9 January (1996): Saul Bellow to Albert Glotzer

He’s getting ready to publish a collection of recently released Lenin documents from the early years—1917 to 1923. I wish you had been here when he described some of them. One is an order to find and hang a hundred Kulaks. Just hang them, his instructions were, and leave them hanging as long as possible.

7 January (1942): Eudora Welty to Diarmuid Russell

There is a maniac here (really a surgeon) with a yard full of bushes which he erects canvas tents over and heats all night by gas heaters inside, one each—an ideal place for drawing tramps, I should think, and I am a little envious of tramps that could come in out of the cold to a nice warm tent and a stove to heat coffee over and a Pink Perfection to curl up under for the evening, imagine waking up and finding that you’re in bloom…

2 January (1941): Edna St. Vincent Millay to Charlotte Babcock Sills

You see by the dates on the poems in this book that they were written in a furious haste and published as soon as they were written. They are, with a few exceptions, considered as poetry, faulty and unpolished; and whatever the final verdict of our generation or the next may be upon me as a poet, there are already, I know quite well, thousands of people, true lovers of pure poetry, and who have—for I am humbly proud of this and feel no arrogance in saying so—in past years thought very highly of mine, who will, no matter what I may write in the future, never forgive me for writing this book.

3 November (1936): Lawrence Durrell to Henry Miller

The great shock is to find himself alone in life—with no contact—not even with that sweet but silly little wretch Ophelia. Horatio a heart-of-oak dumbbell. Laertes a boring soldier. Polonius a blow-fly. The Queen a toad. Then, realizing that he should really turn away from these fakes to his real self, he feels the pressure of society suddenly on him…