linda m. grasso York College and the Graduate Center, City university of new York "i had to tell you."1 "i must tell you" (454). the sense of urgency, the desire for a witness--and a recipient--of intense feeling, permeates the letters between Maria Chabot and Georgia o'Keeffe that are now collected in a single, edited volume, published by university of new Mexico press in 2003. When Chabot and o'Keeffe met in new Mexico in 1940, o'Keeffe was a fifty-threeyear-old established artist and Chabot was a rootless, talented young woman of twenty-six, yearning to actualize her literary ambitions. the relationship between the two women began as a mutual system of exchange: Chabot would provide domestic and daily living services; o'Keeffe would provide housing and a salary. but this original arrangement developed into a much more complicated and murky relation, the nature of which we--scholars, readers, retrospective vicarious participants--will most likely never be able to reconstruct or fully understand. How, then, and for what purpose, are we to read these letters? Here they are, 678 of them, a remarkably rich two-way exchange, bounded by the covers of a book, spanning an eight-year period. How do we make meaning of what we
Legacy – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 6, 2008
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