Devin Collins

August 10, 2004

Post #1735 – 20040810

Mr. Pinkwater, I’m glad to see you are consistent in your recommendation that people not meet famous writers that they admire. I read that in your forum archives, as well as in a note you wrote to me 10 or so years ago when I was a high-school aged fan of yours. I do have one thing I’ve always meant to write you about, though. A correction. In Fish Whistle (or Chicago Days/Hoboken Nights) you state that you only got one fan letter for Norb, and that it was from some famous writer. However, when Norb was still in my newspaper every day, I wrote you telling you that it was the finest strip ever wrought by human hands. My question: Was this some creative minimization, not to be taken literally, or (as I suspect) were you demonstrating some prophetic powers and declaring that I will be a famous writer some day. If it’s the latter, then I’m glad you weren’t slighting a loyal fan, but instead were bestowing a boon, a blessing, a declaration of what we both surely hope will turn out to be true (unless you have any long-standing objections to _becoming_ a famous writer as well as meeting same). Seriously, though, thanks for your books. I picked them up years ago & never put them down (boy are my arms tired), and recently had the opportunity to introduce my little sister to a copy of Lizard Music, which she enjoyed. Authors we admire in common have been a big part of our relationship, since we live in different cities, and I appreciate your part in that. Next I sent her Salinger, and Hesse. I think that’s the company in which you belong.

A loyal fan,

Devin Collins

Daniel replies:

In fact, we received two positive fan letters while Norb was running. One from a famous author, and one from a famous cartoonist. (There were a lot of letters a year after we packed it in, asking, ""Where is it?"" Yours never reached me. You must understand that letters sent in care of publishers, (and in this case newspapers), pass through the hands of incompetent wretches. Many are simply discarded, or eaten, or mistakenly sent to other authors, who, unlike me, are too depressed and intoxicated to forward them, or return them to the same incompent wretches who missent them in the first place, where they are simply discarded, or eaten. Thank you for admiring my work, and comparing me to great writers.