3. E. B. White To Daisy
Daisy was well loved by E. B. White, but she was not his wife, nor was she human! She was his dog. His beloved Scotty, Daisy, died in 1931 and to commemorate her life White wrote a very moving obituary for her. The letter is well written and respectful towards Daisy while also remaining lighthearted and witty with lines like:
“She enjoyed practically everything in life except motoring, an exigency to which she submitted silently, without joy, and without nausea.”
White mourns the loss with the lyrical grace of a writer. Read the full letter here.
2. Vladimir Nabokov to Véra Slonim
Nabokov and Slonim were a formidable team. Slonim helped Nabokov’s work by helping him edit and research his laborious projects. Nabokov married Slonim in 1925 and in the years before that, he wrote her the types of letters that one would expect him to write, full of gorgeous language and creative prose. He turns phrases like “ten whole centuries, enormous and winged” and “all the rivers have been waiting for your reflection.” But even great writers have trouble expressing themselves in the face of love. Nabokov writes:
“I am ready to give you all of my blood, if I had to — it’s hard to explain — sounds flat — but that’s how it is. Here, I’ll tell you…”
He then goes on to create fantastic images to illustrate these odd but fascinating emotions. Excerpts of his letters can be found here.