I believe that ones of the most erotic and pornographic, in some cases sensual and sensible letters, maybe even metaphorical are the ones written by you, writers. Why? When you, writers write (because this is what you do and you became famous for it) everything is more, hmm, let’s say dirty, scandalous, as opposed to us, merely humans.
You have allowed your imagination to run freely, making use of it. Those letters aren’t considered to be a literary masterpiece, but because you were famous, they are a piece of history, an important one, I must say.
A very bizarre, rather surreal letter you have written in 1955 addressed to your friend, Marlene Dietrich has been sold in 2014, alongside with merely 250 other items from your lovely ‘friend’s’ personal collection.
You have met her on a transatlantic ship in 1934, you were travelling from Paris to New York… do you remember it? You have instantly become friends for life (if you were in our times, you would have shared a lot of selfies together). But, it is said that you weren’t involved in an extra-conjugal relation with her, even though I have my doubts and I am not the only one. Because, let’s the honest, your whole correspondence was filled with mutual desire and affection.
As interestingly proposed by The Guardian, you have called yourself and your talented actress friend:
“victims of un-synchronized passion. Those times when I was out of love, the Kraut was deep in some romantic tribulation, and those occasions when Dietrich was on the surface and swimming about with those marvellously seeking eyes, I was submerged.”
This letter has begun in a very common way, a friendly one, I must admit, even though you have signed it with ‘Papa’. You have responded to Marlene’s complaints about a Las Vegas show in which the lovely actress needed to perform in leading role.
“it would probably have something novel like having you shot onto the stage, drunk, from a self-propelled minenwerfer”
But, it suddenly shifts into a very bizarre direction:
“As you landed on the stage drunk and naked I would advance from the rear, or your rear wearing evening clothes … and announce that we were sorry that we did not know the lady was loaded.”
“This is the scene which is really Spine tingling and I have just the spine for it,”
“I play it with a Giant Rubber Whale called Captain Ahab … You are foaming at the mouth of course to show that we are really acting and we bottle the foam and sell it to any surviving customers.”
This letter was written during the time you were in the middle of the filming of your novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, directed by John Sturges. You were as well, complaining about the difficulty of finding the perfect sized fish that was necessary to be utilised in a very important scene of the movie (it’s so hard living without special effects, isn’t it?). You needed that fish to illustrate the story’s most famous giant marlin:
“Started OK on fishing – one 472lbs and on 422lbs. Very good close shots of harpooning at the end but fish too small even in Cinemascope for what we need … “
Without anticipating the fact that this letter could ever be sold in an auction, you finish your letter in a very ironical and fatalist note about the nature of celebrity:
“I love you very much and I never wanted to get mixed in any business with you as I wrote you when this thing first was brought up. Neither of us has enough whore blood for that. Not but what I number many splendid whores amongst my best friends and certainly never, I hope, could be accessed (sic) of anti-whoreism.”
But as all the good things have to end, you have as I have mentioned before, blankly ended your letter:
“I think you could say you and I have earned whatever dough the people let us keep. So what. So Merdre. I love you always.”
Even though a bulk of your papers, which also include 30 letters written to your talented best friend, Dietrich are stored at the John F. Kennedy library in Boston, a few ones have escaped that fate and ended up being kept by Dietrich’s grandchildren, who have unfortunately sold her belongings online… What a shame!
You are truly an inspiration with an impressive life-story, a very controversial one, I must admit. Thank you for enlarging my literary universe through your masterpieces!