Words are the tools of 'to be' of expression. They are completely built on the fact that you 'are,' and in order to express it, you have built a little alphabet, and you make your words from it.
--Marcel Duchamp

Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet

Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet

Dec 16, 2017-- Late in life the English poet, novelist, essayist, and social justice advocate Sir Stephen Spender asked artist David Hockney to draw each letter of the alphabet, then invited twenty-nine of the greatest writers in the English language to each contribute a short original text for one of the letters. Among them: Susan Sontag, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Hughes, Ian McEwan, Erica Jong, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Iris Murdoch. The result was the 1991 out-of-print Hockney's Alphabeta sublime addition to the canon of imaginative alphabet books, with all proceeds going toward AIDS research and care for people living and dying with AIDS. Enjoy those available here on Brain Pickings! (5339 reads)


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Take ActionIris Murdoch sees C as warm and friendly. Susan Sontag is inspired by Weather for W, always changing. Join together with a few friends to playfully assign a nature to each letter of the alphabet.



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More than kisses, letters mingle souls.
John Donne

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