Imagined Conversations (4.1.14)

A: We’re French, we had to put wine in the story. And so life had champagne parties.
B: Well, a party without champagne…
A: —Is a war without weapons. You know, if I was younger, we’d have had a great passionate affair for two years and been friends the rest of our lives. I can tell you that frankly. That said, if you violate my airspace, there will not be a funeral!

26 March (1924): Graham Greene to Elisabeth Greene

Have you ever noticed how useful numbers are in filling up a letter? Take the tip the next time you write to anyone. If you can’t think of anything to say just write something like this, ‘I hope you are in the best of health, myself I am somewhat 7x-59q2b = (10 x 16 x 42) / (93 x 25q) + 103 = λqb/ady

25 March (1607): John Donne to Henry Goodyer

Though my friendship be good for nothing else, it may give you the profit of a temptation or of an affliction. It may exercise your patience, and thought it cannot allure, it shall importune you. Though I knew you have many worthy friends of all ranks, yet I add something, since I, which am of none, would fain to be your friend too. There is some of the honor and some of the degrees of a creation to make a friendship of nothing.

24 March (1948): Robert Lowell to Carley Dawson

I’ve just been to Tenebrae at the Cathedral—a choir of Franciscans in their order’s brown, starched white ropes looped downwards, awkward gangling young men, looking like minor employees at the Library. And the psalms and lamentations were good, and I thought: “Why should anyone, who wants to believe, have much trouble?”