Top 3: The best exchangings of letters (… in the history of letters)

Since this diablog somehow is an exchange of letters, I proudly present three of the most interesting historical exchanges of letters from my side of the atlantic.

1. Composer Arnold Schoenberg with writer Thomas Mann

Two very different characters who, during a short period, lived in the same neighbourhood. So they wrote about gardening…? Not at all. Schoenberg was rather blaming Mann for stealing his idea of composing with 12 tones…

2. Poet and writer Friedrich Schiller with poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Intrigue and Love” meets “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. Nothing more to say.

3. Jacob Grimm with Wilhelm Grimm

Those two guys could not only write world-famous fairy tales. No, they also spoke to each other via ink and feather. Once upon a time…

Do you know some more interesting exchanges?


6 thoughts on “Top 3: The best exchangings of letters (… in the history of letters)

  1. I like lettersfromlalaland term “letter voice”. In my letters I manage to be subtle,judge the weight of my words differently, the lack of sound lets me reflect longer which word I pick, to sound right.
    The reader always has to imagine, how the writer would say,yell,whisper what he inked, or typed down, independent whether it’s a threat or a “I love you”, a demand or a suggestion…

  2. Thank you for your kind words lettersfromlalaland. And also for your great recommendations. The book and the blog, both are very interesting. Guess there’s something waiting to be read. We hope you like our diablog dialogues, too. Not literature, but a way to share experiences and observations over a long distance. Your comments are welcome any time…

  3. Nice post. I fear letter writing is fast becoming a lost art. Email is much different–more like a memo. And how many people archive and/or print their e-mails? Once a message is read it is deleted and flushed down the memory hole.

    The other interesting tidbit about letters: many writers found their voices through letter writing. In letters they were able to fuse the personal, the political and the literary. Hunter S. Thompson realized this early in his career. After a series of rejections, somebody finally told him that his “serious” prose was crap, but that his letters were brilliant. So he adopted his “letter voice” to his professional work and helped give birth to the New Journalism. Check out his collection of letters, “The Proud Highway,” for more on the evolution of the literary voice.


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