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2021-0613

Paradise is separated from hell only by an imaginary line, so it is said.

As a recent college graduate in the mid‐Nineties, I was moving around the U.S. trying to figure out where to settle down and what to do. I read a lot of Henry Miller, Hermann Hesse, William T. Vollman, etc. I was also reconnecting with my younger brother who was finishing up his college at William and Mary. Between sporadic (and expensive) long‐distance calls where I gave him an earful of Miller’s philosophical rants, we wrote letters to each other. The letters were never standard format. Instead, they were ripped up pages of the previous semester’s textbook, punk show flyers, or photocopies of our smushed faces. After scribbling messages and folding the paper, they became envelopes ready to mail. We were both going through difficult” times trying to figure out what to do, and this correspondence was a welcomed distraction.

Insomnia: Or, The Devil at Large
(
1974)

At some point, he sent a proper postcard inside an envelope. It was a photograph of Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell lying in bed together with smiles on their face. The reverse was an inscription, a quote from Miller‘s handwritten book Insomnia: Or The Devil at Large1

Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell postcard sent by my brother

I was working at Kinkos at the time, typesetting resumes and wedding invitations in their computer lab, or: starting my design career without realizing it yet. In any case, the postcard and quotation were a vivid reminder of how fast things change from time to time. So I laminated it. I keep it in my shoebox of sentimental treasures. It goes wherever I go.


  1. Miller, Henry. Insomnia: Or, The Devil at Large. United States, Doubleday, 1974. 

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From an interview with the late, great Larry King. Back in 1975, six of his shows were being broadcast every week to a prime‐time audience:  “All in the Family”  “Maude” “Good Times” “The Jeffersons” “Sanford and Son” …
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Found this quote buried in some random folder on my hard drive—from a screenshot I took on March 10, 2021. 

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