Ted Aged 26-53

      From Ted to Kaczynski Family, Sep 16, 1968 (T-1)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 1973 (Excerpt)


      From Ted to Dave, Aug 28, 1979 (T-3)

      From Dave to Ted, Aug, 1979 (T-4)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 6, 1979 (T-4)

      From Ted to Dave, Undated (T-5)

      From Ted to Dave, July 30, 1982 (FL#263) (Excerpt)

      From Dave to Ted, Summer 1982 (FL #264)

      From Ted to Dave, Oct 3, 1982, (T-8)

      From Ted to Dave, Nov 17, 1982 (T-9)

      From Ted to Dave, Aug 27, 1983 (T-10)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 9, 1983 (T-11)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 10, 1983 (T-12)

      From Ted to Dave, Jan 25, 1984 (T-13)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 17, 1984 (T-17)



      From Ted to Dave, Oct 3, 1984 (T-18)

      From Ted to Dave, Nov 26, 1984 (T-19)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 7, 1984 (T-20)

      From Ted to Dave, Feb 19, 1985 (T-21)

      From Ted to Dave, Apr ?? 1985 (T-22)

      From Ted to Dave, May 30, 1985 (T-23)

      From Ted to Dave, Jun 6, 1985 (T-24)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 9, 1985 (T-26)



      From Ted to Dave, Nov 27, 1985 (T-29)

      From Ted to Dave, Jan 17, 1986 (T-30)

      From Ted to Dave, Jan 23, 1986 (T-31)

      From Ted to Dave, Feb 18, 1986 (T-32)

      From Ted to Dave, Mar 15, 1986 (T-33)

      From Ted to Dave, Apr 16, 1986 (T-34)

      From Ted to Dave, Apr 21, 1986 (T-35)

      From Ted to Dave, Apr 30, 1986 (T-36)

      From Ted to Dave, May ??, 1986 (T-37)

      From Ted to Dave, Jun 2, 1986 (T-39)

      From Ted to Dave, Jun 17, 1986 (T-40)

      From Ted to Dave, Jul 2, 1986 (T-41)

      From Ted to Dave, Aug 11, 1985 (T-43)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 30, 1986 (T-46)

      From Ted to Dave, Jul 31, 1987 (T-50)

      From Ted to Dave, Aug 26, 1987 (T-51)

      From Ted to Dave, Oct 26, 1987 (T-52)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 1, 1987 (T-53)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 18, 1987 (T-54)

      From Ted to Dave, Jan 20, 1988 (T-55)

      From Dave to Ted, Feb 17, 1988 (T-56)

      From Ted to Dave, Feb 17, 1988 (T-56)

      From Ted to Dave, May 31, 1988 (T-57)

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 15, 1988 (T-59)

      From Ted to Dave, Nov 26, 1988 (T-62)

      From Dave to Ted, Oct 1989 (Excerpt)

      From Ted to Dave, Oct 1989

      From Dave to Ted - Sept. 1990

      From Ted to Dave - Sept. 1990

      From Ted to Dave, July 20, 1991, pp. 8, 9

      From Ted to Dave, Aug. 13, 1991

      From Ted to Dave, Feb 19, 1992 (T-67)

      From Ted to Dave, Nov 14, 1994 (T-69)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 23, 1994 (T-70)

      From Ted to Dave, Dec 23, 1994 (T-71)

      From Ted to Dave, Mar 19, 1995 (T-72)

      From Ted to Dave, Mar 28, 1995 (T-73)

      From Dave to Ted, Nov 1995

      From Ted to Dave, Nov 30 1995 (T-74)

    Post Ted's Arrest

      From Ted to Dave, 1996

      From Ted to Dave, 1996

      From Dave to Ted, 1996

      From Ted to Dave, Sep 18, 1998

      From Dave to Ted, Nov 23, 1998

      From Dave to Ted, May 21, 2005

      Other Letters and packages from Dave

    Unknown Dates

      From Ted to Dave (T-76)

      From Ted to Dave (T-79)

      From Ted to Dave (T-82)


      California University

Ted Aged 26-53

From Ted to Kaczynski Family, Sep 16, 1968 (T-1)

ENVELOPE - Postmark dated SEP 16 1968 BERKELEY CA (T-1)


463 N. RIDGE





I enjoyed being home very much--except I was a bit disappointed in the wild plums. I still think the kind of woods one finds in Illinois, Iowa, and Southern Michigan are about the best I have seen, except there's so little of them.

Am sending Mushroom hunter's field guide to Dave as Birthday present. Please forward if he's gone when it arrives.

You got a nice house there. Only one thing wrong with it. It's in Chicago area.

If by chance you haven't thrown out those Cow - parsnip roots, and if they haven't gotten moldy or something, please send 'em to me. I forgot them. If you have thrown them out, don't worry about it.

The trip back to Calif. Got to Lisbon bank a little before closing and took out coins. (Parenthetically, I am considering the possibility of selling some of my "dead" collections that are complete and no longer of interest to me e.g. Mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, Jefferson nickels, Washington quarters. If by any strange chance you should be interested in acquiring any of these coins, let me know, and I'll give you first chance at them if I decide to sell any.) It was too late to go on to next desirable camp, so I just camped out at the place where I go carp-fishing. Next morning I caught a carp and had it for brunch, along with some tomato soup and corn meal. Started at about noon, and camped that night at an uninteresting place in

Nebraska. Next stop was in Wyoming, same place I camped on the way east. Saw three antelopes and chased them on foot. Unsuccessfully, I hardly need add. But I can't help thinking it would be fun to try to hunt them with spears by getting 4 or 5 guys in good condition for running and trying to herd an antelope toward the river, where you could corner it. That would be going right back to the

Paleolithic! But it probably would be illegal or something.

However, I suppose you could just try to hit the thing with a thrown stone. Then you could get out your picnic basket and pretend you're eating antelope meat.

Anyway, these vast open semi-desert wyoming ranges give you a tremendous feeling of freedom. But too barren. Not completely barren, though. I found 4 edible plants there; a kind of dock (greens) (but looking pretty woe-begone); Lambs-quarters - (greens - later in the year will produce edible seeds) but it was bitter. Not bitter elsewhere, maybe the bad soil here made it bitter. Probably pear (but small ones) and a kind of (UI) belonging to the mustard family.

I have (UI) the exact species etc.) but most (UI) in the Mustard family is edible, so I tried (UI) quantity of it. Raw, it was terribly (UI) practically inedible. (This is typical of the mustard family.)

Cooked, all hotness disappeared. Both the greens and the thick, turniplike taproot were tender and digestible. The root seemed nourishingly starchy. But unfortunately it was rather bitter.

(Back to Iowa, I forgot to mention; I found some great big wild cherries, at least as good as the ones in your yard; I found a pear tree with sweet but somewhat woody pears; a peach tree with two perfectly good peaches on it. I gathered a bunch of ripe acorns there, and I will try to put them through the treatment to make them edible.)

Next stop Wells, Nevada. too hot on plains, but sufficiently cool way up on the mountain, where I camped (not far from (UI) mountain). Beautiful little pond (UI) a lake) produced by dams (UI).

Some people caught some fish there. I saw a deer there. I climbed up the mountain as far as I dared (climbing looked dangerous higher up) and got beautiful panoramic view. Bet I could see 100 miles - literally. Very stimulating. Found a kind of cactus there. You can cut it open and cut out the insides with a knife - good to eat raw, but not as juicy as one might hope. Cattle grazing on mountain side. Next stop, Berkeley. Ugh. Hippies and congestion. Water shut off at my house had to go 2 days without own water supply because Water office closed on the obscure holiday of "admission day". I don't know whether that's the day Calif. was admitted to the union or the day the H2O Dept. admits it is all fucked up. When Water office finally opened Tues. morning I found out some Mr. Stoller had called and had my H2O supply put in his name, then failed to pay the deposit, so H2O shut off. The water company (UI) probably gave them wrong address, so all O.K. now. Tues I drove up to Humboldt county for deer hunting. 5 hour drive. Arrived late Afternoon. "King's range", the place is called. Federal lands, right along Pacific Ocean. Mountainous terrain. Same place I went last year. Was there about 5 days; didn't get a buck only through my own carelessness, as will be explained shortly. Place is teaming with deer; for instance

I saw 18 deer on one day. Trouble is, most of the deer you see are does or fawns. I talked to the caretaker there, who remembered me from last year. He is a guy maybe 40 years old. Cowboy boots and Western accent. More or less ignorant, but seems like a nice guy.

He said an old man and 4 boys had been running the deer with dogs and he supposed that that must "have them pretty well shook up". He also said that an awful lot of bucks had been killed there this year - about 60 that he knew of personally, and that wasn't all of them. He said probably the only ones left are the old ones that have been dodging hunters for a few years, and they are too damn smart.

Apparently these bucks are pretty hard to get, because of this reason.

This guy apparently spends all day driving around this place and working at this and that, and he keeps a much-used-looking rifle with a telescopic sight in his truck - presumably to get any bucks he might see. The deer season was open for more than a month before I got there, and yet this guy had apparently gotten at most one buck, because he was still hunting for them, and you are only allowed 2 bucks a season. He told me one day that in the morning the following had happened. He saw a buck standing up on a ridge maybe 300 yards away, too far to shoot, really but he tried a shot anyway. He hit it and it fell, but wasn't killed. He heard it "making a hell of a racket" down in the canyon, but he wasn't able to find it, so he never did get it. Then another day he told me that the preceding evening he saw some deer moving not far from his house. He went to investigate and found a buck among them. The buck was facing him 200 feet away, so he couldn't shoot him in the side. He didn't want to shoot him in the breast because that "tears 'em all apart". So he aim for the neck, apparently quite confident of hitting it, but he missed. He seemed quite chagrined about missing. "Next morning I drew up on a target and hit it dead on. Must have been just me I guess". --he said

Anyway, first 3 days I didn't see any adult bucks at all. I met some other guy hunting - young guy maybe in his middle 20's - and we hunted together for awhile. Saw lots of does but no bucks (except a young one with 2-inch horns, too young to shoot. He apparently had hunted deer a lot before, (UI) and talked as if he knew a lot, but I don't think he knew too much, actually. I didn't like him too well; but I guess he was alright. From talking to him and other people I rather get the impression that people generally are not too fastidious about observing the details of hunting and fishing laws - which is not surprizing, since the laws are kind of complicated. Anyway, I was getting kind of discouraged at not seeing any bucks, so on about the 3rd or fourth day, in the evening, when it rained, I took a walk without taking my gun along because I felt it would be too much trouble to wrap something around it to keep the water from running into the insides. I went up chemise mountain trail, and saw about 8 does on the way up. After I looked around on top,

I started down again, and just a little way down the trail (UI) see but a nice young buck grazing along the trail, with his rear end toward me. The leaves were wet, so they didn't crunch under my feet, and the sound of the rain covered any noise I might make, so it was easy to sneak up on him, even though he moved a few yards off the trail as he grazed along. I was within about 15 feet of him before he noticed me.

With the rifle, it would have been a sure thing. It was so damn frustrating not to have it. I went back down again to get it, but by the time I got back up there it was almost dark. I could hear a deer (probably him) moving around in the bushes, but I couldn't see anything.

I saw another buck (or maybe it was the same buck - don't know.) at a different place along the same trail the following evening. I was walking along the trail very slowly and quietly. First there was a doe that saw me before I saw her and bounded off. Then, a little further (UI) I saw something shaking the branches of a bush. I assumed it was a squirrel or a bird, because that's what it usually is, but when I got closer I saw a deer's face down in the bush, eating something.

I looked at it for a few seconds to see whether it had antlers (I couldn't see at first because of the leaves) and sure enough it did, but by the time I saw that it did, the deer noticed me and took off.

It was going fast through thick brush and trees, so naturally I missed when I took a shot at it. Probably I shouldn't have shot at it, because sometimes they run a little distance and then stop and look at you for a while. Then I would have had a better chance. Next time maybe I will know better. I wasn't more than 15-20 feet from that deer either before he noticed me.

Well, maybe I can get away (UI) and have another chance. Also, the squirrel season will be open by then, so I can try my luck with them, too. But for now its back to the old grind.


P.S. (crosses out When you he) (Shit on that pen) When you have the good fortune to see a buck, deer hunting is very exciting. Trouble is, seeing it in the first place depends too much on luck. Maybe if you were a real first class expert, like the Indians or something, you would be able to trace them, or know better where to find them.

But where to learn all that stuff? I have tried some of the tricks I have read in book but they don't seem to work too well.


From Ted to Dave, Sep 1973 (Excerpt)[1]

Dave: On the occasion of your leaving that apartment, I would like to express my gratitude for the fact that you let me stay there during the summer and fail of 1971 — when I burned my foot and later when I was trying to get the cabin built before winter — a very difficult period for me. One of the few things I remember with pleasure from that period was those evening drives we used to take. Also, I remember those meals we occasionally prepared at a later period.



It was around 1978, I think, that Dave's friend K.H. recommended to him a book by the philosopher Martin Heidegger. Dave read Heidegger at first with a certain amused skepticism that may have been due in part to the fact that (Dave said) Heidegger had been a Nazi sympathizer. But within a few months, he became a convert to Heidegger's philosophy. I think that what led him to become a disciple of Heidegger was that it enabled him to feel that he was part of a special elite. In a conversation that I had with him on this subject in about 1979, he made it evident that he had come to regard himself as a member of a small minority of people who "think" (i.e., who read Heidegger), and on this basis he considered himself "superior." He sneered at democracy, which he said was, according to Heidegger, a failed or obsolete form of government. He therefore advocated the system of government that was first proposed by Plato and (Dave said) was favored by Heidegger, namely, rule by a philosopher-king.

I was disgusted. It is one thing to recognize that the majority of people do not think seriously about anything that is not of direct practical importance to them, and it is another thing to crow about it so that you can feel "superior." It is one thing to recognize that democracy (as that term is understood in the modern world) has failed to provide what it was supposed to provide — freedom and equality — and it is another thing to sneer at democracy so that you can replace it with an elitist philosophy. My brother, notwithstanding his claim to be a "thinker," had swallowed Heidegger’s ideas uncritically. He had given no consideration to the question of whether rule by a philosopher-king would be workable as a practical system of government, or to whether democracy might not be the least of the available evils in the modern world.

Not long after, still in 1979, I had another discussion with my brother, this time about whether certain kinds of statements in philosophy were meaningful. My position was essentially that the meaning of verbal formulations required study and analysis. A verbal formulation might convey emotion (the word "emotion" being interpreted broadly) without having any other content. One could not assume that a formulation had any other meaning than its emotive content simply because one felt subjectively that it had such meaning. Many philosophers had little interest in analyzing their own verbal formulations in order to understand what, if any, objective meaning they held, and were content if the formulations satisfied them merely on an emotional level. Which would be fine if they were writing novels or poetry that pretended to do no more than satisfy the emotions. But the philosophers certainly believed their verbal formulations to have some meaningful content beyond mere emotional impact; yet, in the case of many of their formulations, they failed to establish what that content was or whether it existed at all.

My brother found this point of view very threatening, because it called into question much of philosophy, and related fields such as literary criticism; and it was on his interest in such fields that he founded his sense of being someone special. But he did not have enough self-confidence to meet my arguments head on; instead, he resorted to evasive tactics.

In our 1979 discussion of this subject, I began by trying to stake out some common ground between us — statements on which we could both agree, and on the basis of which I could argue my point. But Dave was so afraid of being defeated by me that whenever I offered a premise that we might agree on, he would reject it automatically, even if, under other circumstances, he would certainly have accepted it. For instance, when I tried to introduce the concept of time, he flatly denied that any such thing as time existed. (The next morning, as it happened, he asked me to glance at the clock and tell him what time it was. When I pointed out that he was being inconsistent, his only answer was an embarrassed little laugh.)

Dave's evasive tactics drove me up the wall with frustration on this occasion, as on various others when I tried to carry on rational discussions with him. (I have to confess at this point that I am excessively susceptible to frustration, possibly as a result of having experienced so many frustrations during my teen years and early adulthood.)

My irritation was intensified by my brother's pretensions to superiority. A fool is irritating in any case, but a pretentious fool to me is simply insufferable, and consequently I particularly remembered those two conversations with my brother.

In the summer or autumn of 1981, Dave and I renewed the discussion in several letters that we exchanged. Some of these letters have not been preserved, but enough have survived to show the character of the interchange.

My mother had been getting my brother and I to put our names on various savings certificates jointly with our parents, as a means of avoiding probate. Besides that, my brother still had a fifty percent interest in the land on which my cabin stood.

Because recent events had made me aware that my brother's affection for me was mixed with a substantial element of resentment, I felt distinctly uncomfortable at having my affairs so tangled up with his. I remembered how difficult it had been to get him to pay his share of the rent on our safe-deposit box, and I was afraid his resentment might lead to similar difficulties in more important matters at some later time. So I wrote my mother a letter (now lost) in which I asked her not to put my name together with my brother's on any more savings certificates, and I mentioned that I wanted to buy out Dave's share of our Montana property. I explained the reasons and, since I didn’t expect Dave to see the letter, I freely expressed my contempt for his so-called ideas, describing them as "adolescent."

However, my brother was staying with our parents at the time, and it was he who opened the letter when it arrived. Did he have a right to open it? The answer isn't clear. I normally addressed my letters home simply to "Kaczynski," but if I wanted a letter to be opened only by a certain member of the family, then I addressed it specifically to that person. Since this letter was addressed to "Wanda Kaczynski," my brother ought to have realized that she should be the one to open it. On the other hand, as Dave subsequently wrote to me:

"I thought I should clarify my access to that last letter of yours — since mother was upset that I opened it. However, she's often said I was welcome to open their mail. Knowing the issue which had been discussed, I was curious about your reply. So I decided to take her offer literally for once. Anyway, I didn't want you to think she showed it to me."

This note was in the nature of a postscript (sent in a different envelope) to another letter in which he responded to my letter to my mother. His letter was one of the very few in which he was fairly open in expressing resentment. Earlier, I quoted from it several passages in which he referred to some of the incidents between us, such as that of the safe-deposit box and that of my letter about Linda E. But the part of his letter that interests us at the moment is the following:

"About my adolescent ideas. I suspect you use a mere perjorative [sic] out of your frustration to properly answer them. …"

I had used the term "adolescent" only in the letter to my mother, and had not used it or any other pejoratives in the discussions with my brother. (Though I did use pejoratives in some of my later discussions with him.)

"Anyway, the positivist dogma you adhere to has been long ago discarded."

What "dogma" was he referring to? The position I'd taken in our discussions was hardly dogmatic. I had pointed out two ways in which a verbal formulation could have meaning: (1) It might imply predictions that could be checked against experience; or (2) it might convey emotion (broadly interpreted). Then, if there was another way in which a verbal formulation could have meaning, I invited my brother to explain what it was. If he had done so, I would have considered his argument and perhaps accepted it. But of course he didn't even try to respond to my invitation, because he had never taken the trouble to try to analyze the meanings of sentences, and moreover he did not have enough confidence in himself to argue with me head on. So he evaded the issue by simply labeling my position as "dogma." When you can't answer someone's arguments and can't bear to admit he's right, then, to quote my brother's own words (suitably corrected), "you use a mere pejorative out of your frustration at being unable to properly answer." It is remarkable how often my brother attributes to me feelings and reactions that are characteristic of himself.

My brother's letter continued:

"From this position, you can't talk about much of anything unless you bring in the 'brain' — and since the positivistic explication of the brain is rudimentary, so the positivistic assumption ..."

But what assumption was my brother talking about? Several times in his letters he referred to my "positivistic" or "scientific" "assumptions," without ever explaining what "assumptions" he was referring to, and, of course, any attempt to pin him down on that subject was futile.

" ... the positivistic assumption becomes a black box into which you can stick anything too troublesome to think about, and which makes itself voracious toward any thoughts which don't meet the positivistic criteria is [sic] advance, which in turn it excretes as 'psychological' phenomena, unworthy of the name of thought. Can't you see, though you mean to include all of experience, you're really working within a closed system? — Anyway, positivism has been discarded by philosophers."

Hardly any of this is responsive to points I'd made, and all of it consists of vague accusations that completely sidestep the main issues that I'd raised: How does one assign meaning to verbal formulations? In particular, have the philosophers satisfactorily dealt with the problem of assigning meaning to metaphysical statements?

I had only the vaguest idea of what positivism was, so after my brother had called me a positivist several times, I asked him to explain just what the word meant. He answered that he knew very little about positivism himself, and after that he stopped calling me a positivist, though he continued to accuse me of having unspecified "assumptions."

Needless to say, my purpose here has not been to prove any points about logic or language, but to give a sample of my brother's style of argument, so that the reader will understand why I found it so frustrating to try to discuss anything with him.

* * *

In spite of the resentful tone of his letter, my brother was quite cooperative about selling me his share of our Montana property, which he did for the amount of money he’d originally put into it, $1050.

As for our philosophical argument, I soon wrote Dave a letter in which I renewed it from a different angle. Instead of attacking the ideas that he had borrowed (possibly in debased form) from Heidegger, or pursuing the question of meaning, I addressed the issue of my brother's motivations. Here are several extracts from the letter, some of which I’ve already quoted in earlier chapters:

“The point I want to cover in this letter is: your habitual self-deception. ... [I gave several examples of his self-deception, including:]

"When you took up teaching, you apparently did so under the illusion that you were going to change the lives of many students simply by expounding your ideas to them. Of course you soon learned better. You are certainly intelligent enough to have realized that a teacher can consider himself fortunate if he exerts a decisive influence on the lives of just a few students in the course of his whole teaching career. Yet you gave up after 2 years because your rosy expectations of influencing students quickly and easily were not realized. Those expectations must have been the result of self- deception.

"You recall that letter in which I suggested to our parents that they should discourage you from getting close to Linda F. ... Obviously ... my supposed questioning of your honesty was not what got you so terribly upset. The real reason is the one you permitted to slip out in your first letter. My letter did convey an implication of weakness on your part. Somewhere 'deep down inside' you feel weak; consequently, that implication touched a raw nerve and you became enraged. You invented that rationalization about 'honesty' because to admit that you were highly sensitive about the implication of weakness would be to admit that somewhere 'deep down inside’ you feel weak; and that is a highly uncomfortable admission. This I think is a characteristic example of your type of self-deception.

"I don't mean to say you are incapable of entertaining negative opinions about yourself. ...

"When it no longer possible to believe that one is what one wants to be in some aspect of life, the easiest thing is to just give up on that aspect of life, saying, ‘I’m no good at this. This isn't an important thing anyway' …

"You have very high aspirations. ... You have to be someone special. ... But you are unwilling or unable to go through the struggle that it takes to be or do something special. Every time you encounter real difficulties you retreat, saying, 'That's not the important thing anyway.' By this time you have retreated until you have just one thing left ... Art, or Philosophy, or whatever you prefer to call it. In this area you can always maintain your illusion of being superior to the common herd, because there are no objective criteria. Whatever happens, you can always persuade yourself that you are more sensitive, or thoughtful, or insightful (or whatever you want to call it) than the common herd. ...

