Traditionally, letters have been regarded as “non-serious” or at least as superfluous to the critical enterprise proper (consider Kant’s division of Plato the letter-writer from Plato the philosophical father). But can letters themselves be considered critical forays and/or keys to the inheritance of scholarly work? Might letters put the serious/non-serious opposition into question? This issue considers letters in relation to understanding a writer’s or artist’s body of work; alternate histories; friendship; auto-bio-graphy; archival and digital repository research; and email and electronic posting.
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