Showing posts with label letter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label letter. Show all posts

28.1.15

Letter from Walker Percy to Fr. Dominic Braud, O.S.B.

American novelist Walker Percy wrote Fr. Dominic Braud a letter on March 9, 1980.
Letter from Walker Percy to Fr. Dominic Braud, O.S.B. (Stamped March 10, 2010; Handwritten)
Fr. Dominic Braud, O.S.B. was the choirmaster at Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana for decades. He was a Benedictine monk and priest and he had formed a friendship with Percy after Percy had become an Oblate of Saint Benedict. In the following letter, it appears that Braud had sent Percy a copy of a poem written by William Alexander Percy that was set to music. William Alexander Percy was Walker Percy's guardian and raised Percy as if he were his own father. Click the link to retrieve a scan of the envelope, the back of the envelope, and the actual letter.
     I have transcribed the letter thus:


Walker Percy
P.O. Box 510
Covington, LA 70433
March 9, 1980
Dear Father Dominic — 

    It was very good of you to send me the Green setting of Uncle Will's poem. No, I don't remember seeing it and so am all the more grateful for having it.
     What would you say to my coming out sometime and demanding that you sing it? — Otherwise I'll never know how it sounds —
   
   Many Thanks again, Walker 

PDF Copy for Printing

25.8.12

Paul of Tarsus on Childishness


ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος, ἐλάλουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐφρόνουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐλογιζόμην ὡς νήπιος: ὅτε γέγονα ἀνήρ, κατήργηκα τὰ τοῦ νηπίου. 
When I was a child — I spoke like a child, had feelings like a child, and I had a mind like a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away those childish things.
Paul of Tarsus, First century A.D.
First Letter to the Church in Corinth, Chapter Thirteen, verse Eleven.

Sculpture of Paul of Tarsus holding a sword in front of the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy
Paul of Tarsus as depicted by a statue of him 
in front of the Church of Saint Paul 
Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy.

Paul in this quote from a letter he wrote to the church at Corinth (circa 56 A.D.) assumes childish things are something to move away from, to discard 
 and secondly, he assumes he has become a man. All grown up. The Greek word for "man" is ἀνήρ which can also be translated as "gentleman". I can imagine Paul wants us to also shed this notion of Christianity as a baby's religion, as something infants do, crying like children to their grown-up silent gods. Paul is a gentleman and assumes his God responds in kind. Paul loved writing letters  and he loved to extoll his own weaknesses as strength. He was a child! He said childish things! Perhaps he pouted when his mother would not take him to bathe in the salty goodness of the sea  or maybe he prattled on like a child in the way children do? But he is a man, now! Paul surely sees children as mewling, puking, and speaking nonsense, having nothing really important to say  as if faith is something only grown-ups do — what children do is make-believe. To have a mind of a child is in Paul's mind to be imperfect  what we mean when we say childish. But Paul informs us that he has become a man  a full-grown person who has evidently discarded such puerile traits such as insouciant idleness and unabashed temper tantrums. I must agree I prefer the mature man to the mewling babe  but I am somewhat suspicious that in a strident act of becoming all childish things are banished.

24.5.10

Letter to my Students

Copy of a high school teacher's letter to his students about their final freshman year writing project with an addendum of quotes:
Valediction


    IT IS OFTEN said, "words are like bullets."

    While, this may not sound true - how can a word be like a bullet? - it is VERY true.

    Our words matter. Like a bullet, words can DO something. Cause destruction. Words can cause a revolution. Words can shatter. Words rock.

    Here we have a collection of your words, strung together to make a PORTFOLIO.

Words matter.

    Writing has not yet deserved a funeral. But a resurgence.

    SO

    It has been a quirky, productive year. Even Susie Q agrees. Bon Qui Qui also concurs. Even, Mr. Roselli, that unkempt teacher, who barely gets his grades in on time and wears mixed-match clothes, seldom shaves, and looks like he is married to a coffee cup, agrees - words matter. Keep writing.

    I remember all of you:

    Especially these random things:


    1. Raised hands; 2. fixing my hair; 3. plushy fish dolls; 4. Au Revoir Les Enfants; 5. Oedipus at the Museum; 6. Mr. Hebert's benign interruptions; 7. Mr. Stabiler's talk on Greek Mythology; 8. big words; 9. "imitation is the best form of flattery"; 10. "familiarity breeds contempt"; 11. Google Hacks; smartboard mishaps; 12. "Y'all are hot (higher order thinkers)"; 13. "A MANNNNN?"; 14. literary rally champs; 15. "Hey, I know what hyperbole means!"; 16. "Thunk is my word!"; 17. "Does reading about Lady Gaga count?"; 18. "You're making us read this .... sophisticated newspaper ...?"; 19. "Can we read the Inferno? I like hell"; 20. "How can a guy survive on a lifeboat with a tiger? I mean come on."; 21. "Mr. Roselli, you need a hug?"; 22. "You know you love us."; 23. "OMG! I love that book!"; 24. "This may sound funny, but I wrote this paper last night. But, it's brilliant."; 25. "You guys are sick!"; 26. "You know, it reminds me of an episode from Sponge Bob ..."; 27. "Give me back the pen, buster."; 28. A severe whooshing sound; 29. pile of sweaters; 30. Free Writes!; 31. interactive notebooks; 32. scotch tape; 33. indecipherable handwriting; 34. chronic sleepers; 35. overachievers; 36. underachievers; 37. "Hitch your wagon to a star! Or, what's a heaven for?"; "Can you exterminate the lights, please? Or is it terminate? I can't remember." 38. There's a difference: To be is to do (Socrates); Yabba dabba doo (Fred Flintstone)
G. Roselli
New Orleans, LA

22.12.09

McKeown's Books




At this bookstore on Tchopitoulas Street, I found a card in a book that said, "I never will know if my dad is alive or why he left us."

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