"Well, I apologize for all this. All I can say is that these are my opinions, and I've been itching to express them for a long time, and my motive is not to hurt your feelings, even though I realize that that will be the probable result."

Rereading this letter now, after a decade and a half, makes me acutely uncomfortable, because I realize how cruel it was. It probably was fairly accurate, but that only made it all the more cruel. What made it worse still was the fact that I was not entirely telling the truth when I wrote, "my motive is not to hurt your feelings." In reality that was part of my motive, and I knew it at the time.

It's true that I didn't realize how badly I was hurting my brother. In the first place, I wasn't aware of the full extent of his worship of me. That was revealed only by statements he made to Dr. K. after my arrest. In the second place, I thought he had by that time largely outgrown his big-brother worship. (Note that I spoke of it in the past tense: 'Throughout your childhood and even well up into your 20's you had a severe case of big-brother worship.") I now suspect that he had only learned to conceal it better.

But it is still true that I knew I was hurting my brother, and I did so on purpose. I don't think the Ellen Tarmichael affair was an important source of my resentment. Instead, I was irritated and disgusted at the silliness and pretentiousness of some of my brother's ideas; I was frustrated at his evasive style of argument, I resented the fact that he had not turned out to be the kind of person I would have wanted him to be, and I was still very sore about the incident that I mentioned in Chapter IX (p. 257) but refrained from recounting because I find it too painful.

Dave gave me a very mild answer:

"I read your letter, and I think it touches on an element of truth, although, as you might expect, there are some items I want to show in a different light. However, I feel I need some time to collect my thoughts, in order to accomplish the task properly. Hopefully, within a month or two I'll have a long letter to send to you. In the meantime, please be assured that I'm not feeling angry or vengeful."

The mildness of this reply may have been part of what set me to thinking about the way I'd treated my brother when we were kids, and led to my first note of apology to him:

"Dear Dave:

"I remember that when we were kids I sometimes would take advantage of my greater size and strength to dominate you physically. Also I sometimes harassed you verbally. I've thought about this sometimes and I now regret that I behaved that way. So I now offer you an apology for it; though I suppose this apology is very likely a matter of indifference to you anyway."

Dave answered me with a letter of which the first half now strikes me as beautiful. In that first half, he spoke mainly of his personal relationship with me. In the second half of the letter, he resorted again to the kind of argument that irritated me intolerably — vague, unsupported assertions that did not respond to my points. For example, he accused me of "holding to a rigid, objectifying system," yet he made no attempt to explain in what way what he called my "system" was "rigid." You can see how frustrating it is to try to discuss something with someone who, whenever you disagree with him, answers only by asserting that you are "rigid" or "dogmatic."

It seems clear to me now, though, that what Dave was really asking for in this letter was simply acceptance of himself and his way of thinking. Not necessarily agreement, but simply a respectful, accepting attitude. I wasn’t about to accept or respect his crap about philosopher-kings or his attempt to place himself on a superior plane as a member of a "thinking" minority, but I could have given respect and acceptance to his poetic or emotive style of thought. My only quarrel with him was over the issue of whether certain verbal formulations characteristic of that style of thought had any meaningful content other than emotive content, given the absence of any explanation or analysis of how such formulations acquire meaning. And I would have been quite willing to abandon that quarrel if my brother had simply said, "Alright, I think this, you think that; let's just agree to disagree and drop the subject." But instead of doing so, he kept irritating me with vaguely-relevant arguments in which he commonly attributed to me attitudes that I'd never held and statements that I'd never made.

Yet, his letter was basically conciliatory, and reading it today I see it as a gentle and beautiful plea for acceptance. In it, he intimated that he had been wounded by my earlier letter, for he wrote: "[S]ome of the things you said were painful to listen to and partially disrupted my complacency." And: "Your letter had a strong effect on me, in the emotional sense ..."

In view of this, I am ashamed of the callousness of my reply. Here are some excerpts from it (FL #265):

"I note ... that you have not denied any of the statements about your motivations that I made. Rather typically, you have sidestepped the issues and resorted to vague generalities which do not directly confront the points I made. But I suppose you will claim that it would be too 'rigid' and 'scientific' to expect you to confront the issues directly.

"... I am not much interested in discussing further with you these philosophical questions, because by this time I am fairly confident that your psychological need for your self-deceptions is so strong that no amount of reasoning will ever get you away from them. Whatever kind of reasonings might be presented to you attacking your position, probably you will dismiss them as 'rigid' or 'scientific' or by applying some other empty label to them, and you will claim they are based on misunderstanding of your 'way of thinking,' the validity of which apparently has to be accepted on faith. ...

" ... You said my letter had a 'strong effect on [you], in the emotional sense,' and that it 'partially disrupted [your] complacency,’ This illustrates the fact that you are not in the habit of re-examining your thinking critically, looking for flaws and oversights, and attempting to root out your self-deceptions. If you had been in that habit my letter would not have shaken you; you would have been accustomed to the idea that you might have self-deception in your thinking, and the points I made would have been far from entirely new to you; but perhaps you think it would be too 'rigid' and ’scientific' to critically re-examining your thinking, your motivations, and your possible self-deceptions."

Looking back, I wonder why I answered my brother so callously. The fact that he showed no anger led me to underestimate the extent to which I was hurting him; yet I did realize that I was hurting him, and I knew that the little things he'd done over the years to annoy me (and the one or two things that had caused me real pain) were offset by the generosity he'd shown me at other times. Probably, my irritation against him was exacerbated by the fund of unresolved anger that I'd built up as a result of various frustrations in my earlier and current life.

But I now think that my brother, on his side, must have been increasing his fund of anger against me, even though he did not show that anger outwardly and may not have admitted even to himself that he felt it.

He answered my letter (FL #265) with a letter (now lost) that was less conciliatory than his earlier one, and I answered in turn with FL #266. The first part of this was as callous as the preceding letter, FL #265. But in the second half of FL #266, I revealed to my brother my love for him to an extent that I'd never done before, and at the same time I revealed a great deal about the nature of that love. I did this by recounting two dreams that I'd had about him. One was the dream I'd had at the age of seven or eight, in which I saw him as emaciated and starving … The other dream is too long and complicated to be recounted here. Suffice it to say that it showed that my love for my brother was of a paternal or condescending kind — I did not see him as an equal, but as one who needed guidance and protection; and I even gave partial expression to the element of contempt that was in my feelings toward him.

In his reply (which has not been preserved), Dave expressed gratitude for the affection demonstrated by my dreams, and said that I cared about him more than anyone else ever had, which quite possibly was true. This was the letter in which he said that he had previously feared that I'd had a hatred for him so great that I could not acknowledge it.

I was surprised at the degree of gratitude that my brother expressed, and also at the fact that he showed no resentment over the condescending and contemptuous aspects of my attitude toward him. I was softened, and felt badly about the harshness of some of the things I’d said. In later letters, I tried to take some of the sting out of them.

For example:

"[I]n regard to the implication in my last letter that I see you as weak, I’d like to qualify that, since you might think the judgement is harsher than what I intend. ...

"I received your last letter and note that it shows your usual generosity of character. Instead of being sore over the negative parts of my attitude toward you, you were favorably impressed by the positive parts."

And two-and-a-half years later:

"By the way, as long as I’m on this sort of subject, you'll recall that exchange of letters we had a few years ago in which I sharply criticized the motives behind your philosophical opinions. ... I tend to get hot and angry in frustrating circumstances, and for that reason my criticisms of you, though they did in a general way represent my real opinions and feelings, were harsher and more uncompromising than they would have been if I'd written about them in a completely calm state. The things I wrote then should have been softened and qualified a good deal."

I also made a point of praising Dave when there was an opportunity to do so. For instance, when he described how he'd dug himself a hole to live in, I complimented him on his foresight in cutting the sides at a slant; and I praised a particularly eloquent passage that he'd written about the religion of the African Pigmies: “I like this passage so well that I have copied it in my notebook. So there you stand amongst all kinds of famous writers whome [sic] I have quoted from time to time in my notes."

Later I wrote:

"For the last couple of years you seem to have been much more communicative in your letters than you used to be. Of course I don't care for all your letters, but some of them I find quite interesting and enjoyable to read. That your last letter was one of the more interesting ones you can deduce from the length of the reply I've written to it."

But all this cannot have healed the wounds I inflicted on my brother with my cutting remarks, and, given his sense of psychological subordination to me, I can easily understand now why he felt I was overbearing.

* * *

In the letter (FL #266) in which I described the two dreams I'd had about him, I told my brother that I wanted to drop our correspondence on philosophical issues because it was a waste of time. Actually, I wanted to drop it not only because it was a waste of time, but also because trying to discuss anything with my brother was a source of irritation and frustration. For a while he cooperated by not raising those issues in his letters, but it proved very hard to avoid getting into similar wrangles with him on other subjects. I would write something with which he disagreed, he would reply with some vague, elaborate, interminable argument, and I would find it extremely difficult to resist the impulse to point out the flaws in his reasoning — not because I was anxious to convince him of anything, but because to me a fallacious argument is like a stone in my shoe. Then he would answer with an elaborate rationalization that generally failed to address the points I'd raised and often misstated or misinterpreted what I'd said. He tended to resort to accusations that I was being "scientific" or "positivistic" or something along those lines. For example, in a discussion that we had in 1989, he said he suspected that there was a "logical agenda behind [my] criticisms."

* * *

I am truly ashamed of the verbal cruelty I inflicted on my brother. Yet, given my personality traits and those of the members of my family, and the relationships that existed between us, there was no way I could have gotten along comfortably with them; if I hadn't revealed to Dave my contempt for him in the way I did, I probably would have had to do so in some other way. But I could have avoided this by simply breaking off communications with my whole family. I eventually did break off with them, but it would have been better for all of us if I had done so twenty years earlier.

From Ted to Dave, Aug 28, 1979 (T-3)






I agree with your decision about not fishing for pure "sport." As for vegetarianism--I would just mention one thing in case you aren't aware of it, Vitamin B-12 is not obtainable from vegetable sources, so you have to eat meat or fish or milk or eggs or vitamin pills. It takes several years for Vitamin B-12 deficiency symptoms to appear, but once they appear they are incurable. Also I would respectfully suggest it is better to give up eating milk and eggs than to give up meat. In a commercial egg-production operation they keep the chickens in vast ranks of tiny cages, too small for the birds to turn around in. Feed goes in one end and eggs come out the other.

If you think of the chickens in human terms its worse than 1984. So far as I know, it's not that bad with milk cows--but they too are slaves.

I don't know if Epstein understands "wilderness" in our terms--but I did say in my letter to him that by "wilderness" I (UI) meant a place where our nearest neighbor would be 5 miles away air--line. As for Commies in Costa Rica--if we ever do go there, maybe by that time we will have better indications as to just what the Commie situation is likely to be. I'm surprized to here that Costa Rica is English-speaking. But maybe (UI) there are Spanish-speaking peasants in the hinterlands?

I would suggest you take the following steps regarding Costa Rica. (I hate to seem like I'm shoving work off on you, but when I go to Helena I have only 2 hours before bus leaves again, so I can't get much done.)

(1) In library, look up maps like we did before. The areas Epstein suggested were Meseta Central (near San Jose) and the Cordillera del Gunacoste. (If maps look promising, you might send me a Xerox copy of one if convenient.)

(2) If maps found in library look good, you could visit that Rand McNally store downtown that the librarian told us about, and see if they have any really detailed maps.

(3) If can't get good enough maps that way, check if there is by any chance a Costa Rican Consulate in Chicago, then call or visit in person to find out where to get maps or other information.

I wish I could have played softball with you!


P.S. In reply to my cartoon, Hoken sent me a copy of "Red Sonja*" comic book, asserting that "to imaginative minds it drips of philosophical lessons."

In reply I sent him:

"I have no time** to listen to thy teaching, Zarathustra," said the small man, "For I must mow my lawn and tend my melons. I have no time to listen to prophecies. I have no time to be an arrow of longing for the farther shore."

"How then," answered Zarathustra, "hast thou time to read the book of a naked harlot pretending to be a hero? Knowest thou not that a dark cloud hangs over men and that even now are falling one by one the heavy drops that herald the lightning? What then signify they lawnmowers and thy melons? Verily, thou art become as the last man." Thus spake Zarathustra--Nietsch, Zarathustra, part 5.

*An absurd female hero.

**Hoken wrote that he would read some (UI) Nietsche, except that he had not time cause he was too busy mowing his lawn, tending his melons, etc.

From Dave to Ted, Aug, 1979 (T-4)

Dear Ted,

The parents gave me another $1,000. I'd appreciate it if you could affix your signature to these and send them off when it is convenient. Thanks.

We have an underground bee hive in our back yard. There's a hole which appears to descend at about a forty-five degree angle near the dead tree by the shed. Bees are flying in and out continually all day.

From Ted to Dave, Sep 6, 1979 (T-4)





Dear Dave,

I just mailed off those forms in the Standard First Federal envelope you enclosed. Those "bees"--are you sure they're not hornets? I never heard of bees nesting underground, but one variety of yellowjackets does do so. If by any chance they really are bees--wait till the weather gets cold enough to immobilize them, then dig them out to get the honey!


From Ted to Dave, Undated (T-5)






Caro Ted,

Thanks para (for) your letter. Thanks for the correction of my errors. It is difficult to learn Spanish, I think. I will know everything when I have some books to study. It is difficult -perhaps a preposition should be here - perhaps "de" I don't know to learn the order of the words and the use of the prepositions. Perhaps my Spanish is amusing. No tengo mucho tiempo to study

"para" should be here

Spanish has more subjunctive cases than English. True? I don't understand them; usually. The subjunctive is used many times in Spanish.

Please tell (dime) [but it should be in the imperative familiar form] me if my friend from Ecuador writes to you. (Correct subjunctive?)

Please, write again to me in Spanish.

After thinking about it, I think it is difficult to learn (without prepositions) correctly; because the infinitive "to learn" can function like "learning" English; that way I suppose "it is difficult to learn" it can be read as "learning is difficult." Therefore I will learn the language better.

Your friend and brother


I don't think Spanish has subjunctive tenses than English (but more cases in which one should use the subjunctive).

In Spanish there are two subjunctive tenses - present and imperfect - No? I think they exist in English also, even if many of their uses are antiquated - Example: I = indicative, s = subjunctive, c = conditional.

But spinach is (A) I like spinach though it bad for you. is bad for me.

I (B) Spinach may be (A) I like spinach though it like s present spinach. bad for you. be bad for me.

(B) Spinach is good for (A) I should like spinach though you. it were bad for me. s imperfect or past -------------------------------------- LAST PAGE HAS AN ADVERTISEMENT:

1975 DATSUN (UI)

10,000 (UI) low mileage (UI)

$2500 call (UI)

From Ted to Dave, July 30, 1982 (FL#263) (Excerpt)

I remember that when we were kids I sometimes would take advantage of my greater size and strength to dominate you physically. Also I sometimes harassed you verbally ... . I now regret that I behaved that way. So I now offer you an apology for it; though I suppose this apology very likely is a matter of indifference to you anyway.

From Dave to Ted, Summer 1982 (FL #264)

Dear Ted,

No, it’s not a matter of indifference to me, and I thank you for your apology, or rather I should say for your sympathetic understanding of what may have surfaced at times as resentment on my part. But I also want to say that I think you may tend to exaggerate your own failings, even as (from my viewpoint) you tend to exaggerate the failings of others.

I’ve given a great deal of thought to your earlier letter, and how to answer it. The whole subject of my essential relationship to my life and my ideas, and of my relationship to you, which naturally must include my understanding of you, and the implications of your fundamental attitudes toward mine, I am sure you must appreciate is all so tremendously complex, that wanting to speak only the truth, I am all but overawed and muted by the many thoughts which occur to me. One way of looking at this exchange comes to me as follows: You had something you wanted to say to me for a long time. I respect the way you said it, coming forth openly as you did, and (perhaps characteristically) I flatter myself to think that you showed respect for me by coming forth as you did, even if some of the things you said were painful to listen to and partially disrupted my complacency. Now that I’m trying to answer your letter, I find that I don’t know what I most want to say to you, although I believe there is something and I can only imagine that some day, sometime, it will resolve itself in cogent expressions. Incidentally, I find myself wondering what the inner motive is for such disclosures. Is it to assure ourselves we live in one world, as much to say that every consciousness is answerable to the same reality? Is it, on the other hand, to dispel the power of another consciousness in order to escape its influence, which otherwise threatens to bind us to its way of looking? I suspect the latter may be true of me with regard to you, which perhaps explains my frequently emotional tone, and takes into account the sibling relationship you refer to. You have, I think you must know, an interpretation of the world which persuades by its very power and conviction. I don’t remember finding it difficult as a youngster to admire you, and I don’t think my will was consciously frustrated by coming under the influence of your way of thinking, since I thought I came willingly, drawn by its intrinsic persuasion. I hope you will appreciate, in light of this, what a significant being you must have represented to me, especially insofar as you had the weight of Western logic behind you as well. On a personal level, however, I felt a problem arose insofar as it appeared to me I could appear in your world (and only then did I begin to think of it as your subjective property, not as the world), by assuming a shape appropriate to this world, but not wholly expressive of my own experience and consciousness. In other words, what I thought of as the openness on my part which made your thought–process accessible to me, was so little reciprocated that I could abide there only by forsaking a certain freedom of spirit. Yet it was within and by virtue of this freedom (I might almost say, “generosity”) of spirit that I saw myself approaching you at all. Just for an example, I often found myself talking about or doing something with you primarily because I knew you were interested in it. In other words, I engaged myself according to your interests in order to experience your mind and your way of seeing. But I grew aware that the reverse was seldom true. If I raised a topic for discussion or proposed an activity, you tended to participate only after you had evaluated the proposal according to your own prior interests, as if my consciousness were not essentially connected with it, or would not in any case constitute an essential feature of what you had decided to participate in or not. It appeared to me that your world could admit only what was determined in advance to belong to it, and consequently that I could never appear within it as myself. I wanted to say what Hamlet said to Horatio: “There are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Except that you had ways of discrediting any such remark according to your own system. (You wondered why I insisted the land you bought in Canada should meet my needs as well, if I had no strong intention of living there. [David and I had once discussed the idea of jointly buying land in Canada.] Well, I hadn’t made things clear in my own mind. But I think it was because it bothered me to think that you would select land that you thought was also for me, but which you would make little effort to see through my eyes.) . ... [The four dots are in the original.] In terms of our philosophical differences, I often see a similar tendency prevailing, in other words that you confront philosophy and art, or my peculiar understanding of them, from the standpoint purely of your scientific, logical thought–system, with the effect that, except when your vigilance occasionally relaxes, you are able to experience them only as complex projections of a scientific model. I think you draw them into your world in a way that does them injury. You don’t seem to be willing, even experimentally, to let them speak for themselves, much less to jump out of your own world into theirs, if only for a moment to see what would happen. I may be mistaken, but I suspect you have little idea what I’m talking about when I expound my theories. When I criticize science and logic, do you think I fail to understand them as you do? (Maybe I do! If so, please tell me. I don’t mean that I understand them as thoroughly, or in as much detail. But is it your impression that I somehow mistake them in an essential way?) Anyway, it’s my impression that you haven’t really begun to understand my way of thinking and mainly because your way of taking it up even for the purposes of contemplation suggests a deep resistance. Anyway, I wanted to point out what appears to me as misrepresentations of my thought–process in your letter. You said I propose to know things by “feeling them deep down inside.” [That was not at all what I had written to Dave. See Chapter XI, Note 21.] I hope I never said anything like that, at least not recently. Because I am speaking about a thought–process one of whose effects would be to disclose what is ordinarily concealed within the mere seeming immediacy of what we call emotions. Then, you said I wish to deny a definite reality. But I am thinking about a reality that is definite in the sense that it comprises the world in which we all live, and indefinite only in the sense that it disputes an understanding of reality on the basis of the scientific principles of precision and clarity, and the scientific motive of control.

Well, this philosophical subject is a large one, and if I am correct in my interpretation, then you wouldn’t be likely to develop a strong interest in it for itself anyway. I suspect I’ve only said enough to defeat my purpose by increasing your resistance, when what I’d rather do is suggest an approach to thinking so alien to what you are familiar with that you would consider refraining from judging it out–of–hand, by recourse to polarities (thought–feeling; objective–subjective) whose main effectiveness lie in setting up the limits which describe science in the first place.

It strikes me as ironic that we seem to be saying similar things to one another. You, that I’ve taken the easy way out, denying reality in order to preserve my belief in myself against an actual test. I, that you’ve taken the easy way out, holding to a rigid, objectifying system, in order to preserve your world against the contributions of other consciousnesses, mine in particular . ... [the four dots are in the original] or something like that . ... [the four dots are in the original] Well, as I said before, I’m not really satisfied that I know what I want to say yet. Your letter had a strong effect on me, in the emotional sense, but I’m not sure exactly what it’s meant to me, which explains my delay in answering. I took your last note as an assurance of good will, which helped me write at least this much. Please feel free to communicate anything further that occurs to you.

Nothing is really new in the external world so far as it touches me. I’m just dragging through waiting for the next winter on my property. [Dave spent the winters on his property in Texas.] Softball has started up again, and we’re doing much better this year, outscoring our opponents 43–30 (although our record is only 2–2). Ma retired last week and seems to be enjoying herself so far. Both of our parents seem to be in very good health, almost remarkably considering their ages. I hope all is well with you.


From Ted to Dave, Oct 3, 1982, (T-8)


Horacio Quiroga

On clearing the forest last year, the men felled this tree, whose trunk lies full length pressed flat against the groud. While its fellows lost much of their bark when clearing was burned over, this one retains its own almost intact. There is only a carbonized strip all along its length that speak very plainly of the action of the fire.

This was last winter. Four months have passed. In the middle of the clearing lost on account of drought[3], the broken tree lies always in a wasteland of ashes. Sitting against the trunk with my back supported by it, I too am immobile. At some point in my back my spine is broken. I fell just there. I remain seated – or rather broken – against the tree.

Beginning just a moment ago, I have been hearing a steady buzz – the buzz of the medullar lesion – which appears to flood everything and in which my breath seems to flow out. I can no longer move my hands and can hardly stir the ashes with a finger or two.

I acquire at this moment the supreme and extremely clear certainty that, at the level of the ground, my life is awaiting the instantaneity of a few seconds to flicker out all at once.

