selected-letters

Can you understand? Can I make you understand somehow? You have begun to mean the world; you have begun to mean poetry and heartbeats and inexplicable mood reactions and songs and scents and conflicting words which do not match yet somehow match. You are not only a series of question marks and abstract references: You are meaning itself. You are a bright inner composure of numerous elements. Now can you possibly understand — I am merely words. I used to believe I was merely words and I do not know whether I shall start hoping for something more. You planted that sense of hope in a secret deeply hidden place; it had walls made of bricks and huge abandoned gardens full of despair. It was covered in dusty waves and it was kept underground where no soul would ever walk. And you walked there - you planted hope. And now I cannot imagine myself without it.
—  Selected Letters (Katherine Mansfield)

Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended.

JACK KEROUAC, The Portable Jack Kerouac
(Selected Letters 1957-1969) written for his first wife, Edie, in 1957

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VINTAGE WOOLF

Born on this day in 1882, Virginia Woolf is one of the best loved and most admired writers of the twentieth century.

We are excited to share our latest Vintage Woolf Classics, including some previously unseen covers.