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A Letter from Me to You; What Sparks When A Writer Is In Love?

Situationships, talking stages, ‘hey girlie’ texts- is there any room left for the real lovergirls and real loverboys of the world? Don’t stress yourself with the looming threat of bright pinks and reds that hangs around the corner. Love still exists! For the yearners who feel a certain dissonance with today’s dreadful dating landscape, here is a selection of love letters sent by renowned authors who throw their beautiful talents into the arms of their partners, their muses, their lovers in a fit of pure passion and genuine intimacy, some qualities lacking from this current day and age. May you feel comforted, perhaps even inspired, by the purest descriptions of love for one another.  

Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena

     “Milena- What a rich, heavy name, almost too full to be lifted, and in the beginning I didn’t like it much, it seemed to be a Greek or Roman gone astray in Bohemia, violated by Czech, cheated of its accent, and yet in color and form it is marvelously a woman, a woman whom one carries in one’s arms out of the world, and out of the fire, I don’t know which, and she presses herself willingly and trustingly into your arms.”

There are almost no words that describe the exact nature of Kafka’s prose, which seems to reflect that of the labyrinth of his inner mindscape. He found himself quite frequently experiencing a complete frustration with his ability to connect and communicate with other people, the world as a whole. It wasn’t until a letter by the pen of a certain Milena Jesenká, asking to translate one of his stories into Czech, that Kafka would find relief in his life. Beginning a passionate letter exchange, Milena was regarded to be one of the only people that truly understood the male writer, as her translations seemed to reveal the underlying framework of his works, unveiling his subconscious. To revel in the mere details of another person despite never having met is what brings me to love this sentence so much.

Anais Nin, A Literate Passion: Letters Between Anais Nin and Henry Miller

     “Things I forgot to tell you; that I love you, and that when I awake in the morning, I use my intelligence to discover more ways of appreciating you. That I love you, that I love you, that I love you.”

Nobody can write the complicated realm of romance and sex better than that of Anais Nin. Spanning across multiple novels, her writing seeks to dissect and bring new meaning to that of what is considered to be intimacy, and what is intimacy in the first place. Despite their marriages, Henry Miller and Nin began a fiery affair, expressed through their exchanges of letters over the years until their deaths, only separated by a few years. It is documented that even June, Miller’s wife, was briefly involved with the two. I chose this rather easy passage among other very well-described passages as it signifies feelings of love that can only be expressed in the simplest of terms. I love you, what else is there to say?

Vladimir Nabokov, Letters to Vera

     “How I wish you were saying right now, with feeling, ‘but you promised me…’ I love you, my sun, my life, I love your eyes closed- all the little tails of your thoughts, your stretchy vowels, your whole soul from head to heels. I’m tired, off to bed. I love you.”

Famous for having written Lolita, Vladimir shows a crucial, more sensitive side of his writing prowess to his wife, Vera Slonim. Over the course of forty-six years, the two swapped letters during the times of separation fueled by political discourse leading into the 1940s, with Vladimir’s astute observations of Vera’s wholeness, her character, providing a light to his life. Multiple instances of endearing Russian riddles, as well as recounts of their marriage, their children, and the resulting recognition of Vladimir’s works slowly gaining speed, it is no wonder that the book reaches a whopping 800 and counting pages of pure love and respect for his dear wife. A casual prose is seen here, much more intimate as it is on the go, on a whim, just mere thoughts spilling onto paper compared to the usual well-thought, contemplative style he equips for previous and later works, an aspect of these letters that I can do nothing but appreciate. 

Albert Camus to Maria Casarés

     “I’m thinking of you- and it rises like a tide in me. I love you, with all depth of being. I await you with determination and certainty, sure that ee can be happy, determined to help you with all my might and to give you confidence.”

One fact about the French philosopher that remains in my mind when I read his works, that really makes me laugh the most, is that he was regarded as a frequent womanizer of his time. Having met on the production of one of Camus’s plays, The Misunderstanding, the esteemed Spanish-French actress, Maria Casares, met the playwright and came together in a fling that lasted as quickly as it began, with Camus’s wife swiftly arriving back in Paris. Alas, only four years later on the same day as they met, June 6th, the creatives reunited through pure coincidence, and it is here that they remained in close contact with shared letters over the course of twelve, long years. Desperation for the other seeps through every word, every sentence on the pages. Even the most mundane of details are swapped between the two, signifying that anything, and everything, is electrifying when you find yourself in love, especially with one that is so far away. This distance mythologizes the romantic as a whole, they cling to each other for as long as they can, for as long as they can write.

Is it clear that I find love letters to be a lost art? What else is better than using the art of language to convey a feeling that may be much greater than you and I, but you try your absolute hardest, because it is all for the one you love? Stay safe and stay hopeful through this special holiday season. See you next issue!

Written by Nariyah Gonzalez

Photography: Garrett Hoy

CD: Jazzi Almestica

PM: Sophia Querrazzi

Talent: Colin Cardwell, Kristopher Jai Pruitt, Maggie Brockman, Diana Victoria

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