This is the truth. Never has a fuller truth presented itself to my mind. All the other float, dance in something like a far-off reverberation of another I in a past that does not belong to me. The single perception of my existence, flagrant like a great blow delivered in silence, is that moment from now I am going to die.

But when? What second and what instant are those in which this exasperated consciousness of still being alive will give place to a tranquil corpse?

Nobody comes near this clearing; no forest path leads to it from anyone’s property. For the man sitting there, as for the trunk that supports him, the rains will follow, wetting bark and clothes, and the sun will draw lichens and hair-like mossas[4], until the forest sprouts up again and unites trees and ashes[5], bones and shoe-leather.

And there is nothing, nothing in the serenity of the environment that proclaims and cries out such an occurrence: Rather, across the trunks and black limbs of the clearing, from here or from there, whatever may be the point of observation, anyone may contemplate with perfect clarity the man whose life is at the point of ceasing amont the ashes, drawn like a pendulum by enormous gravity: so small is the place that he occupies and so evident is his situation: he is dying.

This is the truth. But for the obscure resisting animality, for the hearbeat and the breath menaced with death, what is the truth worth before the terrible anxiety over the precise instant in which this resisting life and this terrible psychological torture will explode like a rocket, leaving as sole residuum an ex-man with his face set rigidly for ever after?

The buzzing continually increases. A veil of dense darkness, in which green rhomboids stand out, is now hovering over my eyes. And immediately I see the walled doorway of a left-handed Moroccan[6], through one half of which a herd of white colts rushes out, while through the other half a theory of decapitated men runs in.

I want to close my eyes and can no longer do so. Now I see a hospital room where four doctors, friends, persist in trying to convince me that I am not going to die. I watch them in silence and they burst out laughing, for they follow my thought.

“Then,” says one of them, “No other proof remains for you but the fly-cage. I have one.”


“Yes;” he answers, “Green-tailed flies. You are not ignorant of the fact that green flies smell the decomposition of flesh long before the decease of the subject occurs. With the patient yet alive, they come, sure of their prey. They fly over it without hurry, yet without losing sight of it, for they have already smelled its death. It is the most effective known means of arriving at a prognosis. On this account I have some whose sense of smell has been refined by selection, which I rent out at a modest rate. Where they enter, the prey is sure. I can put them in the corridor when you are alone and open the door of the cage, which let it be said in passing, is in the form of a little coffin. You will need to do nothing but keep your eye on the keyhole[7]. If a fly comes in and you hear it buzz, be sure that the others too will find the way to you. I rent them out at a modest rate.”

Hospital? Suddenly the whitewashed room, the medicine chest, the doctors and their laugh vanish in the midst of a buzzing …

And suddenly, too, the revelation comes to me: The flies!

It is they who are bussing. Since my fall they have come without delay. Drowning in the woods because of the fiery heat of the place, the flies have become aware, I don’t know how, of sure prey in the vicinity. They have already smelled the approaching decomposition of the seated man, by signs we cannot read, perhaps in the exhalation through the flesh of the cut spinal medula. They have come without delay and are circling without hurry, measuring with their eyes the proportions of the nest that fate has just provided for their eggs.

The doctor was right. Their job couldn’t be more lucrative.

But the fact is that this desperate anxiety of resistance is being assuaged and is giving way to a blessed weightlessness[8]. No longer do I feel myself a fixed point on the earth, rooted to it by the heaviest torture. I feel flowing from me, like life itself, the lightness of the surrounding vapour, the sunshine, the fecundity of the hour. Free of space and of time I can go here, there, to this tree, to that vine[9]. I can see, far off now like a memory of remote existence, I can still see, against a tree-trunk, a doll with lidless eyes, a scarecrow with glassy stare and rigid legs. From the womb of this expansion that the sun dilates, crumbling my consciousness into a billion particles, I can rise and fly, fly …

And I fly, and I alight with my companions on the fallen tree, under the rays of the sun that lend their fire to our work of vital renewal.


COMMENT. What I liked about this story was the way the author lifts, at the end, the dark cloud of despair and death to show us hope and renewal. To me it was very effective; I don’t know if you will react to it the same way.

The theme – death of a man as a source of life to lower organisms; symbolically, renewal of life in general – is one that I’ve encountered before; though for all I know Quiroga may have been the first to use it, since he wrote some time ago (he died in 1937). But in any case I think he handles it more effectively than I’ve seen it handled before.

From Ted to Dave, Nov 17, 1982 (T-9)

Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-9

ENVELOPE Postmark date NOV 17 1982 PM CANYON CREEK, 59633 (T-9)






LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 -----------------------------------

Dear Dave:

1. Parents sent me a couple of photos of your property. It looks beautiful! You once invited me to visit there, and, though I hate to squander money on bus fare, I may come to see your place some time, anyway.

2. As for your blood pressure, I wouldn't worry too much about that one reading because: (a) you said it was near, but not over, the high-blood pressure level. (b) If I'm not mistaken, a slightly elevated blood pressure (say 155/95) significantly increases risk of heart attack and stroke but is not an immediate, serious danger. And mainly, (c) Blood pressure varies considerably according to circumstances, such as stress, fatigue, physical activity, whether you've eaten heavily, etc. For instance, they say you should rest quietly for at least 15 minutes before taking your blood pressure.

Since you took it in a bank you probably didn't do that.

I'm not trying to minimize the risks of high blood pressure. They say that seriously elevated blood pressure is highly dangerous. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to get your blood pressure some time under more propitious conditions. But at present I don't think you have any particular reason to worry.

By the way, they say the diastolic (lower) reading is the one to worry about; the systolic (upper) reading is less important. Also, since weight affects blood pressure, you could perhaps take a few points off your blood pressure, if you have reason to do so, by getting rid of some pounds of fat that you were carrying last time I saw you.

3. I learned recently that exposure to ultraviolet radiation, as from sunlight, has a cumulative effect in creating a risk of skin cancer; the risk builds up over years of exposure. Moreover, the ultraviolet in sunlight is currently increasing due to the partial destruction of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, which is caused by the release of fluorocarbons in various technological activities, including but not restricted to use of these gasses in aerosol cans.

Some figures I have seen, if my memory is not in error: ultraviolet in sunlight already elevated by some 15%; expected to go up to 30% over next few decades, estimated on basis of 1975 levels of fluorocarbon release; percentage to be higher of course in case of increasing levels of release. 35% increase in UV radiation to result in 70% increase in skin cancer rate in white people. So - you might consider getting yourself a hat with a good wide brim to wear in that sunny desert. Now, don't you wish you were a nigger? I mean a real black one. Apparently all that black stuff keeps out most of the ultraviolet.

4. I don't know of any translations of Quiroga's works except one short story "El Tacho" (the Roof) which appears in Spanish Stories (a dual-language book with both the Spanish and the "English" versions), edited by Angel Flores, Bantam Books, 271 Madison Avenue, New York, 1960. You could go to a library some time and ask the reference librarian how you could find out whether any of Quiroga's works have been translated into English. And by the way, if you should happen to find that few of his stories have been translated, please inform me. I am just wondering whether it might not be possible to make a few bucks by offering a collection of translations of his tales to some publisher. Might be worth a try. Maybe. Some time.


P.S. You may find it discouraging at first trying to identify edible wild plants - I know I did - but eventually you get the knack of it and (UI) comes much easier.

From Ted to Dave, Aug 27, 1983 (T-10)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated AUGUST 27 1983 (T-10)







Dear Dave:

I sent my drawing to Aunt Freda. You weren't sure whether I should send it to Hoken and Jean, and I feel sorry for Aunt Freda cause she's had a hard life, and she was always nice to me when I was a small child. If she doesn't find the drawing cheering, at least it ought to give her an erotic kick. And I know she's no prude and will not object to a dirty picture. I mean, you know, those old folk like any mark of consideration--even one that is a little unconventional.

To satisfy your curiosity about the picture: Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet), tells the story of Atalanta and Meleager. It seems there was this giant-sized wild boar, called the Kalydonian Boar, that was ravaging the Greek district of Kalydonia. The king of this district issued a call to all the heroes of Greece to come and hunt this obnoxious monster.

A great many came, and among them also a heroine named Atalanta. Atalanta was a character somewhat like the huntress-godess Diana (Artemis). Instead of spending her days primping in front of a mirror like any normal girl, she spent her time running around in the woods, hunting, and in this she developed exceptional powers.

Also among the heroes who joined the hunt was Meleager, son of the king of Kalydonia. As soon as Meleager saw Atalanta he fell in love with her.

Well, on the day of the hunt, the first to succeed in wounding the boar was Atalanta; she hit the beast with an arrow. But the wound was not too serious, and Meleager was the one who finally killed the animal. Being in love with Atalanta, he insisted that the "spoils" (ie., the hide and so forth) should be given to Atalanta, on the grounds that she had drawn first blood. Meleager's uncle-his mother's brother-objected to this arrangement on the grounds that it was shameful to give the trophies to a woman. Of course he was perfectly right, but anyway one thing led to another, Meleager and his uncle fought, and the former killed the latter.

Meleager's mother, after considerable vacillation in Ovid's account, finally decided that she loved her brother more than her son, and so killed Meleager in the following manner.

At Meleager's birth there had been a prophecy to the effect that the baby would live just so long as a certain piece of wood, then on the fire of the household, lasted. When the wood was all burned up, Meleager would kick the bucket. So Meleager's mother snatched the brand from the fire and put it out, and thereafter preserved it with great care. So after Meleager bumped off his uncle, his mother put the brand back on the fire and when it was all burned up, Meleager croaked.

Ovid doesn't say whether Meleager had time to have any fun with Atalanta before his mother fixed his wagon, but apparently some Roman painter believed that he did, because Suetoniuse tells the following story about the emperor Tiberius.

I seems that some made a peculiar bequest to Tiberius. Tiberius could choose one of 2 things from the dead man's property: either 10,000 gold pieces (Auriae, I take it) or a certain painting. Suitonius rather sourly informs us that Tiberius not only took the painting in preference to the money, but hung it in his bedroom. The painting, concludes Suitonius, "depicted Atalanta performing fellatio with Meleager. So you can guess what my drawing was. I made Atalanta so beautiful.

Regarding your next to-last letter I got the impression that you had the impression that the poetry I quoted was Aztek. I mentioned Aztec poetry but didn't quote any of it. The poetry I quoted was ancient Irish poetry.

As to your remarks on primitive cruelty and bloodthirstyness, judging from what I have read, the most primitive peoples-those still in the purely hunting-and-gathering stage of existence-are NOT typically cruel, bloodthirsty, or warlike. The bloodthirsty and warlike ones usually are the more advance peoples-neolithic (UI) got the impression that you had, the impression that the poetry I quoted wazs Aztek. I mentioned Aztec poetry but didn't quote any of it. The poetry I quoted was ancient Irish poetry. As to your remarks on primitive cruelty and bloodthirstyness, judging from what I have read, the most primitive peoples-those still in the purely hunting-and-gathering stage of existence---are NOT typically cruel, bloodthirsty, or warlike. The bloodthirsty and warlike ones usually are the more "advanced" peoples--neolithic and agricultural peoples, and peoples in still more "advanced" stages. As you know, the Aztecs were civilized.

By the way here is a book you would like to read: The Forest

People by Colin Turnbull. If you take the trouble to look it up next time you go to the Lombard Library (they do have the book there),

I think you will consider it well worth reading.

And speaking of poetry, I quote from "Mexico and the Old Southwest", by Haldeen Braddy, the following poem written by an unsophisticated woman dope-addict. Despite the awkwardness it shows in places, I think it is better than a lot of poetry written by educated "serious" poets. In fact I think it is a really good poem, despite the fact that it is completely foreign to my own attitudes and concerns.


The drums are beating faster than the beating of my heart.

The rythm gets more frantic, and it tears my soul apart.

In the background I can hear the wailing of a horn,

As the night is drifting on. Into another dawn so I sit here, and I'm nodding and I hear Lester blow.

(UI) serious poets. In fact I think it is a really good poem, despite the fact that it is completely foreign to my own attitudes and concerns.


The drums are beating faster that the beating of my heart.

The rythm gets more frantic, and it tears my soul apart.

In the background I can hear the wailing of a horn,

As the night is drifting on into another dawn.

So I sit here, and I'm nodding,*

And I hear Lester blow.

I dig the blasting of his sax;

The sound's both sweet and low.

The music's really getting hot.

It's setting off a spark;

It's ready to explode right now

In this inviting dark.

Yes, this is my world always,

With the best kicks I have known;

*Dope-addict jargon meaning half asleep under the influence of dope.

And when I get the feel of it,

I'm by myself alone.

Then I'm cut off from all of you,

Though I know deep down within that it gets me as it gets you way underneath your skin.

Braddy quotes 5 other poems by this same anonymous junkie (with the condescending remark "however short on literary merit...") He got the poems from an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics and describes the poetess as "of unmistakeable folk status". Naturally, I've quoted the poem that I thought was best. It seems to me that these poems exhibit great sincerity of expression-one gets the impression that the writer's motive is not ego or vanity or an aspiration to "create art", but simply the desire for self-expression. And the expression is effective. In the poem quoted it seems to me that she successfully coveys to the reader her feelings about the (to us) strange and degenerate world that she lives in.

I think now that if I come to see you in Texas, I will come in late November or later. To judge from the appearance of the tops, I am going to have a big crop of parsnips. Last year I ate parsnips from November till April 1, and I wouldn't care to eat too much more of them in an equal period of time than what I ate last year. So if my crop this year turns out to be much bigger than last year's crop, I'll want to take some of them and wash them, slice them, and dry them, after which they should keep indefinitely. I probably harvest them in early November, and may then be rather busy.

If I come, I will help you dig your hole, but I will not accept any payment for it. Your hospitality will be ample payment.


From Ted to Dave, Sep 9, 1983 (T-11)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated SEPTEMBER 9 1983 (T-11)






Sept 7, 1983

Dear Dave: Since you reacted favorably to the birthday present I sent you last year, I'm sending you a similar one this year. It wasn't easy to choose the story to translate for you, since there are a number of good ones, but anyway I decided on "Nuestro Primor Cigarro" (Our first cigarette) which is one of my favorites among the Quiroga stories that I've read.

You will note how different this story is from the one I sent you last year - an indication of Quiroga's versatility. And he has written still other stories that are entirely different from either of those that I've translated for you.

I'm enclosing with this another letter, written on small pieces of paper that may well get stuck down in the bottom of this big envelope where you won't see them. I mention it so you won't miss them.

- Ted


Note. There are a number of places in which I am uncertain of the accuracy of my translation. Undoubtedly in many cases it is my knowledge of Spanish that is a fault, but i suspect that in some cases the problem is a lack of clarity on Quiroga's part. If some passages here strike you as puzzling they can be explained in the same way -- either the imperfections of my Spanish or Quiroga's lack of clarity.

In some places I have taken mild liberties in the translation since I could find no way to put the literal meaning into graceful English.

There are some words -- many of them apparently names of plants or animals that are very likely indigenous to Argentina or Uruguay -- that I have left in the original Spanish, since they are not listed in my dictionary.

There was no happier time than that which the death of our aunt afforded Marie and me.

Lucia had just returned from Buenos Aires, where she had spent three months. That evening as we were going to bed we heard her say to mama:

"How strange! My eyebrows are swollen."

Certainly Mama must have examined our aunt's eyebrows, for after a moment she answered:

"It's true. You don't feel anything wrong?"

"No...I'm only sleepy."

The next day, toward two in the afternoon, we suddenly became aware of a great agitation in the house, doors that were opened and not closed, conversations punctuated with exclamations, and frightened faces. Lucia had the smallpox, of a certain hemorrhagic type that she had acquired in Buenos Aires.

Of course, my sister and I were enraptured by the drama. Children almost always have to endure the misfortune that the great events do no occur in their own house. This time our aunt -- by chance our aunt! -- down with smallpox! I, lucky boy, already was proud to possess the friendship of a policeman and to have had contact with a clown who, jumping up the steps [in some show or circus, I take it], had taken a seat at my side. But now the great event was taking place in our own house; and upon communicating it to the first little boy who stopped at eh street door to look, I already had in my eyes the vanity with which a child in strict mourning passes before his astonished and envious little neighbors.

That same afternoon we moved out of the house, installing ourselves in the only other that we could find on such short notice, an old country-house on the outskirts of town. A sister of Mama's who had had smallpox in her childhood remained at Lucia's side.

Certainly, during the first days after the event, Mama passed through cruel anguish for her children, who had kissed the woman now sick with smallpox. But we on the other hand turned into enthusiastic Robinson Crusoes and had no time to remember our aunt. For a long time the country-house had been sleeping in its damp and shadowy tranquility. Orange-trees whitish with diaspis; peach-trees split at the fork; quince-trees with the appearance of osiers; fig-trees dragging on the ground through neglect; all that, among the thick beds of dead leaves that smothered footsteps, gave a strong impression of paradise.

We weren't exactly Adam and Eve; but we were indeed heroic Robinson Crusoes, dragged into our exile by a family tragedy; the death of our aunt, which happened four days after we began our explorations.

We would spend the whole day poking around the grounds, though the fig-trees, too thick underfoot, inconvenienced us a little. The well, too, was an object of our geographical preoccupation. It was an old unfinished well, the work on which had been abandoned at a depth of some forty-five feet. It had a rock bottom and was now disappearing among the culantrillos and doradillas of its walls. It was necessary, nonetheless, to explore it, and by way of an outpost we succeeded after infinite effort in bringing to its edge a great stone. As the well was hidden by a (UI), we were able to execute this maneuver without Mama's finding out about it. All the same, Maria, whose poetic inspiration always prevailed in our enterprises, decided that we had to put off the event until a great rain, half filling the well, should offer us an artistic satisfaction to equal the scientific.

But what especially attracted our daily assaults was the cane thicket. We spent two whole weeks in duly exploring that primeval tangle of green stalks, dry stalks, vertical stalks, bent, cross-wise, broken, down-turned stalks. The dry leaves, caught in their fall, were interwoven with the mass, which filled the air with dust and fragments at the slightest touch.

We found out the secrets of the place all the same, and sitting in the gloomy lair of some corner, close together and mute in the semidarkness, we revelled for whole hours in the pride of not being afraid.

It was there that one afternoon, embarrassed at our lack of initiative, we concocted the idea of smoking. Mama was a widow; two sisters of hers always lived with us, and at the moment a brother also, the very one who had gone with Lucia to Buenos Aires.

This uncle, twenty years old, very elegant and presumptuous, had taken upon himself a certain authority over us which Mama, what with the current annoyance and her lack of character, encouraged.

Maria and I promptly professed the warmest dislike for the little stepfather.

"I'll tell you," he would say to mother, indicating us with a jerk of his chin, "that I'd like to live with you all the time just to keep an eye on your children. They're going to give you a lot of trouble."

"Oh, leave them alone," Mama would answer, tired.

We wouldn't say anything, but we would look at each other over the dish of soup.

From this strict personage, then, we had stolen a pack of cigarettes; and though we were tempted to initiate ourselves immediately into the manly art of smoking, we waited for the appropriate device. This consisted of a pipe that I manufactured, with a piece of cane for the bowl and a curtain-rod for the stem, stuck together with putty from a recently replaced window-pane. The pipe was perfect: big, particolored, and frivolous-looking.

In our den in the cane thicket Maria and I filled it with firm and religious unction. Five cigarettes yielded their tobacco to it. We then seated ourselves with our knees up; I lit the pipe and inhaled. Maria, who was devouring the action with her eyes, saw that mine were filling with tears: there never has been and never will be seen anything more abominable. I nevertheless swallowed the nauseating saliva.

"Is it good?" Maria asked eagerly, putting out her hand.

"Good," I answered, passing her the horrible device.

Maria sucked, even harder than I. Watching her closely, I noted her tears in turn, and the simultaneous movement of her lips, tongue, and throat rejecting it. Her courage was greater than mine.

"It's good," she said with watering eyes, almost grimacing. And heroically she again raised the brass tube to her mouth.

It was urgently necessary to rescue her. It was pride and nothing else that sent her back to that infernal smoke that tasted like salt of Chantaud, the same pride that has made me praise the nauseating combustion.

"Pst!" I said abruptly, turning my head to listen, "I think it's the gargantillo we heard the other day. It must have a nest here."

Maria stood up, leaving the pipe lying on its side; and with attentive ears and searching eyes we drew away from the place, seemingly anxious to get a look at the little animal, but actually clutching like dying men at the honorable pretext I had invented for prudently withdrawing from the tobacco without having our pride suffer.

A month later I went back to the can pipe, but with a very different result.

For some prank or other of ours, our little stepfather had raised his voice to us much more harshly than my sister and I could permit him to do. We complained to Mama.

"Bah! Don't pay any attention," she answered, almost without having heard us. "That's just the way he is."

"One of these days he's going to hit us," whined Maria.

"He won't if you don't give him a reason to. What did you do to him?" she added, addressing the question to me.

"Nothing, Mama, ... but I don't want him to touch me!" I objected in my turn.

At that moment our uncle came into the room.

"Oh, so here's your little villain Eduardo ... That kid is going to give you gray hair! You'll see!"

"They're complaining that you want to hit them."

"Me?" exclaimed the little stepfather, drawing himself up, "I haven't even thought of it. But as soon as they treat me disrespectfully..."

"And you'll be doing the right thing," Mama agreed.

"I don't want him to touch me!" I repeated, scowling and red in the face. "He isn't Papa!"

"But in the absence of your poor father, he's your uncle.

Now leave me in peace!" she concluded, pushing us away.

By ourselves in the courtyard, Maria and I looked at each other with eyes full of proud fire.

"Nobody's going to hit me!" I declared.

"No, nor me either," she added on her own account.

"He's a zonzo 1!"

The inspiration came abruptly and, as always, to my sister. With a furious laugh she began the triumphal march and the chant:

"Uncle Alfonso ... is a zonzo! Uncle Alfonso ... is a zonzo!" When I ran into the little stepfather a while afterward, it appeared from the way he looked at me that he had heard us. But

1 Zonzo = boob, fool we had already planned the incident of the Kicking Cigarette, this epithet being to the greater glory of the mule Maud.

The kicking cigarette consisted, in brief, of a firecracker 2 which, wrapped in cigarette paper, was placed in the pack of cigarettes that Uncle Alfonso kept on his night-table, smoking them during the siestas.

One end of the firecracker had been cut off os that the effect on the smoker would not be excessive. The violent stream of sparks would be enough, and the whole success of the trick depended on the assumption that our drowsy uncle would not notice the peculiar rigidity of his cigarette.

Things sometimes happen so suddenly and in such a way that there is neither time nor breath to take account of them. I only know that during a certain siesta the little stepfather burst out of his room like a bomb, runnung into Mama in the dining room.

"Ah! There you are! Do you know what they've done? I swear that this time they're going to remember!"


