Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the authors that we’re studying don’t hang out with each other on a daily basis. With so much correspondence in the UO Special Collections to read, there seems to be a never-ending dialogue between these writers that simply must continue over Sunday brunches and late-evening walks. Aren’t those the things that all authors do?
Apparently, some of them don’t. Because many of the authors are quite geographically diverse, some of them only see each other at conferences or when one of them makes a great trek to spend a weekend with another. Delany writes to Russ in his letters about how sometimes he doesn’t feel like he really knows her, since he only sees her from her own self-representations in her letters. They do meet in person sometimes, but more often than not they are forced to learn about each others’ personalities through letters and professional writing.
This is something that I think everyone can relate to—not seeing a friend as often as you’d like, and thereby needing to find out about each others’ lives via written correspondence—but authors have an extra perk that the rest of us don’t have: It’s their job to be articulate in writing. I wonder what this means for their relationships: Are the relationships between writers that are based on written correspondence more fully-developed or cleverly detailed than the same kinds of relationships between non-writers? Or do they get bogged down in storytelling techniques?