|Welcome | Log In|
Dear Katherine Anne Porter,
How consistent is the flow of words in your head today? Have you created yet another brilliant cast of characters to bump against one another in a world of anarchy? Word has reached me that such creative activities have ceased on your part. Eternal sleep has claimed you.
You are dead. On this matter it is only myself I pity; your spirit has been liberated from this earth. After plunging through the pages of your acclaimed novel Ship of Fools, I realized that we share a kinship of minds. I see many aspects of you in the myriad of characters in Ship of Fools. Funny how all of the characters are misfits--or is it? It seems to me that all writers are, by nature, predestined outcasts.
To my observant eye, life is a movie without a plot. I am both the audience and critic. My job is to interpret what I see in the form of the written word. My life is made just a bit more zesty with my prose and poetry. What is life to you, Katherine--may I call you Katherine? I feel our relationship has evolved into one of casual discourse. Even if you could, would you object?
A span of years, the barrier between life and death, the uncertain line between being and unbeing keep you from answering my questions. I will take the liberty to answer them as I think you would if you were here.
Ah, Katherine, Katherine, Katherine, you can not know to what extent your Ship of Fools influenced me. You instilled in my being a greater awareness of the world. Your creation, the complex David Scott, gifted me with a better comprehension of characters. All his actions were dictated by motives of self-gain. That is how most characters are. Even when helping others, we do it for our own self-satisfaction.
Speaking of satisfaction, it would please me if we could converse over tea. The fragrance of steeped tea leaves would set a lovely mood for a friendly conversation about human nature. We could swap tales over the occasional encounters with particularly unpleasant specimens of the human race. Better yet, we would sail across the ocean composing impeccable prose.
Alas, these fantastic wishes will remain what they are, nothing more. Evidently such a friendship was not meant to be. Time has decreed that we should exist in two separate lifetimes. For you life is set in stone. I must plunge forward and devour other novels. Other authors, dead and alive are waiting for my eye to grace the pages of their books. Do not fear, you will not be forgotten. You have been made immortal by your own offspring: your lively stories.
I hope by the time I transform into petrified bone and fossilized flesh, that I will have produced a work of art worthy of the praise you received. With you leave, I will continue to review your methods as a devoted pupil. Ahh, I take your long silence to be one of consent.
Rest well, Katherine. I will disturb your peace no more. I put in a Neil Diamond cassette to lull us both to sleep.
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)