Monday, June 30, 2014


Dear Valeria,

"Yes, sir, and the only thing that made me feel sorry was to see what a fool I had been not to turn to a boy before, when it was so easy! And from that day forth I was happy and prosperous! I found plenty to do! I carried carpet-bags, held horses, put in coal, cleaned sidewalks, blacked gentlemen's boots and did everything an honest lad could turn his hand to. And so for more'n a year I was as happy as a king, and should have kept on so, only I forgot and let my hair grow; and instead of cutting it off, just tucked it up under my cap; and so this morning on the ferry-boat, in a high breeze, the wind blowed off my cap and the policeman blowed on me!"

All best,

E.D.E.N. (Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte) Southworth

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Of writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,—
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Μαύρ’ είν’ η νύκτα στα βουνά,
στους βράχους πέφτει χιόνι.
Μες στ’ άγρια, στα σκοτεινά,
στες τραχιές πέτρες, στα στενά,
ο κλέφτης ξεσπαθώνει.

Στο δεξί χέρι το γυμνό
βαστά αστροπελέκι.
Παλάτι έχει το βουνό
και σκέπασμα τον ουρανό,
κ’ ελπίδα το τουφέκι.

Φεύγουν οι τύραννοι χλωμοί
το μαύρο του μαχαίρι·
μ’ ιδρώτα βρέχει το ψωμί,
ξέρει να ζήσει με τιμή,
και να πεθάνει ξέρει.

Τον κόσμ’ ο δόλος διοικεί
κι η άδικ’ ειμαρμένη.
Τα πλούτη έχουν οι κακοί,
κι εδώ στους βράχους κατοικεί
η αρετή κρυμμένη.*


Alexandros Rizos Rangavis

Friday, June 27, 2014


Dear Valeria,

It matters little who first arrives at an idea, rather what is significant is how far that idea can go.


Sophie Germain

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Dear Valeria,

What we are witnessing today is the result (but not the end-result) of a long process. The volume captures a good moment in the integration of new technologies in the conduct and dissemination of classical research, positioning us to enhance our capacity to reconstruct and understand the ancient classical world. There is so much going on on so many fronts, some of it with roots in the past, some coming in from complementary disciplines and altering our expectations of ourselves and our subject. It is like listening to a rumbling volcano—knowing that the 'eruptions' are changing the landscape.

Best regards,

Elaine Matthews

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Having a singular weakness for such like fantastic histories, I found it necessary, as may easily be imagined, to make Antonia's acquaintance. I had myself often enough heard the popular sayings about her singing, but had never imagined that that exquisite artiste was living in the place, held a captive in the bonds of this eccentric Krespel like the victim of a tyrannous sorcerer. Naturally enough I heard in my dreams on the following night Antonia's marvellous voice, and as she besought me in the most touching manner in a glorious adagio movement (very ridiculously it seemed to me, as if I had composed it myself) to save her, I soon resolved, like a second Astolpho, to penetrate into Krespel's house, as if into another Alcina's magic castle, and deliver the queen of song from her ignominious fetters.

yours faithfully,

E.T.A. Hoffmann

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Cara Valeria,

"Se gli uomini sapessino le ragioni della paura mia, Capir potrebbero il mio dolor."

Lucrezia Borgia, Signora di Pesaro e Gradara, Duchessa di Bisceglie e Principessa di Salerno, Duchessa consorte di Ferrara, Modena e Reggio

Monday, June 23, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Cette histoire est vraie puisque je l'ai inventée.


Boris Vian

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Οὐαλερίᾳ χαίρειν,

ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οἴομαι.*

ὁ Σωκράτης τοῦ Σωφρωνίσκου

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Perhaps the universal sisterhood is necessary before the universal brotherhood is possible.


Bertha von Suttner

Thursday, June 19, 2014

James Matthew

My dear Valeria,

To die will be an awfully big adventure.


J.M. Barrie

Wednesday, June 18, 2014



Is it not much more preferable to make something oneself useful to mankind, than only to shew wherein another is a Coxcomb?

Affectionately yours,

Tom Brown

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Miriam's amazement silenced her. She stood back from the mirror. She could not look into it until Harriett had gone. The phrases she had just heard rang in her head without meaning. But she knew she would remember all of them. She went on doing her hair with downcast eyes. She had seen Harriett vividly, and had longed to crush her in her arms and kiss her little round cheeks and the snub of her nose. Then she wanted her to be gone.

Presently Harriett took up a brooch and skated down the room, "Ta-ra-ra-la-eee-tee!" she carolled, "don't be long," and disappeared.

"I'm pretty," murmured Miriam, planting herself in front of the dressing-table. "I'm pretty — they like me — they like me. Why didn't I know?" She did not look into the mirror. "They all like me, me."

Best regards,

Dorothy Miller Richardson

Monday, June 16, 2014


Carissima Valeria,

Lassú la montagna è silenziosa e deserta. Lungo la mu­lattiera che gli austriaci costruirono per giungere nei pres­si dell'Ortigara, dove un giorno raccolsi la punta ferrata del Bergstock che è qui sulla libreria, ora non passa piú nessuno. La neve che in questi giorni è caduta abbondan­te ha cancellato i sentieri dei pastori, le aie dei carbonai, le trincee della Grande guerra, le avventure dei cacciato­ri. E sotto quella neve vivono i miei ricordi.

