Dear Mr. Usher,
I was really, really neugierig, when I heard that you made a new book with letters, because I am a great fan of your blog letters of note dot com and I am a fan of writing letters myself, so as I do now in this moment to you.
I am thankful that your Verlag has send me the new book really umgehend. But someone should have told me before that it is so heavy, so I would have no such problem to taking it home from the post because at this day I had made my weekly Einkauf also – it is so heavy, that my Küchenwaage can`t measure it, because this thing is only going to 1 Kilo. But there you can also see that a lot of people, famous and not so famous, some also want-to-be-famos, are writing letters and so this gives in the end big books. And really impressive letters – so in Germany the Verlag gave the book the Untertitel „Briefe für die Ewigkeit“.
Yes, I think we should always keep some of he letters of this prominent people in mind, because we can use it for our own Nutzen someday. So if someone is going me really, really on the Nerven, I will write him like the Künstler Asger Jorn did 1964 to the Guggenheim-Stiftung:
„FAHR ZUR HÖLLE MIT DEINEM GELD, DRECKSKERL. PREIS ABGELEHNT. HABE MICH NIE DRUM BEWORBEN. WIDER JEDEN ANSTAND LÄSST DU EINEN KÜNSTLER GEGEN SEINEN WILLEN FÜR DICH REKLAME MACHEN. ERWARTE ÖFFENTLICHE BESTÄTIGUNG DASS ICH BEI DEINER LÄCHERLICHEN CHARADE NICHT MITSPIELE. JOHN“
Leider is in your book not vermerkt, if he gets a answer to this furios telegramm which he wrote when he erfuhr, that he should get the Guggenheim International Award. But this does not matter, because the telegramm alone is much fun, but when I think over it, we should not take it as a good Beispiel. And the chance that someone is giving me a price for my Kunstwerke is also gering.
There a more so people with really bad Manieren who write letters, sometimes impulsiv and sometimes mit Absicht, in your book. So I am froh, that I did not to have work in the Tiger Oil Company – it does not make me wonder, that it make Bankrott – because its chief, this Mr. Edward Mike Davis wrote really ugly memos to his Mitarbeiter:
„This memorandum is intended as an addendum to a memo I wrote on January 12, 1978 about people speaking to me. Any supervisor who has anything to say to me, day or night, the fastest way he can say it to me is too slow.“
So I will make it short now and not longer waste your and my time: Your book „More Letters of Note“ is a real pleasure to me, because I have no problem with the Briefgeheimnis, when it is about famous people. There are lot of letters in it, which are funny, tragisch, liebevoll, full of hate, full of tears, full of emotions. That`s life.
And it is good, that you give some erklärende words to every letter, a lot of pictures and faksimile – so this erklärs too the bigness oft he book, because there is beispielsweise one really impressive letter from an insane woman, Lorina Bulwer, who wrote, like the book says, „kaum ins Deutsche übertragbare Prosa“, but this in an impressive Handschrift and like a work of art. This letter you can ausklappen and that is really eindrucksvoll.
A little bit I missed a rote Faden, because the letters spring from Abraham Lincoln to Janis Joplin, from Mozart to William S. Burrouhgs. I will say, this is a wilde Mischung, but very interessant.
And I think you are a little bit of a letter-messie, isn`t it so? This I can understand well and so I will keep your book because it is nice to blätter in it and if I search something good für my Rubrik „Sie haben Post!“ it will be a real Fundgrube.
So thank you very much und many greatings from your reader
Birgit aus Augschburg.
PS: Neben vielen unterhaltsamen, witzigen, bösartigen, aber auch liebevollen, fast schon kitschigen Briefen tauchen in diesem Band – das Nachfolgebuch zu „Letters of Note“ – auch sehr anrührende Schreiben auf. So der Brief des argentinischen Schriftstellers Juan Gelman an seinen Enkel – Gelmans Sohn und Schwiegertochter „verschwanden“ in den Katakomben der argentinischen Folterdiktatur, das Kind überlebte. Dieser Brief – wie die meisten anderen in diesem Buch – sind Zeitdokumente, die „More Letters of Note“ eben nicht nur zu einem vergnüglichen Kompendium machen, sondern tatsächlich zu einem Nachschlagwerk, das einen Blick auf unsere Welt aus sehr persönlicher Sicht – der der Briefeschreiber – eröffnet.
Shaun Usher, „More Letters of Note“, 2016: