Britain's first book blogger (November 2000). This Space is now a major motion picture, or something.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Missive attack

While the gossip-hungry go hungry waiting for news that won't stay news on TS Eliot, we have only a year or so before Beckett's letters are published (in his centenary year). Meanwhile, here's Kafka on the subject in the subject.

The easy possibility of letter-writing must ... have brought into the world a terrible disintegration of souls. It is, in fact, an intercourse with ghosts, and not only with the ghost of the recipient but also with one's own ghost which develops between the lines of the letter one is writing and even more so in a series of letters where one letter corroborates the other and can refer to it as a witness. How on earth did anyone get the idea that people can communicate with one another by letter! Of a distant person one can think, and of a person who is near one can catch hold - all else goes beyond human strength. Writing letters, however, means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait. Written kisses don't reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.

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