Thursday, June 3, 2010

Favorite Book STORY of the week


My husband and I share a passion for the creation of literature, from the writing to the design. Too often our busy lives prevent us from enjoying some of the latest literary articles and stories. When we were at my parents' house over the long Memorial Day weekend, we had a chance to catch up on our reading and stumbled across this article about Somerset Maugham in the May 31 issue of The New Yorker.

When my dad read it, he remembered writing a letter to Mr. Maugham in 1965. In the letter, my dad and his high school friend asked the author to explain the symbol that he always used on his title page designs. My dad left the room for a moment and came back with a yellowed envelope, postmarked from the coastal island of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in southern France. Somerset Maugham had written him back.




It was so exciting to hear about a time when access to celebrity was through hand-written communication instead of Twitter.

My "craft" project for the weekend is to ask you to write a letter to your favorite author. You never know. You may find out one day, as my father did, that letters like yours were the solace and inspiration that these artists needed to keep writing.

Here are the closing lines of The New Yorker article, a quote by a person close to Maugham: "Just before his 90th birthday, he remarked that his greatest, indeed his only consolation, was the letters that came to him every day from young people all over the world. They were still reading him, he said with a touch of pride."

Mr. Maugham passed away later that year.

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely story! When I was nine, I wrote to my favorite author at the time (fantasy writer Piers Anthony) and received a charming letter in response. I was utterly thrilled at the time, and as I've aged I've become more and more touched by thought of Mr. Anthony taking the time to send a note to a small child. It truly changed my perspective on the world to receive that reply!

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  2. Divine story Katie. So many people are rediscovering Maugham. I noted with sadness that a compilation of his stories was free on Amazon for Kindle. It's lovely to have everyone have access but there are other places. I'd like to find him still pulling the same value as a modern writer. Well maybe he is-witness your story. Thanks!

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  3. That is seriously lovely! Gave me chills to read! I've always been a huge fan of Maugham so thanks for posting!!

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  4. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! I have to admit, this one gives me chills too. I think I've been reading it at least once a day since I posted it :)

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