"What? You too? That's all I needed! If you don't know how to bring up your children, I'm going to do it!:

On hearing the furious voice of my uncle, I, who was innocently occupied with my sister in scratching lines on the metal rim of the cistern, made a detour through the second door of the dining room and stationed myself behind Mama. The little stepfather saw me then and made a dash at me.

"I didn't do anything!" I cried.

"You just wait!" roared my uncle, chasing me around the table.

"Alfonso! Leave him alone!"

2 Cohete = literally rocket, but I think here a firecracker must be meant.

"I'll leave him to you when I'm done with him!"

"I don't want him to touch me!"

"Come on, Alfonso, You're acting like a child!"

This was the last thing that one ought to say to the little stepfather. He swore and took after me at such a speed that he was on the point of catching me. But at that instant I flew out of the open door like an arrow and took off for the farther parts of the grounds, with my uncle on my heels.

In five seconds we shot like a meteor through the peach-trees, the orange-trees, and the pear-trees, and it was at that moment that the idea of the well and its stone presented itself to my mind with terrible clarity.

"I don't want him to touch me!" I screamed again.

"You just wait!"

At that instant we reached the cane thicket.

"I'm going to throw myself in the well!" I howled, so that Mama would hear me.

"I'm the one who's going to throw you in!"

Abruptly I disappeared from his sight behind the cane; without breaking my stride I gave a shove to our exploratory stone that was still waiting for a rain, and jumped off to one side, burying myself in the dead foliage.

My uncle, without seeing me, arrived in time to hear from the bottom of the well the awful thud of a body smashing.

The little stepfather stopped, completely livid; he turned his dilated eyes this way and that, and approached the well. He tried to look into it but the culantrillos prevented him. Then he seemed to think for a moment, and after a careful look at the well and its surroundings he began to search for me.

Since it was unfortunately not long since Uncle Alfonso himself had stopped hiding in order to avoid bodily encounters with his parents, eh still preserved a very fresh memory of the strategies involved, and he made every possible effort to find me.

He located my den immediately and kept returning to it with admirable intuition, but apart from the fact that the primeval tangle of dead leaves hid me completely, the sound of my body shattering at the bottom of the well had my uncle seriously upset, and, in consequence, he did not search efficiently.

It was, then, settled that I was lying in the well, crushed, which gave rise to what we may call my posthumous revenge. The problem was quite clear: How was my uncle going to explain to Mama that I had killed myself in order to avoid having him hit me?

Ten minutes passed.

Mama's voice suddenly rang from the courtyard. "Alfonso!" "Mercedes?" he answered after an abrupt start.

Certainly Mama sensed something wrong, for her voice was heard again, disturbed.

"And Eduardo? Where is he?" she added, stepping forward.

"Here with me," he answered laughing. "We've made peace."

Since Mama couldn't see from a distance his pallor or the ridiculous grimace that he meant for a beatific smile, all was well.

"You didn't hit him, did you?"

"No. It was only a joke."

Mama went back in. Joke! It was beginning to be my joke on the little stepfather.

Celia, my eldest aunt, who had finished her siesta nap, crossed the courtyard and Alfonso summoned her with a silent gesture. Moments later Celia gave a smothered "oh!" raising her hands to her head.

"But, how? What a horror! Poor, poor Mercedes! What a blow!"

It was necessary to decide on something before informing Mercedes. Might I be brought up alive? ... The well was forty-five feet deep with a solid rock bottom. Maybe, who knows ... But for that, one would have to bring ropes, men; and Mercedes ...

"Poor, poor mother!" my aunt repeated.

It must be said that for me, the little hero, martyr to his corporal dignity, there was not a single tear. Mama monopolized all those effusions of grief, to which they sacrificed the remote possibility of life that I might still have down there. This, wounding my vanity both as a corpse and as a living being, intensified my thirst for vengeance.

Half an hour later Mama asked for me again, and Celia answered her with such poor diplomacy that she was immediately certain there had been a catastrophe.

"Eduardo, my son!" she exclaimed, pulling away from the hands of her sister who was trying to hold her, and rushing out to the grounds.

"Mercedes! I swear nothing's happened! He's gone out!"

"My son! My son! Alfonso!"

Alfonso ran to meet her, stopping her when he saw she was heading for the well. Mama wasn't thinking of anything definite, but when she saw the horrified gesture of her brother she remembered my exclamation of an hour before and shot forth a frightening shriek.

"Ay! My son! He's killed himself! Let me go! Let me go! My son, Alfonso! You've killed him!"

They carried Mama away senseless. I hadn't been moved in the slightest degree by Mama's desperation, since I -- the cause of it

-- was in fact alive and very much alive, merely, at the age of eight, playing with emotion as do the great who use semitragic surprises: the pleasure she will have when she sees me!

Meanwhile, I was experiencing inward delight at the little stepfather's discomfiture.

"Hmm! ... Hit me!" I grumbled, still under the dead leaves. Rising then with caution, I squatted in my den and picked up the famous pipe carefully hidden in the foliage. That was the right time to dedicate myself seriously to smoking the rest of the pipe.

The smoke of that tobacco that had been wetted, dried, and wetted and dried again an infinity of times, had then a taste of cumbari, Coirre solution, and sodium sulfate much more advantageous than the first time. Nevertheless I undertook the task, which I knew to be hard, with brows contracted and teeth clenched on the mouthpiece.

I smoked, I like to think, the fourth pipe. I only remember that at the end the cane thicket turned entirely blue and began to dance before my eyes at a distance of two fingers' breadths. Two or three hammers on each side of my head began demolishing my temples, while my stomach, right up in my mouth, itself breathed directly the last few mouthfuls of smoke.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I came to as they were carrying me in their arms to the house. In spite of how horribly sick I felt I had the wisdom to stay asleep, on account of what might happen. I felt Mama's delirious arms shaking me.

"My darling son! Eduardo, my son! Ah, Alfonso, I'll never forgive you for the grief you've caused me!"

"Oh, come on!" my eldest aunt was saying, "Don't be silly, Mercedes! You can see there's nothing wrong with him!"

"Ah!" replied Mama, putting her hands to her heart with an immense sigh, "Yes, it's alright! ... But tell me, Alfonso, how could he have helped hurting himself? That well! My God!"

The little stepfather, broken down, spoke vaguely of crumbling and soft earth, preferring to leave the true explanation for a calmer moment; while poor Mama took no notice of the horrible stink of tobacco that her little suicide was exhaling.

Finally I opened my eyes, smiled, and went to sleep again, this time genuinely and deeply.

Late in the day, Uncle Alfonso woke me up.

"What do you think I should do to you?" he asked with hissing rancor. "What I'm going to do tomorrow is tell your mother everything and then you'll see what thanks are!"

I was still seeing rather badly, things were dancing a little, and my stomach was still stuck in my throat. Nevertheless I answered:

"If you tell Mama anything I swear this time I really will throw myself in the well!"

The eyes of a young suicide who has heroically smoked his pipe -- do they perchance express a desperate courage?

Possibly so. At any rate the little stepfather, after looking at me fixedly, shrugged his shoulders, drawing the sheet, which had slipped down a little, up to my neck.

"I think I would do better to make friends with this microbe," he murmured.

"I think the same," I answered.

And I went to sleep.


From Ted to Dave, Dec 10, 1983 (T-12)

ENVELOPE Postmark date DEC 10 1983 AM CANYON CREEK, MT 59633 (T12)






LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 ----------------------------------- TOP OF NOTE PAPER READS b.i.d. ENTEX LA Phenylpropanolamine HCI.75 MG Guaifenesin, 400 MG antihistamine-free to decongest and drain-no drying no drowsiness

Dear Dave:

I dug up 2 or 3 of your letters which I had saved because I hadn't got around to making some comments that I mean to make on parts of them.

You mentioned that when you dug your hole you made the sides slope (UI) to reduce the risk of a cave-in. I quote Herodotus, Book Seven, Chapt. 23: (Referring to a great canal commando) to be dug by Xerxes, the Persian)

"I will now describe how the canal was cut. The ground was divided into sections for the men of the various nations............

All the nations except the Phoenicians had their work doubled by the sides falling in, as they naturally would, since they made the cutting the same width at the top (UI) ended to e at the bottom.

But the Phoenicians, in this as in Xerxes' other works, gave a signal example of their skill. They, in the section allotted to them, took out a trench double the width prescribed for the actual finished canal, contacted it as they got further down, until at the bottom their section was the same width as the rest.

I will hereafter apply to you the surname of "The Phoenician".

In describing your feelings about digging the hole, you made a parenthetical remark that, apparently, (UI) to the discarded idea of building a cabin: "on the off-chance I should be successful". I don't have the slightest doubt you could build a good cabin-if you once started the project. That's the only problem. You would be apt to be so pessimistic about the results beforehand, that you would never undertake the project.

You remark that while you like being alone 5 days a week, you would welcome suitable companionship during the other 2. But I wonder if, eventually, after getting accustomed to it, you might not consider total solitude preferable. My own experience was that the longer I lived alone, the better I liked solitude.

I especially liked the following passage from a recent letter of yours: "...the [molimo] ritual demanded something like an attitude of 'pretend' that was aware of itself as such. I think of modern religions as tending to become confused in this area, so that the alternative to the empirical interpretation of reality, in drawing near to the empirical, is only usurped by it, so that the religious ideas are transformed as absurd empirical (UI), while losing their poetic life and suggestiveness".

I like this passage so well that I have copied it in my notebook. So there you stand amongst all kinds of famous writers whome I have quoted from time to time in my notes.


P.S. Merry Christmas

From Ted to Dave, Jan 25, 1984 (T-13)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated JAN 25 1984 (T-13)







Dear Dave -

I didn't mean to (ui) for not building a cabin, but I wasn't trying to advise you to build one either. The point I wanted to make was simply that you ................... (ui).... success in building a cabin.

I don't doubt that you could build a good cabin for ... (ui) might feel was worthwhile - (ui). once got started on the project.

What does .... (ui)... word I haven't ... (ui)...

I appreciate your ...(ui).... to build a cabin; particularly

-the lure of indoor comfort would tend to distance me from appreciation of the (ui). Very true. Of course, around here its (ui) to have cabin anyone ..(ui).. of the winter conditions. I do not feel to keenly the disadvantages of being distance from the appreciation of thirty degrees below zero.

I don't think you need to worry about dying from exposure with no cabin and no car on a bad night, provided you're prepared for it. As you know, I have plenty of experience camping out with miles of rough country between me and any shelter in a climate where snow for ...(ui) can be expected any time, and it's not hard to keep yourself comfortable provided you know what to do and provided you're prepared.

I'll describe the system I use, but I hasten to add that what works well in this country might not work so well under your conditions down there, so you'd have to figure out your own variations and learn by experience.

(DRAWING HERE) Well, this damn drawing is coming out incomprehensible, so I'll just describe it in words.

I cut some light poles and tie them together at the top to make 2 tripods. I run a pole across between the 2 tripods thus: (DRAWING HERE) (or instead of tripods, I tie the ends of the cross-pole to trees, according as the latter are available). Thus I lean three or 5 poles against the crosspole so that they make about a 45 (symbol for degree) angle with the ground. I stretch a cloth (water-repellant) over this framework and ties it in place, and there is my shelter.

About 3 feet in front of this shelter - more or less, according to the size of fire I want to make - I build a good fire. This setup is very cozy, and you can keep warm and dry in almost any weather as long as you have plenty of firewood. I've never known a rain heavy enough to put out a big fire, if you're burning fair-sized logs.

In cold weather, or if wind is a problem, set up a wall of logs or rocks (ui) feel behind the fire this reflects the heat back at you and helps prevent the smoke from being blown into your lean-to.

In any case, you have least trouble with smoke blowing into your lean-to if you can set it so that the wind blows (ui) the front of it. (SEE DRAWING) I learned this system from books and modified the details to suit myself.

Of course, there would be some problems in your area. Around here one camps whose one is sheltered by trees and usually by the hills also. In your place open and flat I assume the wind gets a great deal stronger and you'd have to devise a much sturdier set-up for supporting your lean-to. Poles may not be available anyway. Fire fuel may be scarce and might come in small pieces so that the first might be put out by rain, and anyway you wouldn't be able to sleep for the necessity of ...(ui).......... You might be able to arrange something along these lines. Two points to remember: 1 get a big pile of firewood ready before dark. 2 Don't try to close in the sides of the lean-to, unless with barriers only a couple of feet high, otherwise smoke will probably collect in the lean-to. You need free circulation of air if you don't want to get smoked out.

Other ideas: ...(ui).... get hold of some wood ..(ui).. say a foot high in the bottom of your hole and set up your tent on that.

A 12" rain presumably will put only 12" of water* (*actually more, because of the (ui) sides of the hole) (ui) your hole if you have things set up so that no water drains into the hole from outside. So you can keep dry, which is the main thing.

If there are plenty of rocks available, you could build yourself a small rock hut. If very small and crude, I don't think it would interfere (ui). appreciation of the elements. But it takes a lot of rocks - more than you might think. Also, this suggestion is based on the assumption that your area is not prone to earthquakes. You'll probably prefer not to stick the rocks together with concrete, since that would mean a lot more work. But you'd want to (ui) the rocks together with concrete when you build the chimney, else smoke will come ...(ui)... holes. I think it would be best to (ui) concrete ((ui) cement and sand) in building a chimney, and not master mix - also, don't buy ready-mixed concrete but buy the cement and sand (if you have to buy the latter) separately. I think (ui) use about one part portland cement to about five parts sand and gravel. For a stove you could use any sort of an old steel containers and get a welder to cut suitable holes in it for you, but you might have to do some monkeying around with it before you can get the smoke to all go up the chimney and not out the door of the stove. (SEE DRAWING). Horace Kephart's "Book of Camping and Woodcraft".................... - not

(ui).......................... accepted as gospel truth, and it might be worth your while to get the book. He gives the following diagrams (ui) properly built fireplaces, and say ... (ui)..... shelf shown in the chimney...... (ui)........ is supposed to

......................... (DRAWING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE)

No, one more thing, about your (ui) to having to plan a cabin (ui) don't think too much planning would (ui) needed for a rock but, you could just start piling up rocks and let this thing grow like top.. Even the chimney probably doesn't need much planning because if it won't draw the smoke at (ui) you can just keep monkeying around and ...(ui)... draw - so long as you have plenty of ventilation in there so as to have no carbon monoxide worries.

You ought to do some exploring in Mexico while you still have a car. I bet you would find it very fulfilling; besides, you could write me about your experiences (ui) that I could enjoy (ui) vicariously.

You remark: a habit of urban time-consciousness, which keeps us looking toward the future - toward the week-end, the yearly vacation, and retirement - in order to justify the present, which is not (ui) falsifying

Again your (ui) agree with (ui), which tends to support my (ui) that my experiences with the psychology of wilderness life are not (ui) to myself. Quite true - urban life satisfaction is generally way off in the future, and when we finally gain our object, we seldom get enough satisfaction to justify the long (ui). In the wilderness life; frequently one (ui) now, or at worst, satisfaction is only as far off as the next meal. I suspect all this has something to do with the modern obsession with physical security and longevity. When you're unfulfilled, and fulfillment for the mirage of it - is way off ther in the (ui) future, naturally your afraid of dying before you get it. But when now is good as I have often experienced in the woods - it is surprisingly east to shrug your shoulders at the idea that you might die next year or next month, or even (ui)........................

Some................. (ui)........................... all*

(ui)......... shockingly (ui) life-expectancies, but as far as

I can make out from. (ui)...

I've had about them they just don't worry about is (ui) contrary to what civilized people believe, when you're living from (ui) to mouth is exactly what you DON'T feel (ui) it the future.

I haven't had anything that corresponds to your experience of having people more (ui)

**According to one ...(ui)... 3% of the ...(ui) 60 years old (ui) over ...(ui).......................................... 1970 census, (ui) U.S. population was 86 or over. Not all that (ui) a difference (ui) that solitude makes I guess your more interested in people than I am.

I thoroughly appreciate and sympathized with your feelings about the (ui) of your pond. Needless to say, I've had all too many experiences of the same character myself. Eventually it gets so that one almost has an aversion to going out in the woods for fear one will run into some new horror- another wild place logged off, motorcycle tracks in some solitude that one had previously thought was inaccessible to motorcycle, etc, etc. I imagine you'll probably have more disagreeable experiences in the future with disecration of the wild country. All I can say is that knowing nature at first hand is well worth it, even though under modern circumstances it's likely to end up painfully as you have to watch the country being ruined. Somebody or (ui) once said, "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I don't know that I would apply this to the love of woman (which is what the (ui) refers to), but I would certainly apply it to the love of country. (Obviously I don't mean patriotism, but the love of physical country, i.e. terrain.)

As for that ninny who tries to use you as a substitute for a radio, fortunately I'm better off in that regard. Some of the people around here certainly have their faults, but I'll have to give them credit for this. They (ui) perceptive enough to recognize my preference for solitude, and considerate enough to respect that preference. I've rarely had anyone bother me with a visit unless it was for a good reason.

As for your question - my root cellar currently has something over two feet of earth cover on it, and this seems dequate, especially with the snow as additionally insulation. Temperature inside never seems to get below 35 (degree symbol) - generally it's 36 (degree) or 37 (degree), in winter.

As for your disappointing experience with buffalo gourd, you can expect many such disappointments in using Kirk's book. He seems to interpret the concept of edibility in the broadest possible sense. On the other hand, many wild plants really are good, especially once you get accustomed to them and learn how to use them.

Delighted to hear of your discovery of the spring. By digging it out a little and letting it clear itself, you can ... (ui) ........ but think twice about ...(ui). I've (ui) that (ui) of the (ui) of a potentially dangerous parasite. I don't drink water unboiled unless its coming out of a nice clean hole (ui) a long hillside so that there's no upstream whatsoever.

Glad you liked the present.

(ui) years ago the coldest temperature I ever had at the cabin was about (ui) as below zero though (ui) colder temperatures nearly for instance, one winter when I had 18 or 20 below, Kenny Lee had 3-5 below. I guess my cabin is in somewhat of a warm spot.

But (ui) years as there was one day ((UI) otherwise mild winter) when I had something like 31 (degree symbol) below. I'm told that on that day it was 55 (degree symbol) below at Lincoln. Last winter was very mild, but this winter we had a particularly cold spell in December. One day at dawn I had 24 (degree symbol) below, another day 31 1/2 (degree symbol) below, and another day 33 (degree symbol) below - the coldest ever. They say it got down to nearly 60 (degree symbol) below at Lincoln. For about 8 days the temperature at the cabin never got up to zero, except one afternoon when it got (ui) 5 above, or thereabouts, if my memory serves. Then a few days later it got so warm that most of the snow melted off on a short time.

By the way, as to getting water when you don't have a car, I'd remind you about the possibility of a setup to collect rainwater.

You asked about rabid animals. I'll tell you what I know about them, but bear in mind that this consists of things I've read here and there over a period of many years, and my memory is not perfect, .. (ui).... may not be 100% (ui). (ui) behavior of rabid animals is (ui) and unpredictable. The disease attacks the brain, which apparently accounts for (ui) disorganized behavioral they sometimes to attack (ui) people or animals. (UI) called (ui) furious stage of (ui) predatory animals such as (ui) coyotes/etc. (ui) more likely to exhibit the furious (ui 1/3 of the page) would just run off somewhere else and bite a cactus or something but this is only a guess. Any animal exhibiting behavior that appears distinctly abnormal should be considered possible rabes case instance, a rabid animal may appear abnormally tame. If such an animal is approached is may bite. Again, common symptoms of rabes is partial paralysis, so that for instance a coyote or dog dragging its hind legs should be avoided. I couldn't recommend trying to help any sick animal. It may (ui) just handling it could be risky if you have any recent scratches or anything on your skin. As (ui) I know the biggest rabes (ui) are bats and (ui 1/3 of the page. The disease works its way along the nerves to the brain; the (ui) it has to go, the longer time you have to get the series of shots finished before the infection reaches the brain and symptoms develop - once symptoms develop, you're done for.

On the bright side, if you get bitten by a rabid animal, it doesn't necessarily mean you will get rabes, even if you don't get the shots. Estimates of the risk of getting rabes from an animal bite of a known rabid animal vary from 10% probability of getting the disease to 50% probability of getting it. Apparently the risk varies with species of animal and other conditions. Risk of getting the disease may be reduced by disinfecting the bite. The more extreme and painful method is to cauterize the bite with a (ui) or other hot object. One thing

I (ui) about with this cauterization idea is - in case (ui whole line) to the wound is there a risk of killing the nerve and causing paralysis with the hot iron? Alternative is chemical disinfection.

Recommended for rabes bites is benzalkonium chloride. This is (ui) in pharmacies under the trade-name (ui)... commonly sold is much (ui) what is recommended for rabes bits. So buy Zephiran

Concentrate. This is then to be diluted with water to a 1:100 (i.e., one percent) solution for use on rabes bites. Instructions are (or were, 10 years ago) including in the package. Even if you are going to get the shots, the would should be dis-infected, since the shots don't always prevent the disease. Needless to say, you'd want to get the shots except in the unlikely event. (UI most page) let me know what your plans are for next year and maybe I'll get down there to see you then.

Meanwhile, do me a favor and go down and take a look at Mexico.

I feel confident that you'll find it worth while to (ui first line) about your experiences (ui) write me about hem so I can appreciate them vicariously.

I think that idea you mentioned about renting a room in O (ui) for a while is a very good one. (UI) you'd pick up some Spanish pretty quickly then. By the way, if you want to get back to (UI middle of the page) they already are that way you won't have to (ui) that I'll get mad if you have some accident with the books. Of course, (ui) deterioration (ui) is inevitable anyway - the grammar book is so old that the pages tear easily, and the Quiroga book is poorly (ui) so that the binding is falling apart.

Let me know whether you want me to (UI whole page).

P.S. I forgot to add: don't let any worries about rabid animals spoil your enjoyment of the desert. According to the most recent estimate that I've read, only about one person a year in the U.S. dies of rabes. The chances are that you'll never have an encounter with a rabid animal. There's supposed to be a problem with rabes in bats in Western Montana, and I've never yet seen a bat exhibit abnormal behavior such as might suggest rabes, though its quite common to see bats lying around here as evening draws on.


From Ted to Dave, Sep 17, 1984 (T-17)

Postmark dated SEPT 17 1984 (T-17)

Dear Dave,

1. If and when you ever get started studying Spanish, it would be nice if you would let me know, because once you start studying the language, I will want to stop making translations of stories for you for birthday presents. Presumably you will prefer to read the stories in the original language.

2. As for that question as to when la and una change to el and un before feminine nouns that begin in a or ha: The change occurs when, and only when, the a or ha is accented. Thus, (Spanish) (first syllable stressed) la alumna (second syllable stressed)

I found in a used bookstore a brief but apparently very informative outline of Spanish grammar. Among other things it provided the answer to the foregoing question. When I got home I checked my old grammar book, and the answer was there all along! I should have read that part more carefully. I'll have to take off the top of my head and tighten up a few nuts and bolts up there.

