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By Richard Selzer

A full of life and intimate collection of letters on lifestyles, literature, and artwork from one among America's most interesting prose stylists.

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And yes, the 17th–22nd will be just fine. I shall sleepwalking and daydreaming try to sweep out my brains for the occasion. The diary is giving me no end of trouble, and I sink back from it in despair a dozen times a day. If only I had a bit of your courage. But that is youth, and I must do with what I have left. I think I’ll try to go to Troy for an overnight. I desire so much to finish the Crematorium. Then you and I can go there together in April if you wish. It’s a lovely ride up there and we can talk all the way.

After which I wrote my column for the medical magazine to which I am indentured six times a year. v. to those who have requested it. So you can see that I stir about. How it is accomplished I cannot say. From what I read daily in the newspapers about the evils of excess, I might as well relax. Between vodka and tobacco and lamb chops, the timbers of my wretched vessel are already too rotted to be seaworthy. Which suits me fine, as I am in my place and intend to stay put. Later. Just home from the opera.

Never forget, Peter, that you, the artist, are at the whim, caprice, and ignorance of the fakers. They have the money; you need it. Simple as that. If ever you meet a woman named Linda Gutstein (Lear’s), give her the finger for me. Love Richard ________________________ April 5, 1989 Dear Peter, Your magnificent pacquet arrived today. Best is your own marvelous letter and the play. It is a triumphant, brilliant play. I am blown away by it—the insights and the subtleties. And the smoking! You wretch, to aim at my heart so.

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