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I’m a little trembly from all the excitement

October 31, 2009

I am sitting on my couch, trembling like a chihuahua. Mostly, this is because I’m cold.

I like to think, though, that part of it is because I got to go to a party with a Pulitzer prize-winning author (well, I didn’t go with her, we were just in the same house).

AND there were like a million other amazing authors there, too.
AND I got to drive Ally Carter and Katherine Marsh and Deborah Bass in my minivan and flummox them with the doors I couldn’t work right.
AND earlier today I got to see – 6 inches FROM MY FACE – a hand-written manuscript by a 17-year-old Charlotte Bronte.
AND love letters written by Edith Wharton.
AND telegrams from Hemingway about the Spanish civil war.
AND a hand-written letter by Mary Shelley.
AND Norman Mailer’s notes on books he never wrote – notes taken while under the influence of “Lipton” which is code for “Norman Mailer was high as a kite when he was writing this”.
AND internal Knopf rejection memos for 1) On the Road 2) The Diary of Anne Frank 3) A Confederacy of Dunces.
AND a list written by Don Delillo of possible titles and town names for White Noise.
AND a crazy drunk sex letter Neal Cassidy wrote to Jack Kerouac that included a postscript that said something like, “please note the stream of consciousness I used in the letter” which totally ended up being the spring board for On the Road.

Plus an Edgar Allen Poe exhibit that included incredible things like a ledger showing he paid only 58 cents of a 60 cent fine to the University of Virgina library, and a hand-written draft of the Raven.

I am dorking out all over the place over here. And I’m seriously considering going back to school for the sole purpose of becoming an intern in the Harry Ransom Center archives. Unpublished Mark Twain manuscripts? David Mamet’s baby book? Class notes e.e. cummings took in school? 1,000 Tennessee Williams plays, plus correspondence. Seriously. I could stay in the archives and never leave again. I almost cried when I got down there today and saw those motorized archives full of everything. Like a girl seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan – this is how my insides were behaving in the basement of the Ransom Center.

Unfathomably awesome. And it’s like 10 miles from my house.

You guys. My head is going to explode right off my body and we haven’t even gotten to actual book festival yet.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dawgdad permalink
    October 31, 2009 7:27 am

    Confederacy of Dunces is one of the funniest yet most unique books I’ve ever read. It wasn’t published until after the author’s death when his dear old mother got the ball rolling when she went to a university literature professor and demanded that he read the manuscrit. An awesome book set in New Orleans. And, of course, it won the Pulitzer Prize. I’d like to see that rejection letter!

  2. October 31, 2009 8:57 am

    Man. I think we might be secret twins. This is exactly how I would react to such events. In fact, when I had to introduce Ally Carter at BP this summer – and, mind you, I don’t have issues with public speaking – I was so excited I completely blanked out. YAY!

    I’ll see you at your panel today – break a leg!

  3. October 31, 2009 9:13 am

    lucky!!!! what an awesome experience :)

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