3. With a view to our projected trip to Mexico, which conceivably may actually materialize some day, I checked up on the process of getting a passport. Here is the information in case you want it.

I think this information overlaps with information you sent me a long time ago, but maybe some of it is new to you.

Cost of passport: Passport itself is $35.00, but what with other fees, cost of passport photos, cost of certified birth certificate, total cost probably would be in neighborhood of $50.00.

Waiting time to get passport: They told me about 8 weeks. But I don't know how long you have to wait get a certified copy of your birth certificate, which you need before you can apply for your passport.

Identification needed is driver's licence & certified copy of birth certificate. You can get the latter by writing, or I imagine by visiting, State Department of Public health, 535 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, Illinois 62761.

Photos: You need to get 2 photos. You have to get them from a professional photographer and you have to tell him they are for a passport, because they have to be on a special kind of paper.

Validity period: Passport is valid for 10 years. Where to get passport: Clerk of any Federal or state court of record; some post offices; and there is a Passport Agency in Chicago.

This is the information they gave me in Helena; some items, such as identification they require and length of waiting time, might vary according to location, I suppose. Might be well to get application in advance and look it over, as you need certain abstruse information such as mother's and father's birthplace, etc.

A long time ago you asked me to translate for you "the ghost of the goddess --- I think you wanted to use the Spanish equivalent for the title of a story of something. You were particularly concerned about the gender. I translated the phrase as (rest of sentence in Spanish). My dictionary says (Spanish) takes masculine gender when it means ghost or apparition and feminine when it means "bogey". Seems pretty clear. But what my new book says makes it less clear:

Fantasma, (rest of paragraph in Spanish)

(Fantasma, when it means "bogey or person who resembles an apparition or a spectre', has feminine gender, when it means 'chimerical vision', masculine.)

It's not clear how one would apply this to the case in question --- you can interpret it as you please. In any case, the gender of "fantasma", like that of "persona" (person) would be unaffected by the sex of the person involved.

I recall that you, like me, were impressed by the autobiography of the Nazi was criminal Rudolf Hoss. I recently read two books that constitute the autobiography of another Nazi war criminal -------- Inside the Third Reich, and Spandan, by Albert Speer. Speer was a Nazi of a very different stamp from Rudolf Hoss, and his autobiography is not what you might expect. But I found the books impressive in their own way, and you might like them too. I imagine you would find them in the library at Lombard.

I might add that these books are interesting not primarily as accounts of the 3rd Reich, but as personal documents of the author.

I am enclosing another translation of a Quiroga story for your birthday. Under separate cover I am sending you a book about the Mexicans of Texas which you might find interesting.

You said you've seen 4 different college newspapers without finding any translation ads. I'd be curious to know whether those papers were from small colleges or sizable universities. One would only expect to find such ads in newspapers associated with the larger universities.


P.S. I have just read of a curious religious sect that (UI) enacted in Russia. They reasoned as follows: In order to achieve salvation, repentance is necessary but in order to repent, it is necessary to have sins to repent of. Therefore they made it a point of religion to indulge in sensual orgies in order to assure themselves of having plenty of sins to repent of.

P.P.S. If you can do this without greatly inconveniencing yourself, you might send me my old calculus book, Sherwood and Taylor, Calculus.

This book has a green cover and is on one of the bookshelves in Lombard.




Missoula, Montana 59812

Department of Botany (406) 243-5222

18 July 1984

T.J. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Road

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Mr. Kaczynski:

I can't be of much help to you on the Cucurbita problem since personal knowledge is lacking in regard to C. foetidissima on my part and none of my references consider the edibility of the roots. The following information may be slightly relevant to some questions. Lewis and Lewis in their 1977 Medical Botany indicated that cucurbitacins are known to occur widely in the Cucurbitaceae and most cucurbitacins are known to be purgative. Arthur Cronquist in his 1981 An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants explains that alkaloids are frequently produced in the Cucurbitaceae which contains bitter purgative cucurbitacins.

Repeated boiling through several changes of water may remove some of these materials but the plant would have to be particularly enticing for me to go to such trouble and still run a risk of toxicity. And, of course, individuals vary in their sensitivity to many chemicals.

Sorry I can't give you more definite answers.


Sherman J. Preece

Professor of Botany


For October 3, 1984


Horacio Quiroga

Here is told the story of a tiger who was reared and educated among men, and who was called Juan Darien. He went to school for four years dressed in pants and shirt, and he recited his lessons correctly, though he was a tiger of the jungles; but this was owing to the fact that he was in appearance a human being, as is told in the following lines.

Once upon a time, at the beginning of autumn, the smallpox visited a town in a far-off country and killed many people. Brothers lost their sisters, and little children just learning to walk were left without father or mother. Mothers in turn lost their children, and one poor mother, young and widow, herself carried out her little child, the only one she had in the world, to bury it. When she returned home, she sat and thought of her little one. And she murmured:

"God ought to have had pity on me, and he has taken my child.

There may be angels in heaven, but my child doesn't know them. The person whom he knows best is me. My poor child!"

And she looked off into the distance, for she was seated in back of her house by a gate that gave a view of the jungle.

In the jungle there were many fierce animals that would roar at nightfall and at dawn. And the poor woman, who was still sitting there, spied in the darkness a wobbly little thing that came in through the gate, like a kitten that hardly had the strength to walk. The woman bent down and picked up in her hands a little tiger that was only a few days old, for its eyes were still closed. And when the miserable cub felt the contact of her hands it purred from happiness, for it was no longer alone. For a long time the mother held suspended in the air that little enemy of man, that defenseless little wild beast that she could so easily have exterminated. But she hesitated pensive before the helpless cub that had come from who knows where and whose mother was undoubtedly dead. Without well considering what she was doing she brought the little cub to her breast and wrapped it in her big hands. And the little tiger, feeling the warmth of her bosom, snuggled down, purred peacefully, and went to sleep with its throat at the maternal breast.

The woman, still pensive, went into the house. And for the rest of the night, each time she heard the cub moan with hunger and saw how it sought her breast with its closed eyes, she felt in her wounded heart that, before the supreme law of the Universe, one life was the same as another...

And she gave suck to the little tiger.

The cub was rescued, and the mother had found an immense consolation. Her consolation was so great that she looked forward with terror to the time when the creature would be torn away from her, for if it became known in the town that she was sucking a wild animal they would certainly kill the little beast. What could she do? The cub, gentle and affectionate -- for it would play with her at her breast -- was now her own child.

Circumstances standing thus, a man who passed the woman's house at a run one rainy night heard a harsh moaning -- the hoarse growl with which wild beasts, even when newborn, frighten human beings. The man stopped abruptly and pounded on the door as he groped for his revolver. The mother had heard his footsteps and ran, mad with anguish, to hide the little tiger in the garden. But her good fortune willed that on opening the back door she found herself face to face with a gentle, old, and wise serpent who blocked her path. The unfortunate woman was about to scream in terror when the serpent spoke to her thus:

"Do not be afraid, woman," it said, "Your mother's heart has enabled you to save a life of the Universe, where all lives are of equal value. But men will not understand you and will want to kill your new child. Fear nothing, be at peace. From this moment on, your child will have human shape; they will never recognize him. Form his heart, teach him to be good like you, and he will never know that he is not human. Unless ... unless a human mother denounces him; unless a mother demands that he repay with his blood what you have given for him, your son will always be worthy of you. Be at peace, mother, and hurry, for the man is going to break the door down."

And the mother believed the serpent, for in all the religions of man the serpent knows the mystery of the lives that people the worlds. She ran, then, to open the door and the man, furious, came in with his revolver in his hand and searched everywhere without finding anything. When he left, the mother, trembling, opened the shawl under which she was hiding the little tiger at her breast, and in its place she saw a child sleeping peacefully. Full of happiness, she wept silently for a long time over her wild son turned human; tears of gratitude which twelve years later that same son was to repay with blood over her grave.

Time passed. The new child needed a name; he was named Juan Darien. He needed food, clothing, shoes: he was given all of them, for which purpose the mother worked day and night. She was still quite young and could have married again if she had wanted to; but she was satisfied with the tender love of her son, a love that she returned with all her heart.

Juan Darien was in fact worthy of being loved: more noble, good, and generous than anyone. For his mother, in particular, he had a profound veneration. He never lied. Perhaps because he was at bottom a wild creature? It is possible; for it is not yet known what influence the purity of a soul drunk with the milk at the breast of a holy woman may have on a newborn animal.1

Such was Juan Darien. And he went to school with the boys of his age, who often made fun of him for his rough hair and his shyness.

Juan Darien was not very intelligent, but he made up for this with his great love for study.

Matters standing thus, when the child was about to turn ten years old his mother died. Juan Darien suffered unspeakably until time assuaged his pain. But from then on he was a sorrowful boy whose only desire was to learn.

There is one thing that we must confess: Juan Darien was not liked in the town. The people of towns closed in by the jungle do not care for boys who are too generous and who devote themselves to their studies with all their soul. He was, moreover, the best pupil in the school. And these facts together precipitated the denouement with an event that verified the serpent's prophecy.

The town was preparing to celebrate a great festival and fireworks had been ordered from the distant city. In the school there was a general review of the students, for an inspector was to come and observe the classes. When the inspector arrived, the teacher had the best of them all recite -- Juan Darien. Juan Darien was the most outstanding pupil, but his emotions under the circumstances caused him to stammer; his tongue got tangled and he made a strange sound.

The inspector watched the student carefully for a long while, then spoke in an undertone to the teacher.

"Who is that boy, he asked. "Where does he come from?"

"His name is Juan Darien," answered the teacher. "He was brought up by a woman who is now dead; nobody knows where he came from."

"He is strange, very strange," murmured the inspector, noticing the rough hair of Juan Darien and the greenish reflections in his eyes when he was in shadow.

The inspector knew that there are things in the world stranger than anything that anyone can invent, and he knew at the same time that he would never be able to find out by asking questions of Juan Darien whether the student had once been what the inspector feared; that is, a wild animal. But just as there are men who, in an abnormal state, can remember things that have happened to their grandfathers, so it was possible that, under the influence of hypnotic suggestion, Juan Darien might remember his life as a wild beast. And any children who may read this and not understand what we are talking about can ask grown-ups about it.2

For this reason the inspector stepped up the platform and spoke thusly:

"Very well, children. Now I want one of you to describe the jungle to us. You have been brought up almost in the jungle and know it well. What is the jungle like? What goes on there? that is what I want to know. Let's see ... you," he added, choosing a student at random, "Come up to the platform and tell us about anything that you may have seen."

The boy came up and, though he was nervous, he spoke for a while.

He said that in the forest there are gigantic trees, vines, and little flowers. When he finished, another boy came to the platform, and then another. And though all of them knew the jungle well, they all answered in the same way, for boys and many men report not what they see, but what they have read, even about things that they have just seen. And at last the inspector said:

"Now it is Juan Darien's turn."

Juan Darien said more or less the same things as the others.

But the inspector, putting his hand on the boy's shoulder, exclaimed: "No, no. I want you to remember well what you have seen.

Close your eyes."

Juan Darien closed his eyes.

"Good," continued the inspector. "Tell me what you see in the jungle."

Juan Darien, his eyes still closed, hesitated a moment before answering.

"I see nothing," he said at last.

"You will see soon. Let us imagine that it is three o'clock in the morning, a little before dawn. We have just finished eating, for example ... We are in the jungle, in the darkness ... Before us is a stream ... What do you see?"

Juan Darien was quiet for a moment. And in the class and in the nearby forest it was very quiet also. Suddenly Juan Darien shuddered, and speaking slowly, as if in a dream, he said:

"I see the stones that I pass and the boughs that bend before me ... and the ground ... and I see the dry leaves that are flattened against the stones ..."

"Just a minute," interrupted the inspector. "The stones and the leaves that you pass -- at what height do you see them?"

The inspector asked this because if Juan Darien were in fact

"seeing" what he used to do in the jungle when he was a wild animal and went to drink after having eaten, he would also see that when a tiger or panther, crouching low, approaches the river, the stones that he passes are at eye level. And the inspector repeated:

"At what height do you see the stones?"

And Juan Darien, always with his eyes closed, answered:

"They are on the ground ... my ears brush against them ... and the fallen leaves are moved by my breath ... and I feel the moisture of the mud ..."

Juan Darien's voice broke off.

"Where?" the inspector asked in a firm voice. "Where do you feel the moisture of the water?"

"On my whiskers!" said Juan Darien in a harsh voice, opening his eyes in fright.

Dusk was falling, and through the window the jungle was seen close, already gloomy. The pupils did not understand how terrible was the evocation; but neither did they laugh at those extraordinary whiskers of Juan Darien, who had no whiskers at all. And they did not laugh, because the child's face was pale and anxious.

Class was over. The inspector was not a bad man; but, like all men who live very close to the jungle, he had a blind hatred for tigers; for which reason he said in a low voice to the teacher:

"Juan Darien must be killed. He is a wild beast of the forest, possibly a tiger. We must kill him, for if we do not do so, then sooner or later he will kill all of us. So far his bestial evil has not been aroused; but one day or another it will explode and then he will devour us all, since we let him live with us. We have, then, to kill him. The problem is that we cannot do so as long as he has human form, because we would not be able to prove to the world that he is a tiger. He looks like a man, and with men one must proceed carefully. I know of a lion-tamer in the city. Let us send for him, and he will find some way of making Juan Darien resume his tiger form.

And even if he cannot turn him into a tiger, people will believe us, and we will be able to cast the boy out into the jungle. Let us send for the lion-tamer immediately, before Juan Darien escapes."

But escape was the last thing that Juan Darien was thinking of, for he had no idea of what was going on. How could he have believed that he was not a human being, when he never felt anything but love for everyone and did not even hate noxious animals?

But the words ran from mouth to mouth, and Juan Darien began to feel their effects. People refused to answer him, they hastily got out of his path, and they followed him at a distance by night.

"What is wrong with me? Why do they treat me this way?" wondered Juan Darien.

And now they no longer merely avoided him. The boys would shout at him:

"Get out of here! Go back where you came from! Get out!"

The grown-ups too were no less enraged than the boys. Who knows what would have happened if on the very afternoon of the festival the anxiously-awaited lion-tamer had not arrived at last. Juan Darien was at home preparing the meager soup to which he was accustomed when he heard the shouting of the crowd that was advancing precipitately on his house. He hardly had time to go out and see what was happening: They grabbed him and dragged him to the house where the lion-tamer was.

"Here he is!" they cried, shaking him. "This is the one! He is a tiger! We'll have nothing to do with tigers! Take away his human form and we'll kill him!"

And the boys, his schoolmates whom he most loved, and even old people, were shouting:

"He is a tiger! Juan Darien is going to devour us! Let him die!"

Juan Darien protected and cried because blows were raining on him and he was a child of twelve years. But at that moment the crowd parted, and the lion-tamer, with big patent-leather boots, a red frock-coat, and a whip in his hand, appeared before Juan Darien.

The lion-tamer stared at him fixedly and clenched his fingers hard on the handle of the whip.

"Aha!" he exclaimed, "I recognize you well! You can fool anyone else, but not me! I see you, son of tigers! Under your shirt I can see the stripes of a tiger3! Off with the shirt, and bring the hunting dogs! We'll see now whether the dogs recognize you as a human being or as a tiger!"

In a trice they tore off all of Juan Darien's clothing and threw him into a cage for wild animals.

"Let loose the dogs! Now!" cried the lion-tamer. "And commend yourself to the gods of your jungle, Juan Darien!"

And four ferocious tiger-hunting dogs were let loose in the cage.

The lion-tamer did this because dogs always recognize the scent of the tiger, and [he thought that] as soon as they sniffed Juan Darien without his clothes they would tear him to pieces, for they would be able to see with their hunting-dogs' eyes the stripes of the tiger hidden beneath the human skin.

But the dogs saw nothing in Juan Darien other than the kind boy who loved even noxious animals. And on smelling him they wagged their tails pacifically.

"Devour him! He is a tiger! Sic him! Sic him!" they shouted at the dogs. And the dogs barked and bounded around the cage, maddened, without knowing what to attack.

The test had given no result.

"Very well!" exclaimed the lion-tamer. "These are bastard dogs, of the tiger breed. They do not recognize you. But I recognize you, Juan Darien, and now we are going to have it out with one another.4"

And on saying this he entered the cage and raised his whip.

"Tiger!" he shouted, "You have a man before you, and you are a tiger. I see there, under your stolen human skin, the stripes of a tiger. Show your stripes!"

And he gave Juan Darien a fierce lash across he body. The poor naked child screamed with pain, while the infuriated people repeated:

"Show your tiger's stripes!"

The atrocious torture went on for some time; and I wold not want any of the children who hear me ever to see any living being martyrized in such a way.

"Please! I'm dying!" cried Juan Darien.

"Show your stripes!" they answered.

Finally the torture ended. All that was left was the bloody little body of a child that had been Juan Darien, broken down in a corner at the back of the cage. He was still alive, and he was even able to walk when they took him out, but full of such agony as no one will ever feel.

They took him out of the cage and, pushing him down the middle of the street, drove him out of the town. He kept stumbling at every moment, and behind him came the boys, the women, and the grown men of the town, pushing him.

"Get out of here, Juan Darien! Go back to the jungle, son of a tiger, tiger-heart! Get out, Juan Darien!"

And those who were not close enough to strike him threw stones at him.

At last Juan Darien fell down altogether, stretching out his poor child's hands in search of support. And his cruel destiny would have it that a woman, who was standing at the door of her house holding in her arms an innocent little child, put an evil interpretation on this gesture of supplication.

"He wants to take away my child!" screamed the woman. "He stretched out his hands to kill it! He's a tiger! Let's kill him now before he kills our children!"

So said the woman. And in this way the serpent's prophecy was fulfilled: that Juan Darien would die when a human mother should demand the human heart and human life that another mother had given him at her breast.

No other accusation was necessary to convince the maddened people. And twenty arms were already raising stones to crush Juan Darien when the lion-tamer ordered from behind in his harsh voice:

"Let us mark him with stripes of fire! Let us burn him with the fireworks!"

It was already getting dark, and by the time they arrived at the plaza night had fallen. In the plaza had been erected a castle of fireworks, with wheels, wreaths, and bengal lights. They tied

Juan Darien on top of it in the center, and lit the fuse at one end. The thread of fire ran swiftly up and down and ignited the whole castle. And among the stationary stars and the gigantic wheels of all colors, Juan Darien was seen on top, sacrificed.

"This is your last day as a man, Juan Darien," they all shouted, "Show us your stripes!"

"Pardon, pardon!" screamed Juan Darien, writhing among the sparks and the clouds of smoke. The yellow, red, and green wheels spun dizzily, some to the right and some to the left. The tangent jets of fire traced out great circles; and in the middle, burned by the streams of fire that crossed his body, Juan Darien writhed.

"Show your stripes!" they still roared from below.

"No, pardon! I am human!" the unfortunate creature still had time to cry. And behind a new furrow of fire it could be seen that his body was shaking convulsively, that his groans were acquiring a deep and hoarse tone, and that the form of his body was changing little by little. And the mob, with a savage scream of triumph, at last saw arising beneath the human skin the black, fatal, parallel stripes of the tiger.

The atrocious act of cruelty had been completed; they had achieved what they wanted. In place of the child's innocent of all guilt, there was nothing up there but the body of a tiger roaring in its death-agony.

The bengal lights too were dying out. The last stream of sparks of a burned-out wheel reached the rope that tied the wrists -- no, the paws of the tiger, for Juan Darien was finished -- and the body fell heavily to the ground. The people dragged it to the edge of the forest, leaving it there so that the jackals might eat the corpse and its wild-beast's heart.

But the tiger was not dead. With the cool of the night it regained consciousness, and, dragging itself in terrible torment, it immured itself in the jungle. For a whole month it did not leave its lair in the thickest part of the forest, waiting with the sombre patience of a wild animal for its wounds to heal. All finally scarred over, except one, a deep burn in the side, which did not close and which the tiger covered with great leaves.

For from his recently-lost form he had preserved three things: the memory of the past; his manual dexterity, for he used his paws like hands5" and language. But as for the rest he was absolutely and completely a wild animal, not differing in the slightest degree from other tigers.

When he finally felt himself recovered, he passed word to the other tigers to meet that same night by the great cane-brake that bordered on the cultivated fields. And at nightfall he at last started off for the town. He climbed a tree in the neighborhood and waited for a long time immobile. Without even bothering to glance at them he saw pass beneath him poor women and tire farm-hands of miserable aspect; until at last he saw coming along the road a man in great boots and red frock-coat.

The tiger did not move even a twig in gathering himself for the spring. He threw himself on the lion-tamer; with a blow of his paw he knocked him down unconscious, and picking him up by the belt with his teeth he carried him unharmed to the cane-brake.

There, under the immense canes that rose invisible, were the tigers of the jungle moving in the dark, and their eyes shone like lights that moved from one side to another. The man was still unconscious. The tiger said then:

"Brothers: I lived for twelve years among men, as a man myself.

And I am a tiger. Perhaps with my actions I will be able later to erase that stain. Brothers: this night I will break the last tie that links me with the past."

And having spoken thus he picked up in his mouth the still unconscious man and climbed with him to the highest part of the cane-brake, where he left him tied between two bamboos. Then he set fire to the dry leaves on the ground and quickly a crackling sheet of flame ascended. The tigers drew back frightened from the fire.

But the tiger said: "Peace, brothers!" and they became calm, lying down on their bellies with their paws crossed before them to watch.

The cane-brake was burning like an immense castle of fireworks.

The canes were exploding like bombs, and their jets of hot gasses6 crossed in sharp arrows of color. The flames ascended in silent puffs, leaving beneath them livid hollows; and at the top, not yet reached by the fire, the canes swayed back and forth, crisped7 by the heat.

But the man, touched by the flames, had regained consciousness.

Down below he saw the tigers with their purple eyes raised to him and he understood everything.

"Pardon, pardon me!" he howled, writhing, "I beg pardon for everything!"

No one answered. The man then felt himself abandoned by God and cried with all his soul:

"Pardon, Juan Darien!"

On hearing this, Juan Darien raised his head and said coldly:

"There is no one here named Juan Darien. I don't know any Juan Darien. That is a human name, and we are all tigers here."

And turning to his companions, as if he did not understand, he asked:

"Is anyone here called Juan Darien?"

But the flames had already burned the castle right up to the roof. And among the sharp bengal lights that criss-crossed the firey wall could be seen a black corpse that smoked as it burned.

"Now I am ready, brothers," said the tiger. "But I still have one thing left to do."

