Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Van Doren Brothers

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

From: gloria oden Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 5:38 AM To: Laura Moncur Subject: [Pick Me!] Comment: “Conversations with William Claire”

New comment on your post #2302 “Conversations with William Claire”

Author : gloria oden

Comment: I just purchased Claire’s book of Mark Van Doren’s essays for a talk I gave to my retirement community on the the Van Doren brothers. They are so wonderful I purchased the books that went with each (as far as I could.) Has he any plans to do the same for Carl? I particularly liked Carl’s final essay at the end of MANY MINDS.

From: Laura Moncur Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 10:03 AM To: William Claire Subject: FW: [Pick Me!] Comment: “Conversations with William Claire”


Your fans are leaving comments on my weblog. She has a question that I can’t really answer. I’m not familiar with the Van Doren brothers.

I hope that you are well and happy. I have been filling my days with mindless activity. Sometimes I need a little bit of frivolity to recharge my batteries. Now that Halloween is coming, I’m back on track.

Hope to hear from you soon, Laura Moncur

From: William Claire Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 4:15 PM To: Laura Moncur Subject: Re: FW: [Pick Me!] Comment: “Conversations with William Claire”

My Laura,

What nice friends you have. Tell your wonderful correspondent that there is a Carl Van Doren Reader that was a fine compilation of his work, and that there should be copies on the used market, and that he also did a wonderful autobiography titled, Three Worlds. Mark’s autobiography was titled simply The Autobiography of Mark Van Doren. All are out of print, (which is true of 99 percent of all the books in the world, or thereabouts). I could probably find anything related to the Van Dorens if they wanted to get in touch with me directly. Or respond to any questions. There is nothing I would rather do….this is one of the great brother combinations in American literary or cultural history; it’s my pleasure and honor to talk or help anyone interested.

Would like to renew my ad on your network, but amazon.com does not respond if my middle initial is used. How strange, although my brilliant son (an astro-physicist) told me long ago the computer can’t think. Is that true?

All best, Bill

From: Laura Moncur Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 4:56 PM To: William Claire Cc: ‘Michael Moncur’ Subject: Our Computers…


Sadly, our computers are only as smart as our programmers. I’m going to have Mike change your name in our database to match the way Amazon.com has it so that when our script does a search, it will bring up the books they have listed. It’s kind of inane of us to change your name to match Amazon.com, because they might not always be the most popular online purchasing company in the future. Right now they are, so we’ll bow to their version of your name and change it back when they get it right. We have no control over Amazon.com’s database, but we do control our own.

Once again, I’ve talked a lot more than I expected to. I hope you have a wonderful week!



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