Con affetto,

Mario Rigoni Stern

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Dear Valeria,

I'm very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it's a different feeling I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it's because it's something I love to do.


Ella Fitzgerald

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Dear Valeria,

If I am not mistaken, the heterogeneous pieces I have enumerated resemble Kafka; if I am not mistaken, not all of them resemble each other. The second fact is the more significant. In each of these texts we find Kafka's idiosyncrasy to a greater or lesser degree, but if Kafka had never written a line, we would not perceive this quality; in other words, it would not exist. The poem "Fears and Scruples" by Browning foretells Kafka's work, but our reading of Kafka perceptibly sharpens and deflects our reading of the poem. Browning did not read it as we do now. In the critics' vocabulary, the word 'precursor' is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotation of polemics or rivalry. The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.

Yours mischievously,

Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, June 13, 2014


Valeria san,

In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken.


宮本 武蔵

Thursday, June 12, 2014


My dear Valeria,

THIS was Mrs. Peterkin. It was a mistake. She had poured out a delicious cup of coffee, and, just as she was helping herself to cream, she found she had put in salt instead of sugar! It tasted bad. What should she do? Of course she couldn't drink the coffee; so she called in the family, for she was sitting at a late breakfast all alone. The family came in; they all tasted, and looked, and wondered what should be done, and all sat down to think.

Best Regards,

Lucretia Peabody Hale

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014



Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.


Alexander the Great

Monday, June 9, 2014


Dear Valeria,

It was like living half your life in a tiny, stuffy, warm gray box, and being moderately happy in there because you knew no better... and then discovering a little hole in one corner of the box, a tiny opening which you could get a finger into, and tease and pull at, so that eventually you created a tear, which led to a greater tear, which led to the box falling apart around you... so that you stepped out of the tiny box’s confines into startlingly cool, clear fresh air and found yourself on top of a mountain, surrounded by deep valleys, sighing forests, soaring peaks, glittering lakes, sparkling snowfields and a stunning, breathtakingly blue sky. And that, of course, wasn’t even the start of the real story, that was more like the breath that is drawn in before the first syllable of the first word of the first paragraph of the first chapter of the first book of the first volume of the story.

Best regards,

Iain [M.] Banks

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Johann Joachim

Dear Valeria,

Regarding the theatre,
I agree that it would have been possible and the excavation worth the cost. It was wrong to be satisfied with having exposed the seats, which people can imagine in so many ancient theaters, while leaving the scena buried and hidden: it is the most important part, and we have no visible knowledge of it... Maybe the whole of the Herculaneum theatre will in time be visible, at least underground.

Best wishes,

Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Dear Valeria,

The view that machines cannot give rise to surprises is due, I believe, to a fallacy to which philosophers and mathematicians are particularly subject. This is the assumption that as soon as a fact is presented to a mind all consequences of that fact spring into the mind simultaneously with it. It is a very useful assumption under many circumstances, but one too easily forgets that it is false. A natural consequence of doing so is that one then assumes that there is no virtue in the mere working out of consequences from data and general principles.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Turing

Friday, June 6, 2014

Carl Gustav

Dear Valeria,

The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, a characteristic also of the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable. It is therefore short-sighted to treat fantasy, on account of its risky or unacceptable nature, as a thing of little worth.

Best regards,

Carl Gustav Jung

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Out in the world, not much happened. But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper and leather, anything might happen, always did. Listen! and you heard ten thousand people screaming so high only dogs feathered their ears. A million folk ran toting cannons, sharpening guillotines; Chinese, four abreast, marched on forever. Invisible, silent, yes, but Jim and Will had the gift of ears and noses as well as the gift of tongues. This was a factory of spices from far countries. Here alien deserts slumbered. Up front was the desk where the nice old lady, Miss Watriss, purple-stamped your books, but down off away were Tibet and Antarctica, the Congo. There went Miss Wills, the other librarian, through Outer Mongolia, calmly toting fragments of Peiping and Yokohama and the Celebes. Way down the third book corridor, an oldish man whispered his broom along in the dark, mounding the fallen spices...

Best regards,

Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Dear Valeria,

We played for peanuts. But we did what we wanted to do, we heard what we wanted to hear, we performed what we wanted to perform, we learned what we wanted to learn.


Steve Lacy

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Dear Valeria,

The easy possibility of letter-writing must have brought into the world a terrible disintegration of souls. It is, in fact, an intercourse with ghosts, and not only with the ghost of the recipient, but also with one's own ghost which develops between the lines of the letter one is writing and even more so in a series of letters where one corroborates the other and can refer to it as a witness.

How on earth did anyone get the idea that people could communicate by letter! Of a distant person one can think, and of a person who is near one can catch hold--all else goes beyond human strength. Writing letters, however, means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait. Written kisses don't reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts. It is on this ample nourishment that they multiply so enormously.


Franz Kafka

Monday, June 2, 2014


Dear Valeria,

I must this day overcome in your mind that distrust of yourself, and that folly shame, that hinders you from employing your mind with things which it is capable of. They who say that beauty is the portion of women, and that fine arts, good learning and all the eminent sciences are of the domination of men, without our having power to pretend to any part of them, are equally differing from justice and virtue.

Our sex is capable of everything that it would undertake.


Madeleine de Scudéry

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Dear Valeria,

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

All the best,

Helen Keller