the third letter to Ayn Rand & the reply

July 4th, 1968

Dear Miss Rosenbaum,

I just finished your non-fiction work "The Proper Care and Feeding of the Feminist."  Remain passive indeed!  First rate as always.  We expect nothing but.

I am deadly curious to know how do you choose names for your characters?  You simply must share this with us.  You have such a--I don't know what--way with it.

Love in custody,

W.W. Burroughs

12 July 1968

Mr. Burroughs!

How good to hear from you after so long. I get so little fan mail that I can really sink my teeth into. You’ve been away too long this time! I saw the envelope in the box and I felt the first and only psychic flash of my life. I knew I had won something fluffy and cute from the shooting gallery of life. I love carnivals just as you.

As you know, English was my third language so I’m not sure I always understand your idioms. I hope you will take the time to explain your books to me in front of a cozy fire some night in Aspen, CO. Or Las Vegas, NV?

Now, I do not know how you became acquainted with my birthname. As one old Jew to another: please use the name I chose for myself and legally posses by my own Sperry-Rand typewriter’s consent. While not entirely true, it makes a good story, don’t you agree? I was talking with typewriters long before you’d shot your first poppy. And, after all, I am man enough to have the good grace not to address you as W.U.S. Burroughs, it’s the least you can do for me.

Your fellow American,

Ayn Rand

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