June 24th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Letters to the President #1252: 'Dead authors'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day with the single minded zeal of an inmate seeking a pardon.

Dear Mr. President,

If you tried to call me this past week, perhaps you were surprised to find I was incommunicado. That's because I took a vacation.

Upstate New York. A little running, a little swimming, a little time in the hammock reading Hemingway. Took me years to warm up to his prose, but now I quite like it, although I do get a little weary of drunk men slapping each other and obsessing about their genitals. Sounds too much like some colleges. Ha!

Back in 2008, if my recollection serves well, you and John McCain both cited For Whom the Bell Tolls as a favorite book. That's interesting, don't you think? Imagine out of all the possibilites... The Iliad, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harold and His Purple Crayon...you both hit upon the same work.

Lately I've been somewhat focused on one of Hemingway's contemporaries, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Did you know when he died he thought his literary career had been a failure? He is buried up in Rockville and I may go visit his grave this weekend. If you'd like to go along, give me a call. The vacation is over and I'm back on the job. Ha!


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