John Barth
Kitty Burns Florey


To: Lolita Lark

RE; John Barth

Hello out there, Lolita/Carlos!

I'm writing to say that my novel The Writing Master is now out in paperback. It has been available as an e-book for a year or so, as I'm sure I've told you, but I find that the kind of people who want to read a penmanship-oriented historical novel set in 1856 New England are often not people who want to read e-books, so I'm delighted that it's now available as a "real" book, thanks to a wonderful small press here in Amherst. If you'd like a copy, let me know, and tell me again where to send it. I'll also send you a new edition of Script & Scribble when it comes out in the fall (with, I'm happy to say, all glitches corrected and with a jazzy new cover).

I also want to thank RALPH for the John Barth bit from The Floating Opera. I read that with delight in college, but most of it had floated right out of my head. I've added it to the vast re-reading pile....

Continued good wishes for RALPH, and for you!

--- Kitty Burns Florey

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from John Barth

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    To: Kitty Burns Florey

    Hi, Kitty Florey:

    After you've won our hearts with your kind words about RALPH --- and teaching us all over again to love diagramming --- now you reveal that you are also smitten with John Barth. We thought we were the last of a dying breed.

    They tell us that The Floating Opera was supposed to be the American version of existentialism. I could never figure that one out (as I've never been able to figure out existentialism).

    My theory is that Barth was (and is) a perfectionist of good humor and plotting --- as well as doubler crabs (remember them?) --- and I always favored that novel over all his other writings. It was his first, I believe, and possibly his best.

    We look forward to anything you want to send us in the way of book. Knowing your taste is not very different from our own, you might want to look at our new anthology. It is jam-packed with others of our favorites: S. J. Perelman, Sherwood Anderson, e. e. cummings, Nathanael West, H. L. Mencken and Captain Slocum ... who as you may recall sailed around the world alone and lived to tell about it in one of the great travel books of all time.

    And thank you, as always, for remembering us.

--- LL

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