And he started off again for the town, followed by the tigers without his taking note of it. He paused by a poor and sad-looking garden, jumped the wall, and passing by many crosses and gravestones stopped before an unadorned patch of ground where the woman whom he had called mother for eight years was buried. He kneeled down -knelt like a man -- and for a time nothing was heard.

"Mother!" the tiger murmured at last with profound tenderness.

"Only you, of all human beings, knew the sacred right to life of all beings in the Universe. You alone understood that the only difference between a man and a tiger is in the heart. And you taught me to love, to understand, to forgive. Mother! I'm sure that you hear me. I'll always be your son, no matter what may happen -- yours alone. Goodbye Mother!"

Straightening up, he saw the purple eyes of his brothers who were watching him from the other side of the wall, and he rejoined them.

At that moment the hot wind brought them from the depths of the night the report of a gun.

"It's in the jungle," said the tiger. "It's the men. They are hunting, killing, slaughtering."

Turning then toward the town lit up by the reflection of the burning forest, he cried:

"Irredeemable race! Now it's my turn!"

And turning again to the grave over which he had just prayed, he tore away the leaves that bandaged his wound and wrote on the cross in his own blood, in great letters, below the name of his mother,



"Now we are in peace," he said. And sending, with his brothers, a roar of challenge at the terrified town, he concluded:

"Now, to the jungle. And tiger forever!"


1. This is a literal translation. If you can make any sense out of it, you are welcome to do so.

2. Was this written originally as a children's story? It's not exactly the kind of thing that would be written for children in North America.

3. The "tigre" of south America is the jaguar, which is not striped but spotted. It therefore is not clear where the story is supposed to be set. But of course it is a fantasy story and therefore cannot be expected to adhere t the rules of logic.

4. Literally, "now we are going to see one another." My translation is only a guess at the real meaning.

5. Literally, "the dexterity of his hands, which he managed like a man." From this and other examples I gather that hispanics in some cases use manos (hands) to refer to the forefeet of an animal.

6. I have permitted myself to embroider here. Where I have "jets of hot gasses" the original has simply "gasses".

7. The verb is crispar. None of the dictionary meanings seemed to fit the context, so I have used the English verb "to crisp", even though the dictionaries do not give this as one of the meanings of crispar.


This story is crude and barbaric -- for instance, little attention is paid to making the events seem plausible -- but it is a very powerful story. Its rough-hewn aspect probably contributes to the effect and may have been partly or wholly intentional. Quiroga was capable of writing polished stories, as shown by the one I sent you last year.

This story also illustrates the extremely varied character of Quiroga's writing. Would you have guessed that the three stories I've sent you were by the same author, if you hadn't been told?

The story is such that one might well imagine that it was intended as some kind of allegory. It would be interesting to know whether there is any evidence that Quiroga meant to incorporate a definite message in the tale.

By the way, Juan Darien is written in Spanish as Juan Darien, so that the accent is on the last syllable.


The following is a prose translation of a sonnet by Francisco de Quevedo y Vilegas (1580-1643), who is considered to have been one of the greatest figures of Spanish literature. Such samples of his writing as I found in the book about him that I read were very difficult to decipher -- some were to me practically incomprehensible. So don't count on the accuracy of the following translation.


Francisco de Quevedo

There was a man attached to a nose.

It wa sa superlative nose.

It was a fierce-looking fellow and a scribe.

It was a well-bearded swordfish.

It was a badly-aimed sun-dial.

It was a pensive still.*

It was an elephant lying on its back.

It was Ovid provided with more nose.

It was the beak of a galley.

It was an Egyptian pyramid.

It was all the twelve tribes of noses.

It was an infinite supernose, a vast quantity of nose, a nose so frightful that on the face of Adam it would have been a crime.

**I.e., apparatus for distilling. No doubt an alembic --> (at this point writer drew a small sketch) is intended.

(Quevedo must have had an acromegalous uncle.)

From Ted to Dave, Oct 3, 1984 (T-18)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated OCT 3 1984 (T-18)

To: Dave Kaczynski

463 North Ridge

Lombard, Illinois 60148

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Road

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Dave,

Thanks very much for taking the trouble to send me the book. To cover the cost of the postage I'm enclosing a dollar, plus a 20 cent postage stamp. This leaves 11 cents beyond the postage, which you may keep as compensation for the trouble you went to in sending the book. Please don't protest -- I realize that 11 cents may seem exhorbitant, but I really want you to have it. I'm enclosing something that I was going to send to Hoken, but which I refrained from sending when I got your letter -- I got it just in time to prevent me from sending it. I assume they would consider this an inopportune time for levity. If you like, you can pass it on to Hoken some time when you think he is again prepared to take a cheerful view of things. (UI)

P.S. You will not fail to notice who is commemorated on the stamp.

I'm enclosing -- a distinguished American whose greatness undoubtedly entitles her to this honor.

Herlitz Inc. - Dallas, TX 75215

College Ruled Filler Paper 200 sheets

11 IN. x 8 1/2 IN. NO. 21200 27.9 cm. x 21.6 cm.

The vulgar mob will of course have missed the significance of the enclosed advertisement; yet to philosophers the arrival on earth of the person depicted here is news of the greatest moment.

"I love all" those who are as heavy drops, falling one by one out of the dark cloud (UI) over men: they herald the advent of lightening, and, as heralds, they perish.

"Behold, I am a herald of the lightening and a heavy drop from the cloud; but this lightening is called Overman."

-- Nietzsche, Zarathustra, Zarathustra's Prologue, 4.



3 for $45.00


"Helena's Levi's Headquarters"

Capital Plaza 442-3805

All New e All Terrain Bicycle ame DiaCompe Cantilever Brakes

ProGlass Aloy Rims ers

$24.95 $334.95 painted chrome ain Bikes starting at $189.95 cycles in town. We take trades on new bikes

Stump's Mon.Sat. 8-5:30 hwinn Cyclery

West Placer 442-5924 ck to school coupon

Off On Labor Charges od Thru August 31, 1984

Must bring in coupon.


43 lbs. lighter and glad of it says: Doris Overman of Clarkston,


Thanks to the Nutri/System Weight Loss Program (Picture) 15 lbs. Free!0

1(Advertisement for Nutri/System) etc.

From Ted to Dave, Nov 26, 1984 (T-19)





STEMPLE PASS ROAD LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 -----------------

Dear Dave:

I've just finished reading the Cartas Finlandesas (letters from Finland) and Hombres del Norte (Man of the North) of the Spanish writer Angel Granivett. Apparently these materials were written in the 1890's or thereabouts.

Hombres del Norte contains some facts about Henrik Ibsen that certainly surprized me. Given your enthusiasm for literature, I thought you might be interested in some of these facts. Of course, it may be, for all I know, that you are already familiar with this information, but anyway, for whatever they may be worth to you, here are some extracts:

"Ibsen is to the theater what Nietzsche is to philosophy; he is an exalted defender of the individual against society, and in this respect the solutions he advocates approach those of anarchism; then, so as not to subject the action of the individual to any restraint, he falls into extreme authoritarianism..............

"What is original in the neoreaction (UI) like Ibsen is that they base themselves neither on tradition nor on privilege, but rather have contempt for these. They base themselves on the rights of the individual, on the absolute right of the individual to struggle against society, and even to destroy it in order to improve it. In order to reform society, the individual must be reformed, and in order that the individual may be reformed it is necessary that he be permitted to fight without any consideration of the harm he may do to those who are less capable of struggling. In a word, 'might is superior to right'...

"Thus it will be understood why Ibsen, a fugitive from Norway, found no better place in Europe to establish himself than in the Rome of the Popes; not because he was in sympathy with the latter, but because Rome was the only city where there was no modern-style liberty.

And when the Italian troops entered Rome, Ibsen made off without delay, and wrote a letter that will seem incomprehensible to those who have seen him as a kind of theoretical anarchist: 'they have taken Rome away from men and turned it over to the politicians. Where can we find refuge now? Rome was the only place in Europe that enjoyed true freedom: freedom from the tyranny of political freedom...' Probably he would think of taking refuge in [Czarist] Russia, for whose autocratic regime he had the greatest enthusiasm.

"The critic Brandes recounts that in a discussion with Ibsen (in which the latter, as usual exalted the system of opression, which he considered to be the cause of the brilliant flowering of Russian literature) he pointed out to him [Ibsen] that in Russia one is even allowed to beat, someone up with impunity. 'You have a son', he said to Ibsen. 'How would you like it if they gave your son a whipping?'

I wouldn't like it at all', answered Ibsen, 'But if he gave them a whipping I would like it just fine'..

"The generous apostles of democracy, who thought they could bring peace to the world by prescribing in laws all of the 'rights of man', would today be tirulatos [word not in dictionary] on seeing that from the womb of justice, equality, and brotherhood there comes a generation of despots, anxious to use all those rights to develop and impose their own personalities even if they have to trample down the weak.

We already have abundant evidence of what results from the aristocracy of money; the aristocracy of intelligence that is now beginning to appear will perhaps be worse, for it pretends to rule in the name of this or that truth. The priest who said 'believe as I believe' is succeeded by the pretentious genius who says 'Think as I think'.

Such a genius or personality is Ibsen

"Ibsen's male characters are, as a general rule, fools whose mission is to emphasize [by contrast] the superiority of women..."

If all this is accurate, then Ibsen must have been a kind of proto-fascist, and, besides that, an asshole.

(Drawing of a figure bending over with arrow pointing to person's backside and the words Henrik Ibsen)

Lately I've been re-reading some of Conrad's novels for about the dozenth time. I must say that I thoroughly approve of your taste in selecting him as your favorite author - he used to be your favorite and I assume he still is. The more one re-reads his books the more one appreciates them. I don't know of any other author who can match him for powers of description. He has a magical ability to conjure up mental images - images that capture the imagination - whether he is describing scenery, or a personality, or a situation, or whatever you please.

However, I notice that the Spanish words and phrases scattered through Nostromo are full of error.

Did you get the dollar + postage stamp that I sent you for the postage on the calculus book that you kindly sent me? I didn't like to send cash, but for such a small sum it wouldn't be worth the cost to get a money order.

Did you play any softball this year? Win any more trophies?

By the way, I guess I have you to thank for introducing me, or re-introducing me, to the writing of Conrad. My first introduction to his work occurred when I was too young, and I didn't like it because it was too slow-moving. I didn't get re-introduced to Conrad until I read some of his books that you had in your apartment there in Great Falls. (Maybe if you'd been living up in Conrad I would have learned to appreciate a writer named Great Falls.)

By the way, you know that object I sketched to illustrate the kind of still that I thought Quevedo had in mind when he referred to a "pensive still" in that sonnet I translated for you, "To a Muse"? Well I labelled it an alembic, but I think it should be called an (UI). I believe I got the words mixed up because (UI) or other I've seen retorts and alembics. mentioned in the same sentence - but I don't know what an alembic is. But anyhow that thing I sketched I'm pretty sure is called a retort.

By the way of a Christmas present, I am sending you a copy of Somerset Maugham's, The Razor's Edge. I got a paperback copy several years ago and have read it about 3 times. Though I don't like any of the characters in the book, nor the author, nevertheless I have a high regard for this novel - which is not so paradoxical as it sounds.

Several months ago I found a hardbound copy of the book, second hand but in excellent condition, for $1.00, and I thought it would make a nice present for you. Hope you haven't read it already. If you have - well tough luck. Can't help that.

Just recently I learned that they are making a movie of the book.

Too bad they are desecrating it that way.

Merry Christmas.


From Ted to Dave, Dec 7, 1984 (T-20)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated DEC 7 1984 (T-20)





-Dear Dave:

By the way, in case you feel uncomfortable about the fact that you ever got around to digging up any university newspapers for me, you needn't do so, because (1) you don't owe me any favors; (2) I realize it might have been a considerable inconvenience for you: (3) I got the addresses of a couple of university newspapers at the library and can handle the matter myself through correspondence.*

I look forward to hearing about your adventures in Mexico, when you get around to having them.

I'm glad you liked the Quiroga story. I found your interpretation of it interesting. On the other hand, I see no particular reason to believe that Quiroga had such an idea in mind when he wrote the story. It seems to me that if one is going to allow any value to that type of literary criticism, then it must be regarded as a kind of parasitic art form, that is, the "interpretation" of a literary work is an art work in itself based on another work of art. The critic puts forth the interpretation because of the appeal of the interpretation itself, and should not flatly assert that the story "means" such and such, or that the author intended to incorporate such and such a message. Of course, there are some cases in which the author's intention is clear or can be fairly well demonstrated.

But more often there are many reasonable interpretations of a story and there is no way of knowing which one, if any, was intended by the author.

Thank you for your compliments on the quality of the translation.

**I must admit though, that I can't help feeling a little cynical about the contrast between the rather emotional offer you made a couple of years ago (So if I can every help you in any way..." etc.) and the performance. You shouldn't make imprud offers! (UI) said you owe me nothing.

I have noticed the tendency to a certain (UI) ambiguity---of tone, of attitude, of meaning, or something--in Conrad's writing and also in a lot of other great literature, but I have not noticed that this is a prominent feature of Quiroga's writing. So in answer to your question, no, I haven't been aware of any similarity between Conrad and Quiroga.

In answer to your other questions---no, no interesting experiences. Harvest not as good as last year, but sufficient so that I am satisfied with it. As for interesting books, I've already mentioned in previous letters the 2 books by the ex-nazi Albert Speer (which I think would interest you) and the book by Angel Granivet from which I extracts some remarks on (UI).

More recently I've read an old (1887) book by Henry M. ("Doctor Livingstone I presume") Stanley How I Found Livingstone, which I came across in the little local library here in Lincoln.

Here are some extracts:

Stanley felt it necessary to conceal the fact that the object of his expedition was to find Livingstone, because he was afraid that Livingstone did not want to be found and would absent himself if he heard of such an expedition:

P.15. "What kind of a man is he (Livingstone) to get along with Doctor?" I asked, feeling now quite interested in his conversation.

"Well, I think he is a very difficult man to deal with generally. Personally, I have never had a quarrel with him, but I have seen him in hot water with fellows so often, and that is principally the reason, I think he hates to have anyone with him.

"I am told he is a very modest man; is he?" I ask "Oh, he knows the value of his own discoveries; no man better. He is not quite an angel," said he, with a laugh.

"Well now, supposing I met him in my travels-I might possibly stumble across him if he travels anywhere in the direction I am going--how would he conduct himself towards me?"

"To tell you the truth", said he, "I do not think he would like it very well. I know if Burton, or Grant, or Baker, or any of those fellows were going after him, and he heard of their coming, Livingstone would put a hundred miles of swamp in a very short time between himself and them. I do, upon my word I do.

P.430. It was reported, before I proceeded to Central Africa, that he [Livingstone] was married to an African princess.

Livingstone's personality seems to have made a deep and powerful impression on Stanley.

P.428. My feelings for him [Livingstone] are those of unqualified admiration.

P.622. March 13 . --The last day of my stay with Livingstone has come and gone and the last night we shall be together is present, and I cannot evade the morrow! I feel as though I would rebel against the fate which drives me away from him... How many times have I not suffered the pang of parting with friends! I wished to linger longer, but the inevitable would come--fate (UI) us. This is the same regretful feeling, only it is more poignant, and the farewell may be for ever. FOREVER? And "FOREVER" echo the reverberations of a woeful whisper.

That kind of emotive writing is by no means characteristic of the rest of the book.

There is a good deal in the book about slave-raiding by the Arabs, and about the wars and raids of the native Africans. Stanley makes mention somewhere--though I can't locate the passage just now--of seeing human skulls set up on posts as trophies.

Finally, note this passage:

Pages 620-621: Tonight the natives have gathered themselves together to give me a farewell dance in front of my house. I find them to be the pagazis [carriers] of Singiri, chief of Mtesa's caravan.

My men joined in, and, captivated by the music despite myself, I also struck in, and performed the "light fantastic" to the intense admiration of my braves, who were delighted to see their master unbend a little from his usual stiffness.

It is a wild dance altogether. The music is lively, and evoked from the sonorous sound of four drums, which are arranged before the bodies of four men, who stand in the center of the weird circle. Bombay, as ever comical, never so much at home as when in the dance of the Mrima, has my water-bucket on his head; Chowpereh--the sturdy, the nimble, sure-footed Chowpereh--has an axe in his hand, and wears a goatskin on his head; Baraka has my bearskin, and handles a spear;

Mabruki, the "Bull-headed", has entered into the spirit of the thing, and steps up and down like a solemn elephant; Vlimengo has a gun, and is a fierce drawcansir, and you would imagine he was about to do battle to a hundred thousand, so ferocious is he in appearance; Khamiri and Kamna are before the drummers, back to back, kicking up ambitiously at the stars; Asmani,--the embodiment of giant strength,--a towering titan,--has also a gun, with which he is dealing blows in the air, as if he were Thor, slaying myriads with his hammer.

The scruples and passions of all--all are in abeyance; we are contending demons under the heavenly light of the stars, enacting only the part of a weird drama, quickened into action and movement by the appalling energy and thunder of the drums.

Now, does all this remind you of something? Of a certain masterly short novel, perhaps? By Joseph Conrad? Such as Heart of Darkness? Compare the reputed African bride of Livingstone with Kurtz's "girlfirend"--the African one, not the European, of course.

Note how Kurtz's personality inspired vast admiration in certain people, especially the young Russian, whom Conrad describes as figuratively "crawling" before Kurtz, and compare Stanley's adulation of Livingstone--on p.431 he goes so far as to say that it is impossible to find any fault in Dr. Livingstone's character.

Compare the wild dance described above with this passage from Heart of Darkness:

"As we struggled round a bend, there would be a glimpse of rush walls, of peaked grass roofs, a burst of yells, a whirl of black limbs, a mass of hands clapping, of feet stamping, of bodies swaying .........

The prehistoric man was cursing us, praying to us, welcoming us---who could tell?...

"Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you--you so remote from the night of first ages---could comprehend..........

Who's that grunting? You wonder I didn't go ashore for a howl and a dance?..."

Stanley took some donkeys along on his expedition; these were often ridden by the whites. But the donkeys all died along the way. The Eldornio Exploring Expedition mentioned in Heart of Darkness took along donkeys, ridden by the whites. Later, word came that all the donkeys had died.

There is a lot of talk in Stanley's book about bringing the supposed advantages of learning and civilization to Africa. Kurtz had aspired to bring "light" (i.e. civilization) to the wilderness.

Recall how the young Russian shows Marlow his dilapidated shoes and asks him if he can spare a pair. Stanley complains of how he and Livingstone had to stumble along in dilapidated shoes.

Somewhere in his book, Stanley mentions seeing human skulls set up on posts as trophies; compare the heads set up on posts in front of Kurtz's house.

Stanley mentions shooting at hippopotami with a rifle, without the bullet's having any apparent effect. This he did as a casual pastime. In Heart of Darkness the pilgrims empty their rifles ineffectively at a hippopotamus for sport.

Kurtz is represented as having established relations with "a lake tribe". Livingstone was exploring in a region of lakes.

Now, many of these comparisons are too general to have much weight. For instance, dilapidated shoes are only to be expected after a long sojourn in the wilderness, and other expeditions besides Stanley's may have taken donkeys that died.

Still, it is plausible to conjecture that Conrad may have been led by the case of Dr. Livingstone to imagine a man of character, intelligence, and impressive personality captivated by the spell of the wilderness so that he throws off the shackles of civilization.

I should explain at this point that Stanley found the rumors about Livingstone to be false: he had no African wife; rather than being difficult to get along with, he was, according to Stanley, a very mild-mannered and gentle-man; and far from running away at Stanley's approach he was very glad to be found, especially since he was in serious difficulties at the time so that Stanley's arrival represented to some extent a rescue.

This, however, is beside the point, since there is no suggestion here that Conrad meant to portray Livingstone. The false rumors reported by Stanley could serve as an inspiration or source of ideas for Conrad just as well as if they were true.

You may recall a book from the Lombard library that we read: The Sea Years of Joseph Conrad, by Jerry Allen. This Miss Allen maintained that the case of a certain Major Barttelot was the inspiration for Heart of Darkness. I find her theory dubious. Barttelot as far as I can remember, was merely brutal; he was not a man like Kurtz of character, ideas and ambition, captured by the spell of the wilderness. But the Barttelot case might possibly have suggested the Fresleven incident in Heart of Darkness. Barttelot was kicking a negro's wife when the latter, driven to desperation, dared to shoot him with a musket. Fresleven--Marlow's predecessor as captain of the steamboat--was beating an old negro when one of the villagers in desperation made a tentative jab at him (Fresleven) with a spear and found that it went in quite easily.

Of course, Conrad doubtless got ideas for Heart of Darkness from many sources; first and foremost, I suppose, his own imagination. But if one were going to name anything as the "inspiration" for the tale, I would say that Stanley's book is a more plausible candidate than the Barttelot case.

Moreover, I can give a piece of evidence that Conrad did ready Stanley's account.

From pp.331 to 335 of Stanley's book. Stanley enters a locality that he calls Manyara. To the chief or sultan, and his accompanying subchief, Stanley shows them first his firearms, then his medicine chest. From the latter he give them, first, a sample of medicinal brandy. Then (pp.334-335): "I next produced a bottle of concentrated ammonia, which as I explained was for snake bites, and head-aches; the Sultan immediately complained that he had a head-ache, and must have a little. Telling him to close his eyes, I suddenly uncorked the bottle, and presented it to his majesty's nose. The effect was magical, for he fell back as if shot, and such contortions as his features underwent are undescribable. His chiefs roared with laughter, and clapped their hands, pinched each other, snapped their fingers, and committed many other ludicrous things ... Finally the sultan recovered himself, great tears rolling down his checks, and his features quivering with laughter, then he slowly uttered the word 'Kali',--hot, strong, quack, or ardent medicine. He required no more, but the other chiefs pushed forward to get one wee whiff, which they no sooner had than all went into paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter."

This is the only place I have ever read of primitives getting a kick out of sniffing ammonia.

Compare Conrad, An Outpost of Progress: "Gobila was the chief of the neighboring villages...These [white men] were his brothers, and he transferred his absurd affection to them. They returned it in a way. Carlier slapped him on the back, and recklessly struck off matches for his amusement. Kayeris was always ready to let him have a sniff at the ammonia bottle."

Of course, this is not conclusive proof that Conrad read Stanley's account--he could have heard of savages sniffing ammonia somewhere else--but I would call it strongly suggestive, anyway.


