An audience of one

Letters remain our most intimate form of written communication. In this media-saturated age, even our most private moments may be invaded by the sense of being observed: the invisible camera eye, the ear in the wall, the haunting intuition that history is reading over our shoulders. But for certain individuals, branded with fame, this vulnerability has always been cold fact. Artists, politicians, heroes, villains, and friends -- all function beneath the vague awareness that their communications may one day appear in the public marketplace. Yet still they write, vividly and honestly. The unspoken principle behind their efforts seems to be this: I would rather that thousands think of me as foolish than have you consider me untrue.m

The popular novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. has written: "Any creation which has any wholeness and harmoniousness, I suspect, was made by an artist or inventor with an audience of one in mind." The clear and unaffected voice we sometimes find in such correspondence, aimed at one special pair of ears, seems to speak personally to each of us; reading the words, we write a silent answer inside.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK