Posts Tagged: Correspondence
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A Letter From Tolstoy

Would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.

In January of 1908, Leo Tolstoy was still seven months from responding to George Bernard Shaw, who had sent him a copy of Man and Superman, but the Irish playwright was very much on the his mind. Tolstoy had read Shaw’s four act drama—twice—and many of the others that came before it. “His vulgarity is amazing,” Tolstoy wrote in his diary. “Not only does [...]

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"The Basic Problem Here Is That You Are Wrong": The Collected Letters of Tom Scocca and Keith Gessen

Here are the last few thousand words on the topic of a new essay by Mark Greif in n+1. (The piece, On Repressive Sentimentalism, was published last week. I pointed it out to fellow readers while I was still digesting it. Later, Awl contributor Tom Scocca criticized it strenuously. N+1 editor Keith Gessen replied via his Tumblr, which I briefly addressed here.) Among other things, there was some confusion about "us" versus "them": who was a reader of n+1 and who was an Internet barbarian? (Who was both? *Raises hand slowly*) Anyway. And now, a couple of things about what follows, which is an extended [...]

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How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four Trappist Monks

About two months ago I started reaching out by email to a group of people whose lives I wanted to know about and understand: The Trappist monks of Oka Abbey, in Quebec. Oka Abbey is the oldest Trappist monastery in North America. A century ago, it was a powerhouse; but in recent decades, the community had dwindled to a fraction of what it used to be. After leaving the Abbey to a heritage group, to be preserved as an historical site, the remaining monks relocated to a smaller retreat in the mountains north of Montreal.

Even if you're not Catholic, you may have heard of the Trappists. They’re [...]

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Bill Wasik, I Bought Your Book!

Dear Bill Wasik: I am totally convinced! I have now spent $9.99 on your book for my iPhone Kindle app. Hey. Also the interview thingie with Simon Dumenco was excellent. I heartily endorse that others should buy And Then There's This as well. Yours, The Awl.