his entire personality; among the surviving letters, Welty omitted any reference to the love of her life, married crime novelist Ross Macdonald. But Welty and Maxwell recognized from the get-go that they were kindred spirits. The correspondence of this volume, gracefully edited and annotated by Welty's biographer Marrs, takes off in 1951, when the New Yorker began to publish Welty's fiction. Maxwell was an accomplished writer, too, and in these unfailingly cozy letters, which take us up to the 1990s into his old age, the pair discuss not only their work together and apart, but the orchids they loved, their day-to-day lives, and the writers they admired, from Virginia Woolf and Dylan Thomas to J.D. Salinger. Both correspondents were blessed with personality-plus, mirrored in these letters.

This book really caught my attention because we can really see these authors for more than their fiction by opening up the pages of this book. Unlike love letters, the letters between Welty and Maxwell show the burgeoning friendship of these two people over the course of almost 40 years! And while their friendship grows it's as if we are part of that correspondence, getting an intimate look at life and pursuits, and just the everyday banter usually saved for the best of friends. But other than the intimate look at Welty and Maxwell, the letter writing itself should be wonderful as well due to the fact that these two are amazing writers! If we were to This is on my wish list!

1 comment:

mel u said...

Can you tell us any more about the relationship of Welty and Ross MacDonald?

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