From Ted to Dave, Feb 19, 1985 (T-21)

To: Dave Kaczynski

Terlingua Route, Box 220

Alpine, Texas 79830

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Road

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Dave,

Well I can't come to see you after all. I am extremely sorry to inconvenience you with all these changes of plans. All I can say is that these changes of mind are not (UI) and arbitrary -- they are due to changes of circumstance. There is more this than you realize. The (UI) cause of this latest change of plans is that those jag offs changed their minds about when they are going to do that logging. We had a lot of snow recently and it seems they're too sissy to work in the snow. So they're going to log when the snow goes down, whenever that may be. I had timed my trip to coincide with the logging. Now,

I have some things that I have to get done. I don't know how much noise they will be making for how long, but if, as I fear, it's going to be several weeks of roaring and grinding machinery, it will be unendurable -- especially in view of what that noise signifies -and I will have to go away somewhere. So that means I will have to get as much as possible done now, while I have the chance. Once again, I'm extremely sorry about all this. I hope this letter gets to you in time so that you don't make an unnecessary trip to Alpine -- but I'm afraid it will probably arrive too late. All I can do is offer you my humble apology, for whatever that's worth.

Since you apparently have advanced considerably with Spanish, I was going to bring you a book in that language. Since I can't come, I am mailing you the book. Hope it gets there before you go back to Lombard. If not, you might file a card at the post office to have your mail forwarded.

P.S. I decided to mail the book to Lombard instead. I assume you'll be going back there soon.


(Paragraph written in Spanish)

This is the note I was going to put in the book when I gave it to you.

P.S. Actually I almost decided to come in spite of the objection mentioned, but when I went and found out the fares and schedules it proved actually impossible to get there even in time for the alternate date. When I checked a few months ago, the round trip fare was about $200.00 and the trip would have taken if I remember right, a little more than 48 hours. No, wait, maybe I could have just made it by the alternate date, but it wouldn't be worth it. For one thing, the fare would have been $273.00 round trip, a much bigger increase than I expected. For another, I would have had to spend close to four straight days on the bus. I read in the paper some while back that Greyhound was rearranging its service to cater more to short haul rather than long haul travel, and I guess this must have led to schedule changes that made the trip so much longer. Really very sorry.


From Ted to Dave, Apr ?? 1985 (T-22)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated APRIL ?? 1985 (T-22)








(UI) sheet you'll find a cartoon that is certainly not one of my best, but I'm sending it to you anyway because I find the idea amusing even though the drawing is poor. Not having a photo of Hitler to work from, I couldn't get his face right--and, that being poor, I didn't consider it worthwhile to try to do a good job on the rest of the drawing.

As to the identity of the 2 goose-stepping figures in the background: Goering was quite obese, and Goebbels was a skinny little runt who had to wear a special shoe because one leg was shorter than the other. So you can tell who is who. Dear Dave:

Something I've been meaning to say for some time but I'm only just now getting around to it.

Maybe you wonder why I've never asked to read any of your stories or other writings. What I want to say here is that it isn't just a matter of disdainful mess. The reasons why I've never asked to read your stuff are, for one thing, the fact that our tastes and attitudes differ considerably reduces the likelihood that I would like your stuff, and increases the likelihood that I would find it irritating. Furthermore if it turned out that I didn't like it or considered it to be poor writing, I would be faced with 3 choices: either to praise it dishonestly (which I don't like to do), or to criticize it more or less freely, which would mean saying things that you might find pretty cutting, or to say nothing at all about it, which tends to imply a negative judgement.

If you ever wanted to send me any of your stuff, I'd read it, with the understanding that if I said anything at all about it I would give an honest opinion and wouldn't pull any punches in criticizing it if and when I felt criticism was called for. So, you can show me some of your stuff some time, if you want to, or not if you don't want to--it's up to you. The point I wanted to make is that the fact that I've never asked to read any of your stuff isn't just the result of disdainfulness.

I think it was a couple of years ago that you said you were practically certain that I could get a job with the bus company where you work if I wanted to. Does this still hold true? If so, it's possible I might want to take advantage of that some time in the next year or two--but it would have to be with the understanding that the job is temporary--for just a few months. Would it be equally easy to get jobs there at all times of year, and if not, what are the seasons of greatest demand? How long in advance would I have to make arrangements to get the job?

I notice an interesting phenomenon: When I read English and

(North) American literature, I find that more often than not, I dislike the author's personality (insofar as his personality manifests itself in his writing) even though I may appreciate his work. On the other hand I find that I generally like the personalities of the Spanish-American writers that I've read (insofar as their personalities are manifested in their work). Of course, my exposure to Spanish-American literature is still limited, so it may be to early to generalize.

By the way, if you're still interested in learning Spanish, I could resume including Spanish passages in my letters for you to decipher. The mistake I made when I did that before was to: (1) make the passages too long, and (2) to make them an integral part of my letters. Thus I found discouraging when you apparently (and understandably took a long time to get around to deciphering the passages. I put a lot of work into writing those passages and also they contained material that I was anxious to communicate, and for both of those reasons it discouraged me to think that the passages might not get read from some time, or perhaps never. But now it occurs to me that I could make the passages quite brief (so it wouldn't (UI) for you to translate (UI) in them anything. I was (UI) to communicate (so that it wouldn't matter much if you never read them). Also, I can write (UI) much more facility now, so that I (UI) feel I've wasted a lot of effort if you never (UI) around to translating the passages.

So let me know if you'd be interested in having me include such passages. If you're not interested, just say so. I try to make the passages humorous or otherwise entertaining.


April 1: Nature's little April-fool's joke: This morning about one or one-thirty A.M. I was awakened by a minor earth-quake. I've felt earth-quakes here once or twice before, but this was about the most marked that I've experienced. Still, it didn't amount to much---it just felt as if the cabin was being gently shaken for maybe 5 seconds or so.

Some time ago I read a novel by Willa Cather. There was a photograph of Miss Cather on the dust jacket, and since her face was an unusual one I looked at it repeatedly and remember it. Well, just now I'm reading an old (1940) book about (UI).

**The English is "electric-char---just what it is I don't know.

(UI) some photos of old (UI) in it. There's this one (UI)---her photo is labeled "Wetatonmi, wife of Ollokot--and she is a dead ringer for Willa Cather.

Just received your latest letter.

A further remark on the pygmies' ruthlessness toward animals: What they worship is the (UI) and the (UI) life is provided not the (UI) animals is part of the way of life (UI) no contradiction between worshipping the (UI) life and being ruthless toward the animals. Though, as I mentioned before, I personally am inclined to be sympathetic toward the animals.

In response to your remarks (UI): 1. You seem to assume (here and elsewhere) that to describe and understand something analytically an compatible with appreciating it in emotional or (as you would probably prefer to put it) poetic terms. However, these things are by no means incompatible. Even though you personally seem to be "turned off" by analytic descriptions of things that have emotional significance for you.

2. You wrote: "Shouldn't we commence our effort to understand by appealing to their self-interpretation...are we really going to permit ourselves to learn from them something about the divine and the beautiful, or merely force them to play an indiscriminate role in the same old drama of practical economy? Isn't it a typical western arrogance to insimate explanations that would have been utterly foreign to their frame of consciousness?"

I would agree that the kind of explanation you would be prone to give (UI) I assume would be at least, this is what I gather from Turnbull's book.

(UI) poetry, the divine and (UI). (UI) be at least as foreign to them (UI) of consciousness" as my more prosaic remarks. Primitives just don't speak (or presumably think) in terms of "art", "beauty", "poetry" in the sense that we understand these terms. Most cultures do not have a concept of "art" in our sense of the word. They may experience something that we would classify as "art", but no such classification exist in their minds--or at least they have no words or phrases to describe such classification. Pygmies live and celebrate their forest life, but apparently they don't much discuss it or study it. When asked by anthropologists about what we would call their "artistic" activities, or about their emotional life, primitives seem to give simple and elementary answers--(UI) even. This doesn't mean that they don't experience things deeply, but it does seem to mean that they don't much talk about or study their feelings or their art, etc.

So it would seem that if we are going to discuss the emotional life of primitives we have (UI) choices we can restrict ourselves to the limited vocabulary and concepts of the primitives themselves, in which case our discussion won't get very far, or we can introduce language and ideas that are "foreign to their frame of consciousness".

And the artistic and philosophic notions---products of civilized and especially western culture--I feel sure are at least as foreign to pygmy thinking as are my remarks. I can support this contention by (to borrow your phrase) "appealing to their self-interpretation".

I quote Turnbull, Chapter 5 (pp. 101-102 in my edition). "When I talked to the pygmies about their treatment of animals, they laughed at me and said, 'The forest has given us animals for food---should we refuse this gift and starve?' Doesn't this sound more like my explanation than the kind of thing (UI) which really (UI) to their frame of consciousness? (UI) considers only a single aspect of the matter--the practical one. Whether they have ever thought much about other aspects of the matter is (UI).

Perhaps you assumed that my remarks were referring only to the practical necessity of eating. If so, then you missed something that I was trying to get across--probably (UI) I did an inadequate job of explaining it. At the time I wrote that stuff I was by no means satisfied that I had successfully conveyed what I meant to convey.

I was trying to express a kind of (UI) of sense of the pygmies. (UI) of equality with animals (UI) them are superior and uncomprehending outsiders. Well, I'm not going to try to express it now---skip it for the present.

Of course, it's true that I was trying to express an attitude toward pygmy culture as seen from the outside. It would by very difficult to discuss pygmy culture from the pygmies' point of view.

How can we pretend to understand the pygmies well enough to discuss anything from their point of view? Especially since we've only read a book about them and haven't known them personally.

3. You seem to sneer at mere "practical economy." But later you remark that non-technologic peoples seem to live in a world where "the practices and esthetics essentials were unified." This is a very important observation. There is a tendency for intellectuals to sneer at "mere practical matters" because we live in a world where "practical economy" has become a mechanized tyrant. But practical activities in a primitive context are something quite different. They form an important--and I would even argue an essential--part of a fully fulfilling wilderness life. Your exposure to this aspect of it as yet has been very limited, I gather. Yet didn't you remark on the satisfaction you got from building your dugout shelter?-->certainly a practical activity. And that's only a bare beginning.

By the way, I have a paperback copy of "The Forest People". would you like to have it? I'll give it to you if you want it.

I enjoyed reading about your long hike. No, you're not getting too old for that sort of thing--far from it. Trouble with getting old is (1) that if you once let yourself get out of shape for an extended period its much harder to get back into shape, and (2) that when your older you're more likely to have acquired some specific ailment, such as arthritis, say, or a bad heart that would bar you from physically demanding stuff. of course, someone over 40 isn't going to have the fine edge needed for high-level competitive athletics, but if you get enough exercise so that you don't get soft, and don't have the ill-luck to pick up an ailment or injury, it will be a long time before age will bar you from rugged hikes.

If you were hiking cross-country rather than following a well-beaten trail, 60 miles in three days is a good hike, since you presumably ere carrying a load on your back. When carrying a pack I rarely have covered as much as twenty miles in a day--in fact, off-hand I can think of only one instance when I did so, and that was with a light pack. Of course it's tougher in this steep mountain country where you're constantly climbing steep slopes.

(UI) will appreciate your reaction to the rattlesnake and your sense of its dignity. I also have had experiences with animals that have impressed me with their personalities--in some cases I've had a strong sense of their dignity. I agree with your reluctance to sentimentalize animals. I don't think we necessarily sentimentalize or anthropomorphize when we apply terms like "dignity" to an animal.

When we say an animal has "dignity" (or some other trait of "personality" as we may call it) we are expressing our reaction to certain (UI) at that animal--we are not (or shouldn't be, anyway) assuming that the animal has the same feelings or intentions as a human being (UI) shows dignity. Also: you know that in my opinion, when one says that another being (human or animal has "consciousness", the statement is inverifiable and therefore I see no way of assigning an objective meaning to it. Hence, when one ascribes consciousness to another being this is merely an expression of ones attitude toward that being. (NOTES ON SIDE OF PAGE) Like you, I take the attitude that animals have consciousness. Moreover, I see no reason to take the attitude that their consciousness is any less intense than ours.*

I do see reason to consider their consciousness as far less complex than ours, obviously they are much less intelligent and their behavior patterns are much simpler than ours. but that needn't prevent us from respecting and appreciating them, or from experiencing a certain measure of identification with their simpler consciousness.

As for your finding the campground all fucked up--all I can say is that I sympathize. I've had analog experiences all too often.

I'd be interested to see your spear--point some time.

**People who claim "lower" animals have only "dull" feelings are just trying to rationalize their ruthlessness toward them--swatting or poisoning flies and that kind of stuff.

(UI) agree that appreciation of nature should be encouraged by public institutions. IF anyone comes to appreciate nature because he is taught to appreciate it, then, as far as I am concerned, his appreciation has no value. And can you imagine what kind of nature appreciation could be encouraged by public institutions? TV commercials and high school textbooks telling people how to look at the clouds, etc

Of course, you may have meant something else when you said appreciation of nature should be encouraged by public institutions.

I'm sorry to hear about Joel. I only met him once, but he seemed like a nice fellow. I wonder whether the head injury is really responsible for his problems, or whether he got a bad gene from his mother?

You want to take me to Mexico with you? OK, how about this fall or winter? I haven't decided definitely yet whether I'll go with you at that time, but I'll try--to make a decision within a month or so--then I'll let you know. You understand--I can't possibly afford the trip, but I may come in spite of that. I suppose I can always eat older buds and thistle roots if it came to that.

Let me know what times of year are most convenient for you, how long you want to make the trip, etc. etc.--all details insofar as you have any details in mind--and by the time it's time for me to answer your next letter I hope to have decided whether to live beyond my means by coming down there.


P.S. You would have to promise not to talk about art, philosophy, esthetics, or any of that crap while I'm down there. You probably don't appreciate the effort of will that I have to make in order to refrain from giving offensive replies to some of your bullshit. When answering a letter I have time to cool down before writing my reply, but with oral communication there's no cooling-down time, so we probably would get along if you started talking about your favorite themes.


P.S. You said you had "other irons in the fire." Just out of curiosity, what are they? If you feel this question to be an intrusion on your privacy, just ignore it.

I don't know, it's doubtful that I can make the trip. Can't afford it--cause it's bound to end up costing me more than just the $200 bus fare. Food on the way and so forth.

By the way, you may have misunderstood about the kind of translation work I hoped to get by advertising. This would not be stuff for publication, but like for instance if somebody is writing a thesis on history or something and needs material for a foreign language source he may want such and such chapters of such and such a book translated; or if somebody wants to write to somebody in a foreign country or something. I once saw one of these translators in action. I went to see this mathematics professor when I was a U. of Michigan. He has some woman there that (UI) at (UI) and a typewriter and he was (UI) dictating to her in English a letter that he was writing to a French mathematics and she was typing the equivalent in French. If she was putting it in (UI) French she must have had a lot of skill and experience. When translating to or from Spanish I have to do a lot of thinking if I don't want it to come out awkward.

From Ted to Dave, May 30, 1985 (T-23)

ENVELOPE - Postmark date MAY 30 AM 1985 CANYON CREEK, MT 59639 (T-23)





Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639 -----------------------------------

Dear Dave:

I talked to the local doctor here about what immunizations are recommended for a trip to Mexico. He says it is "his" understanding that "no immunizations are recommended for Mexico beyond the ones most North Americans have already as a matter of routine. He said the stuff you have to worry about in Mexico is stuff you can't be immunized against, namely, various intestinal infestations. There's Montezuma's Revenge, of course, but he says the main thing you have to worry about as being "really" dangerous is amoebic dysentery. Not only is amoebic dysentery difficult to get rid of in the guts; he says you run the risk of "amoebic cysts" (whatever those are) in the liver or the brain, which I take it, is a very serious matter.

He says the diseases you have to worry about catching in Mexico (apart from the U.S.) is "almost exclusively" stuff that is transmitted in food or water. So you should use exclusively bottled water, or else boil your own water in Mexico.

So, if you don't mind, we won't eat in any restaurants in Mexico, but will cook our own food. Is this OK with you? I'm not particularly anxious to have any amoebic cysts in my liver.

I hope we won't run into any situations where we have to offend Mexicans by declining to eat Mexican food. When I talked to Nerpel a few years ago, he told me he and his wife had hitch-hiked all the way down to El Salvador. (This was before the war there of course.)

He said that on the first occasion when he and his wife ate in a Mexican cafe, they were sitting there debating whether to eat the stuff; and apparently were not sufficiently tactful to adequately conceal their doubts, because a big Mexican about 6 feet tall came up to them and said in excellent English: "This is Mexican food. It is good food. Eat it!" (With an implied or else.) They ate it and according to Nerpel it was good food. He said he never had any trouble with Montezuma's revenge, but that Karen had constant trouble with it all the way.

If we run into a situation where we can't avoid revealing to Mexicans our doubts about the food or water, possibly I can avoid offense by telling them that I am reluctant to drink from the public water supply also in the cities near where I live in the U.S. Actually this is quite true. Some of the towns around here have been having trouble with a microorganism called "giandia (UI) getting into the water supply. This organism, and it has a very nasty effect on the gut (UI). Some woman tried to sue the city of (UI) because she got sick with this stuff (UI) drinking Missoula tap-water but I (UI) know what the outcome of it was.

This doctor, by the way, told (UI) interesting things about immunizations (UI) enthusiasms for immunizations (UI) of disagreeable side-effects from some of these things. I'd told him I was due for a tetanus shot because I hadn't had one for 7 years. He said public health depts. now recommend them only once every 10 years and he also gave it as his opinion that public health depts. recommend too many rather than too few immunizations. Apparently he would recommend tetanus shots less often than once every ten years, and in fact he went so far as to say that "nobody needs a tetanus shot" because the disease can now be effectively controlled. He says there have been cases of very severe allergic reactions to tetanus shots, and furthermore he says that because the shots were given too often there have been cases where a person's entire deltoid muscle has died from tetanus injections. He says he's seen this twice in his own practice.

I asked him about polio immunizations, and he says the Sabin oral vaccine (I think this is the one we had, no?) is now recommended once every ten years for public health depts., but he doesn't recommend it. He says he wouldn't take the stuff himself. He says it's an "attenuated live virus" vaccine, and occasionally they fuck up and don't attenuate it quite enough and somebody gets polio from it. Also, he said that anyone immunized with this stuff thereafter "sheds" polio virus for 3 months and so can give the "disease" to other people.

If you ever take that stuff, be sure to tell me, so I can keep away from you for 3 months. He says that of course if there were polio going around, then he would take the vaccine, since in that case the risk from the vaccine would be less than that from catching the disease elsewhere; but he says he wouldn't take the vaccine because polio is very rare now in the greater part of the world. He claims that what little polio there is, is mostly caused by this live-virus vaccine! I should have asked him why they don't go back to the old Salk vaccine (which is made with dead virus and therefore safe) if the oral vaccine is risky; but it didn't occur to me at the time.

But I must add that this doctor seemed to be a little confused about this stuff. He at first said that the first vaccine, the one injected with a needle, was the "Sabin" vaccine. Later when I mentioned the Salk vaccine he corrected himself and said that was the injected vaccine. He also said the first oral polio vaccine came out in 1974, but that is not true, because I remember quite distinctly when we had that oral vaccine. I was 21 years old at the time, which means the year was 1963.

This doesn't necessarily mean the guy is a quack--I don't suppose a doctor can be expected to remember the detailed history of every medicine--but it does mean that he did have a lapse of memory. Thus it's possible he may have also had lapses of memory connected with some of the other information he gave me.

So I think it would be highly advisable to get a second opinion of this stuff about (UI) immunizations for Mexico. If you (UI) consult a doctor about it, I (UI) Langreder if I were you. I (UI) good doctor or that he even has confidence in his own medical ability. I'll bet he would just parrot whatever is the public health departments standard line on the subject. Whoever you consult, you might also ask him about this polio vaccine business, and try to perceive whether he is just parroting the standard official line because it is the "safe" thing to say, or whether he is giving a reasoned opinion.

1I have translated "vulgar" and "vulgarity" as "grossero" and "grosena"; but I think these Spanish terms are less specific than our "vulgar", "vulgarity", so I'll state here that obscene language is meant. Perhaps I should have used "obseno", "obscenidad".

2,3 I have translated "barnyard" and "gutter" as "porqueriza" and "cuneta" respectively, but I don't know if these words have in Spanish the same figurative meanings as "barnyard and "gutter". But I trust you get the idea.

Trozo espanol: Lo siguiente se saca de A History of the German

Language, de John T. Waterman, University of Washington Press, 1960, pags. 135-136.

"Paragraph written in Spanish"


From Ted to Dave, Jun 6, 1985 (T-24)

To: Dave Kaczynski

463 N. Ridge Avenue

Lombard, Illinois 60148

From: (UI) Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Dave:

I came across a curious anecdote concerning the philosopher Hegel. I assume that the story is apocrigphal, but since you're a sucker for philosophy (pardon me for putting it that way, but you know my opinions), and since the incident is amusing, here it is:

(Paragraph in Spanish)

I received the book you sent me for my birthday. It was well chosen -- it was the sort of book I would have been likely t buy for myself. I have read part of it already, and I like the -- stories -- some of them have considerable charm. And of course they give a glimpse of Hispanic folk-culture. Thank you very much.

I was amused by the Mexican comic book. (But you should have included a critical analysis by Hoken Edwardson explaining the hidden philosophical messages.)

Thanks very much for taking the trouble to look up those 2 periodicals that publish translations; but I don't think either of them looks very promising. "Mundus Artium" sounds like an art type of publication, which probably would pay little if anything; the thing published by "the Translation Center" located in a "Mathematics building" sounds like some kind of a technical project --- maybe associated with attempts at (UI) translation of something like that.

Anyway, what I was interested in was something like a continuing (even if small) source of income.

As for Mirror of the Sea, if my memory serves me, the Great Falls public library had a copy of it, though I never had a chance to read more than a small part of it. The Helen M. Nectarine Memorial Library in Lombard doubtless could get you a copy through the Interlibrary Loan Service or whatever they call it.

No doubt you're quite right in sufficing that that bus-driving job would be bad for me. I had had some such misgivings myself, but your discription makes it sound even worse than I had thought.

What is the general employment situation in the Chicago area now -- factory jobs and so forth? Of course, I'd have to get an apartment or something -- couldn't stay with our parents. I can't endure them anymore.

Your offer to give me $200.00 for bus fare is very generous --but I couldn't accept it. Thanks for the offer, anyway. Well, O.K., I'm definitely prepared to come down there to see you in Texas this year, if it's agreeable to you. But: First of all, there is a risk that I might have to call it off on fairly short notice. Those Gehring bitches are planning to log off some of their woods very close to my place. I don't know just when they're going to do it. Of course there's nothing I can do to prevent them, but I can see to it that they don't do it in such a way as to fuck up my water supply. I've talked to the water quality bureau about it and, so far, it doesn't look as if there is going to be a problem. But if difficulties should arise, I might have to stay around here to take care of my water. Of course, as in your case, any serious emergency might prevent my making the trip, but I'm willing to commit myself to coming barring some serious reason for calling it off.

