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Monday, April 07, 2003

Good news (in a few years) for Hemingway fans in this morning's New York Times (free registration required)
Hemingway's Letters to Dietrich Are Given to Library

"My dearest Marlene: I write this early in the morning, the hour that poor people and soldiers and sailors wake from habit, to send you small letter for if you are lonely or anything."
The letter was addressed to Marlene Dietrich and written by Ernest Hemingway, one of many he sent to her over their decades of friendship, often affecting the voice of one for whom English was a second language. Now 30 of these letters have been donated to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, a gift to be announced today. The letters, never made public, will remain sealed for four years, according to the wishes of Dietrich's heirs.
"We didn't know the collection existed," said Deborah Leff, director of the Kennedy Library.
Brief samples of the letters, provided to The New York Times, offer an intimate glimpse into a n abiding friendship between two cultural legends of the 20th century that until now was understood in only limited detail. Though the letters are deeply affectionate and Dietrich and Hemingway were both sex symbols for their generation — he the literary lion, she the silver-screen siren — their descendants maintain the relationship was entirely platonic...."

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