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El Jefe

Thanks for the writing samples, it's a pleasure to read the spare, thoughtful clarity of correspondents back then. Also reminds me of teaching history-of-science, when you reach Emilie de Chatelet, Voltaire's longtime mistress (she died, with brutal irony, after returning to her husband and becoming pregnant by him, in childbirth.) She was the one actually good at math, one of the most gifted European mathematicians of her generation in fact, who understood Newton properly and translated (also condensed his tangential mind) into French so the rest of Europe could read and benefit. Helped make Voltaire's career, and pushed his own willingness to work at being a philosopher forward. I always wonder in cases like Gelhorn's how much of that, too often uncredited, affected their far-better-known male partner, and it does make me want to read Moorhead's biography.

Also enjoyed the images frmo Kidman's website. I stand by my earlier comments that Hemingway is best represented by a somewhat chunked-out Brad Pitt, while Gelhorn herself looks like someone photoshopped one part Gwenyth Paltrow and two parts Julie London.

El Jefe

Also, to threadjack a moment down a tangent that goes "what if Martha Gelhorn had the chance to report on Captain America?" I would take a moment, this day in particular, to remember T/Sgt. Neal England Sumner, late 350th Infantry Regt. 88th Infantry Division (minstrel hussein boy may have known some of their vets growing up; Neal was a Tennessee National Guardsman but the division was a draftee outfit raised mostly in the Southwest.) That rare creature a Southern premature anti-fascist (the family had contact with the Highlander Folk School thanks in large part to my radical great-grandma), part of the first battalion to enter liberated Rome, Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, killed on the Gothic Line the 26th of September, 1944. Tall and lean and shy and left-handed and the boy child of his generation, the sort who Martha saw go by in their thousands, had known already in so many languages and accents in Spain where the war really began, for whom we might say Steve Rogers was their avatar and Phil Coulson the grandson they deserved but so often didn't live to have. Thanks for being one of the people who put them into the ink that endures, Martha.

Lance Mannion

El Jefe,

One of the best threadjackings ever. Thanks for helping us remember.

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