Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Letter to a Friend from the Sylvia Beach Hotel

 (Here's a random collection of American and British Lit Author inspired rooms at the Sylvia Beach Hotel)
 The Ernest Hemingway 1899 - 1961
 One of the cool things about staying here is that each room is full of anonymous journals left by visitors over the last thirty years.  Picking one at random, the reader instantly becomes entranced by people's innermost thoughts.  One woman wrote about the sudden death of her father and how coming to the beach helped her cope with loss.  Another was of a woman who had fallen out of love with her husband, and she came here for reflection and refuge.  Another entry was from a man who felt such deep regret and sadness at the choices of his life.  Another was about joy, a husband and wife with their children searching for sand dollars and laughing at jellyfish.  
 And so I wanted to include an excerpt from a letter I wrote to a friend explaining why I am traveling through America with my children, about this small window of time I've been given, and how meaningful it is to me.
 The John Steinbeck 1902 - 1968
 "... In essence, what I am trying to set forth, is to make America real to my daughters through their personal discovery of her literature (poems, songs, stories, legends, tall tales, journals, letters, and novels).  Her history (places, events, leaders, outlaws, visionaries, blunders, and triumphs).  Her art (authors, directors, painters, singers, and hacks) Her culture (music, food, sports, infamous sites, museums, and pockets of life).  Her natural beauty (mountains, rivers, plains, glaciers, forests, and oceans).  And of course, her great contradictions (the truths and lies, facts and fictions, the stories told and untold that make our country so richly poor, ironically sensible, and wonderfully absurd)..."
The Gertrude Stein 1874 - 1946
The Jane Austen 1775 - 1817
 The Jules Verne 1828 - 1905
 The Oscar Wilde 1854 - 1900
The Virginia Woolf 1882 - 1941

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