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The Letters of Heaven

The Letters of Heaven B A R R Y L O P E Z When I was a boy of thirteen I found a packet of letters in my father's desk. I picked the lock to the drawer one day with one of my mother's hairpins. Then, to keep my curiosity from being discovered, I took the small desk key one time when my father was sick, and in a distant quarter of Lima I had a stranger make a copy. That way I didn't run the risk, each time I opened the drawer, of mutilating the lock and having my sin exposed. The letters had been written in Castilian Spanish in the first decade of the seventeenth century between a man and a woman who did not sign their names but who wrote in exquisite phrases of desire and anguish about their passion for each other. During the years I read and reread these letters, I thought them composed of the most beautiful and, at the same time, the most illicit of human statements. The language of enthrallment was so unrestrained that the images existed for me outside the realm of sin and redemption, beyond the sphere of the Church. Please http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

The Letters of Heaven

Manoa , Volume 23 (2) – Mar 16, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
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Abstract

B A R R Y L O P E Z When I was a boy of thirteen I found a packet of letters in my father's desk. I picked the lock to the drawer one day with one of my mother's hairpins. Then, to keep my curiosity from being discovered, I took the small desk key one time when my father was sick, and in a distant quarter of Lima I had a stranger make a copy. That way I didn't run the risk, each time I opened the drawer, of mutilating the lock and having my sin exposed. The letters had been written in Castilian Spanish in the first decade of the seventeenth century between a man and a woman who did not sign their names but who wrote in exquisite phrases of desire and anguish about their passion for each other. During the years I read and reread these letters, I thought them composed of the most beautiful and, at the same time, the most illicit of human statements. The language of enthrallment was so unrestrained that the images existed for me outside the realm of sin and redemption, beyond the sphere of the Church. Please

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 16, 2011

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