What I had in mind was this: When I come down there, after a day or two of rest, we would go down to Mexico to just sort of look things over for a few days and try to get an idea of what the wilderness situation is there. After we've got our bearings and have some information, then we can make a joint decision about whether we want to try a trip into the desert, and, if so, what kind of trip and where. Please let me know whether this is agreeable to you.

As for my doing the talking when we have to communicate in Spanish, I can promise to try, but I can't guarantee how successful I will be. You understand that learning to read and write a language is one thing, and oral-aural communication is another. At best, I am sure that I will be unable to understand when they talk at their normal rate of speed; I'll have to ask them: (Sentence in Spanish) Also, there might be some problem with local dialects in out-of-the-way places. In some of my books there are samples of the gaucho dialect that is or was spoken in the back-country of Argentina, and it is different enough from standard Spanish (AWEIGH) that, while I imagine I could communicate with someone speaking that dialect, it would be with difficulty.

What are you planning to do about immunizations, "Montezuma's revenge", and so forth? Better get information about that right away, cause they say you have to get some of these immunizations several months in advance. Remember that book Along the Gringo Trail, by Jack Epstein, that we found in the Lombard library? I think that had some information on immunizations. If you find out anything, please let me know.

Probably the most convenient time for me to come would be around the middle of November, but it really doesn't make a very big difference for me. Let me know when would be the most convenient time for you, and please mention an alternate time in case the first is too unsuitable for me. Do you still have your car running so that you can pick me up at Alpine?

Our (UI) mistaken. I have my birth certificate (UI). A reasonably prompt answer to the essential parts of this letter would be convenient, so that we can decide early on a definite date for my arrival.


P.S. There are some discrepancies that I'd like to get straightened out in your account of the documents needed to visit Mexico. Some time ago you said that no documents were necessary. In your next-to last letter you said Mexican agents require only either a birth certificate or a passport. In your latest letter you said you thought (UI) would want to take both a birth certificate and a passport. How necessary is the passport? According to my information, the fees for the passport would come to something like $42.00. (UI) cost of 2 passport photos - let's guess $10.00 (UI) for round-trip to Helena to take care of the business. I'd probably have to stay overnight in Helena, so it probably would cost me at least $75.00, which I can ill afford, to get a passport.

Come to think of it, the best time for me to come might be January rather than November. But let me know your preferences.

Just in case I do have to apply for a passport, our father's birthplace is Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and our mother's is Zanesville, Ohio, right?

As for "The Forest people", from what you wrote I had the impression that your interest in having a copy is slight. If you ever decide you really want it, or if I mis-interpreted and you actually do have a real interest in having the book, let me know and I'll send it. Mean-while I'll just keep it.

From Ted to Dave, Sep 9, 1985 (T-26)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated SEP 9 1985 (T-26)


463 N. (UI)




(UI), MONTANA 60148

Dear Dave:

As a birthday present I am sending you a translation of a story by Horacio Quiroga. I don't know whether or not you will like the story, but I thought that any way you might find it interesting to encounter this author. I think some of his novels have been translated into English, but I question whether many of his short stories are available in English.

By the way, in regard to the implication in my last letter that I see you as weak, I'd like to qualify that, since you might think the judgement is harsher than what I intend. As I see it, you appear to be deficient in the ability to exercise energy or stand up to uncomfortable things on your own initiative But on the other hand I think you have an inner toughness that would enable you to perform well if circumstances forced you to exert yourself under difficult conditions. I have some notions about the reason for these characteristics, but at present I will refrain from speculating.

I received your last letter and note that it shows your usual generosity of character. Instead of being sore over the negative parts of my attitude toward you, you were favorably impressed by the positive parts.


For October 3, 1985


Horacio Quiroga

He was a colt, an ardent young horse, who came from the backcountry to the city to make his living by exhibiting his speed.

To see that animal run was indeed a spectacle. He ran with his mane flying in the wind and with the wind in his dilated nostrils. He ran, he stretched himself out, he stretched himself still more, and the thunder of his hooves was beyond measuring. He ran without rules or limits in any direction over the wild plains and at any hour of the day. There were no tracks laid out for the freedom of his run, nor was his display of energy constrained by any norms. He possessed extraordinary speed and an ardent desire to run. Thus he put his whole self into this wild dashes -- and this was the strength of that horse.

As is usual with very swift creatures, the young horse was not much good as a draft-animal. He pulled badly, without heart or energy, with no taste for the work. And since in the back-country there was barely enough grass to support the heavy draft-horses, the swift animal went to the city to live by his running.

At first he showed the spectacle of his speed for nothing, for no one would have given a wisp of straw to see it -- no one knew the kind of runner that was in him. On fine afternoons, when the people thronged the fields on the outskirts of the city, and especially Sundays, the young horse would trot out where everyone could see him, would take off suddenly, stop, trot forward again sniffing the wind, and finally throw himself forward at full speed, stretch out in a mad run that seemed impossible to surpass, and that he kept surpassing every moment, for that young horse, as we have said, put into his nostrils, into his hooves and into his run the whole of his ardent heart.

People were astonished by that spectacle that departed from everything that were accustomed to see, and they left without having appreciated the beauty of that run.

"No matter," said the horse cheerfully, "I will go to see an impresario of spectacles, and meanwhile I will earn enough to live on."

What he had lived on until then in the city he himself would hardly have been able to say. On his own hunger, certainly, and on waste thrown out at the gates of the stockyards. He went, therefore, to see an organizer of festivals.

"I can run before the public," said the horse, "if I am paid for it. I don't know how much I may earn, but my way of running has pleased some men."

"No doubt, no doubt," they answered. "There is always someone who takes an interest in such things ....... But one must have no illusions ... . We may be able to offer you a little something as a sacrifice on our part ..."

The horse lowered his eyes to the man's hand and saw what he offered: It was a heap of straw, a little dry, scorched grass.

"It's the most we can do ... and besides ..."

The young animal considered the handful of grass that was the reward for his extraordinary gift of speed, and he remembered the faces that men made at the freedom of his run that cut zigzag across the beaten paths.

"No matter," he told himself cheerfully. "Some day I will catch their attention.1 Meanwhile I will be able to get along on this scorched grass".

And he accepted, satisfied, because what he wanted was to run.

He ran, therefore, that Sunday and on Sundays thereafter, for the same handful of grass, each time throwing himself heart and soul into his running. Nor for a single moment did he think of holding back, of pretending, or of following ornamental conventions to gratify the spectators, who didn't understand his freedom. He began his trot, as always, with his nostrils on fire and his tail arched; he made the earth resound with his sudden dashes, to finally take off cross-country at full speed in a veritable whirlwind of desire, dust, and thundering hooves. And his reward was handful of dry grass that he ate happy and rested after the bath.

Sometimes, nevertheless, as he chewed the hard stalks with his young teeth, he thought of the bulging bags of oats that he saw in the shop windows, of the feast of maize and of fragrant alfalfa that overflowed from the mangers.

"No matter," he said to himself cheerfully, "I can content myself with this rich grass."

And he kept on running with his belly pinched by hunger, as he had always run.

But gradually the Sunday strollers became accustomed to his free way of running, and they began to tell each other that that spectacle of wild speed without rulers or limits gave an impression of beauty.

"He does not run along the track, as is customary," they said, "but he is very fast. Perhaps he has that acceleration because he feels freer off the beaten paths. And he uses every ounce of his strength."

In fact, the young horse, whose hunger was never satisfied and who barely obtained enough to live on with his burning speed, gave every ounce of his strength for a handful of grass, as if each run were the one that was to make his reputation. And after the bath he contentedly ate his ration -- the coarse, minimal ration of the obscurest of the most anonymous horses.

"No matter," he said cheerfully. "The day will soon come when

I will catch their attention."

Meanwhile, time passed. The words exchanged among the spectators spread through and beyond the city, and at last the day arrived when men's admiration was fixed blindly and trustingly on that running horse. The organizers of spectacles came in mobs to offer him contracts, and the horse, now of a mature age, who had run all his life for a handful of grass, now saw competing offers of bulging bundles of alfalfa, massive sacks of oats and maize -

5 all in incalculable quantity -- for the mere spectacle of a single run.

Then for the first time a feeling of bitterness passed through th horse's mind as he thought how happy he would have been in his youth if he had offered the thousandth part of what they were now pouring gloriously down his gullet.

"In those days," he said he himself sadly, "a single handful of alfalfa as a stimulus when my heart was pounding with the desire to run would have made me the happiest of beings. Now I am tired."

He was in fact tired. Undoubtedly his speed was the same as ever, and so was the spectacle of his wild freedom. But he no longer possessed the will to run that he had had in earlier days. That vibrant desire to extend himself to the limit as he had once done cheerfully for a heap of straw now was awakened only by tons of exquisite fodder.

The victorious horse gave long thought to the various offers, calculated, engaged in fine speculations concerning his rest periods 2. And only when the organizers had given in to his demands did he feel the urge to run. He ran then as only he was able; and came back to gloat over the magnificence of the fodder he had earned.

But the horse became more and more difficult to satisfy, though the organizers made real sacrifices to excite, to flatter, to purchase that desire to run that was dying under the weight of success. And the horse began to fear for his prodigious speed, to worry that he might lose it if he puts his full strength into every run. Then, for the first time in his life, he held back as he ran, cautiously taking advantage of the wind and of the long, regular paths.

No one noticed -- or perhaps he was acclaimed more than ever for it -- for there was a blind belief in the wild freedom of his run.

Freedom ... No, he no longer had it. He had lost it from the first moment that he reserved his strength so as not to weaken on the next run. He no longer ran cross-country, nor against the wind. He ran over the easiest of his own tracks, following those zigzags that had aroused the greatest ovations. And in the ever-growing fear of wearing himself out, the horse arrived at a point where he learned to run with style, cheating, prancing foam-covered over the most beaten paths. And he was deified in a clamor of glory.

But two men who were contemplating the lamentable spectacle exchanged a few melancholy words.

"I have seen him run in his youth," said the first, "and if one could cry for an animal, one would do so in memory of what this same horse did when he had nothing to eat."

"It is not surprising that he used to do such things," said the second. "Youth and hunger are the most precious gifts that life can give to a strong heart."

Young horse: Stretch yourself to the limit in your run even it you hardly get enough to eat. For if you arrive worthless at glory and acquire style in order to trade in fraudulently for succulent fodder, you will be saved by having once given your whole self for a handful of grass.


1. "Some day I will catch their attention." The original has "Algun dia se divertiran." The usual meaning of divertir is "to entertain", so that a possible translation is, "Some day they will be entertained [by me]." But the dictionary also gives as a meaning of divertir: "to divert, distract (the attention of)", and this is the basis for the translation I have given above, which I think makes better sense in the context.

2. "Engaged in fine speculations concerning this rest periods." I'm unsure of this translation. The original has: "Especulaba finamente con sus descansos."


The idea of this story is not very original, but I think that

Quiroga expresses it beautifully.

Somerset Maugham seems to have held a contrary point of view to that of Quiroga 's story. In Of Human Bondage he has the experienced painter Foinet advise an aspiring young artist: "You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. "With a lot more in the same vein; and this seems to have represented Maugham's own attitude. Apparently Maugham had some disagreeable experiences with poverty in his youth.

But Quiroga too seems to have known poverty. In the introduction to the collection of his stories that I have, one of the many occupations ascribed to him is that of "penniless globetrotter," and he is quoted as having said it in Paris: "I would trade [literary] glory for the security of being abe to eat three days in succession."

I suppose there's no way of definitively resolving the conflict.

What leads to creativity in one person is not necessarily what leads to creativity in another.

From Ted to Dave, Nov 27, 1985 (T-29)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated NOV 27 1985 (T-29)





Dear Dave:

Spanish passage: When I was in high school, I heard this joke:

It is asked: Have you ever had a cunt around your neck? Of course not, the person who was asked answers. The answer is: Then you must have been born through your mother's ass.

Does it seem impossible to you? It isn't! As surprising as it may seem, many years ago I read of an extraordinary case of a woman that did give birth to two babies through her asshole. Her vagina ended, without an exit, one or two inches from the opening, and for that reason her husband would fuck her in the asshole. It turned out that part of the vagina that came out of the uterus instead of coming together with another part of the vagina it was connected to the rectum. In this manner the woman became pregnant, and as I mentioned above, gave birth to two perfectly healthy babies through her ass.

By the way, in your letters I notice you're repeatedly referred to "white people" as opposed to Mexicans. Don't do that in the presence of Mexicans. According to that book on Mexican-Americans that I sent you, they don't like being considered as nonwhite. I don't really think of them as nonwhite, myself. The ones I've seen look as if they have more Spanish than Indian blood, though it's true that most Mexicans do have a greater or lesser amount of Indian blood.

In case this word does not appear in your dictionary, it means the same as "cunt." ulo = ass or asshole joder = fuck

I'm glad to hear you're progressing with Spanish. (UI) enjoy exploring the literature. Maybe when we visit Mexico I can find a book store in Ojiuaga or someplace and get some Mexican books. I have a catalog from the publishing company (UI) of Madrid. They publish a "Collecion Austral" which is a series of relatively inexpensive paperback editions of old and (UI). They have some interesting titles. I've ordered books from them a couple of times, and enjoyed many of the books. Some time if you're interested I can send you the catalog on loan if you want to order some books. Only trouble is, they give no information about the books except author and title, so often you don't know exactly what kind of book you're buying and have to trust to luck as it were.

I will make every possible effort to get to Alpine on (UI). Only a really serious obstacle will delay (UI).

(UI) pederasty and blood transfusions, I've read that AIDS can be transmitted by ingestion of semen" (I suppose as a result of cock sucking) and by normal sex between men and women. Apparently women get it from men more easily than vice versa, but transmission in either direction can occur. I just hope you can't get it in a public toilet, I mean if some queer jags off in there and gets his jazz-juice on the seat or something. If I have to take a shift travelling down to Texas then, I'll do it standing up.

The following somehow strikes me as humorous. From Herbert J.

Spinden, A Study of Maya Art, Dover Publications, New York, 1975. Page 160: "Probably the earliest Stela at Copan is that which has been numbered 15 (Plate 23, fig.2) This valuable monument has been broken in two pieces in recent years and now adorns the entrance to a pig-pen...

Just got your latest letter. Yes, you may send me (UI).

(UI) opinions about (UI) Maugham. I certainly see no suggestion in his writing that he had any sense of having lost something precious of the sort you indicate. Also, I venture to suggest that your criteria for appraising literary works may be somewhat narrow. It is possible to appreciate a find piece of writing, in a somewhat detached way, even though it does not address itself to one's own psychological needs, and even though one's personal taste runs to a very different kind of writing. As for myself, I have a high opinion of some Maugham's writing.

But anyway, I'm glad you liked the Quiroga story.

By the way, you said you were going to let me know what parts of a camping kit you can lend me, so that I'll know what to bring, but as yet I've heard nothing from you on that subject.

Yes, I'd very much like to speak Spanish with you when I get there. I can use the practice. Though I've done a lot of writing in Spanish, conversing in it is another matter. Also, I haven't been getting much practice lately even with writing it. After a while one gets tired of making up some nonsense just to have something to write in Spanish. Moreover, I notice that if one writes for a while on subjects of a certain kind, one gets puffed up with self-confidence at the ease with which one uses the language; but then when one switches to subjects of a very different kind one finds oneself constantly groping for the right words. Thus, practice with a wide variety of topics (UI)

Have I told you at any time that according to Greek ____ ,

Hercules fucked fifty women in one night.

If at any time a woman desires a "man dressed in shining armor," tell her of the case which I have read twice in different books. Said case tries to show what happened to medieval women who did not know how to obey/respect their husbands. The wife of a certain medieval gentleman offended her husband _________________________ . The gentleman, his patience exhausted, knocked his wife down with a blow, then he kicked her in the face until her face was damaged forever. That is the true "chivalry" - or should we say "chivalry (in English)," being that the English word is more specific than the Spanish.

By the way, speaking of Spanish, did I mention to you that, since learning that language, I've noticed that almost every English-speaking author who inserts Spanish words or phrases in his book butchers the language? The culprits aren't just two hicks, either; they include such distinguished writers as Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, and Edna Ferber. It's so disgusting because most of the errors (UI) as could be avoided by simply taking the trouble to look up a word in a Spanish and English dictionary. No advanced knowledge of Spanish would be necessary to avoid the great majority of these mistakes.

Here is a good idea for you. Send Willie Nelson a copy of the story "The Wild Colt" by Horacio Quiroga.


From Ted to Dave, Jan 17, 1986 (T-30)





Dear Dave--

I'll come down there after all, if it's no inconvenience to you to have me come now after changing my mind. If it's OK for me to come, please write back to me immediately and name a day on which you will be in Alpine to pick me up, and I'll be there, barring some disaster. But we'll keep the original arrangement about picking me up on the succeeding day, just in case I miss a connection or something. On the other hand, we'll skip the arrangement about an alternate day a (UI) later. Now, when you write back to me naming a day, make it at least twelve days later than the day on which you mail your reply to me. This will allow a few days for the letter to reach me, and a few days for me to get ready. On the other hand, the day you name should be not later than February 21. If you get this letter too late for it to be possible to comply with these conditions, then we'll just have to forget about the visit.

Also, please try to avoid naming a Monday or a Tuesday for my arrival. I'll be on the bus for a couple of days, and I don't want to be going through Helena on Saturday or Sunday because I'll have to stop at the bank to get funds for the trip. Probably the best days for me to arrive there would be Wednesday or Friday.

I am enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a piece of paper to make it easier for you to reply immediately. If you don't have a pencil when you visit your mailbox, you can (UI).

I can't yet name the time of day when I will arrive, and I don't suppose either of us will want to wait around the bus depot all day, so let's agree that we will leave messages for each other at the ticket counter in the bus station, or if they don't have a regular station, then wherever the tickets are sold. If they don't have even a regular stop where tickets are sold, then please name a place in Alpine where we can meet and/or leave messages.

If all this interferes with any plans of yours, we can just forget it. This whole fuck up is my fault, of course.


From Ted to Dave, Jan 23, 1986 (T-31)[10][11]








Dear brother:

Once I saw a very pretty young Hutterite I suppose she was 16 or 17 years old, but...the enchantment of her face! The perfection of her figure! But I forced myself very strongly so as not to stare at her with my lusty look. Being Hutterite - I thought - she must be very religious; undoubtedly she is very timid and prudish; very dedicated and innocent. Perhaps she would faint if it would occur to her that a man could have sexual thoughts about her. I don't want to embarrass her.

Well, if I happen to again encounter a similar beautiful Hutterite, I will not hesitate focusing my stare at her crotch. I just finished reading a small book, about the Hutterites, that I found in the library in Lincoln; Beneath the Mask, by June Leiby. The author, when she wrote the book, had spent two years teaching children in a Hutterite school, and she appears to have a fondness for them. Judging from her writing the author appears to be well read; some of her sentences appear to have passed through a mixmaster before it got to the page. That is why, for the moment, we don't care. The author corroborates that Hutterites are religious, that among them adultery is very rare, and therefore, so is premarital pregnancy. But the author says:

"[School age Hutterite children] would usually burst out in anger at the slightest provocation. Four letter words in German and English would burst out very rapidly to embarrass...

(Bottom of page appears to have missing line[s].)

...that speak of the children and their anatomy; not because they interest them, but to embarrass if they can solicit from someone a shocking reaction." (Page 51)

The innocent, timid, prudish Hutterite...Bah! Better to call her a whore.

Additionally, the author says that Hutterites are habitual thieves. In one Hutterite settlement, nothing is secure unless it is put away under lock and key...And many Hutterites do not hesitate to steal from "outsiders," that is, those who are not Hutterites.

It is not surprising that many hate Hutterites.

By the way, the author says that Hutterites have great difficulties with inbreeding, therefore, the birth of deformed babies is very common among them.

And now that it appears that they are less puritan than one might think...well, do you remember that legend about the Hutterites that would bring outsiders to their settlements so that they would impregnate their women. I ask myself if there might be a shred of truth in this.

I found quite interesting some of the stories in that book by G. Garcia Marquez that you sent me, especially the one about a blind grandmother and a girl whose lover has left her, and a (to me) somewhat incomprehensible story which nevertheless centers around a very interesting portrait of the psychology of a partly senile 94-year-old priest.

- Ted

Dear Dave:

Explanations: I wanted to get that last letter off promptly, so didn't have time for explanations. By the way, I'd like you to keep this private; would prefer not to have you telling your friends about it, OK? Well, I think my heart is going bad. Question of mental stress. Used to be that I suffered from hardly any tension at all around here. But the area is so fucked up now that my old way of life is all shot to hell. I used to have bad dreams of 3 types. In one type of dream, loggers or earthmoving machinery or things of that kind would move in here and cut down all the trees and tear up the ground all around the cabin. In another type of dream, my cabin would be all surrounded and closed in by summer cottages or cabins that people had built. In a 3rd type of dream, things would get so built up around here that I would find my cabin and myself isolated in the middle of a huge shopping center. Ugh.

Well this 3rd type of dream hasn't come true - yet - but the 2nd type of dream has almost come true since so may people have now moved in around here, and it looks as if the 1st type of dream will soon come true, since those Gehring jerks are planning to log off the woods all around my cabin here.[12]

So, you'll understand that with the way things are around here now I often suffer from tension, anger, frustration, etc., and at the same time am deprived of most of the consolation of woodland life. Well, for over ten years, during those periods when I was subject to stress, as when living in a city, I've experienced an occasional irregularity of heartbeat. According to what I've read, this isn't considered serious if it doesn't happen too often. But in the last few years, it's gotten a lot worse. Exercise, unless somewhat excessive, doesn't bother it, but under the influence of any sort of worry, anger, frustration, etc., sometimes my heart really goes wild. So I wouldn't be surprised if I just drop dead one of these days.

Actually I'm not really all that concerned about it. We all gotta go some time anyway, so what the hell. On the other hand, I'm not anxious to die any sooner than I have to. My heart was acting funny, and I was looking forward with increasing reluctance to all the headaches associated with making a trip down there - getting my stuff together, hiding my valuables, going to Lincoln to make a long-distance phone call to find out about bus schedules, and then a godawful 2-day trip on a probably crowded bus with little sleep. Just the kind of anxieties to make my heart act funny. So I thought I'd better call it off and just spend what I hoped would be a nice peaceful winter here.

Later however, I began to have second thoughts about this; for more than one reason, but the main reason is that I've now learned that they are going to log off the woods here this winter. So there goes my nice peaceful winter. I've known for some time that they would eventually log these woods, but I didn't know when, until just recently. I suppose I ought to stay around here to see to it that they don't violate my property boundaries, but it would be unbearable, with all the noise and so forth. So I decided I might as well make the trip after all.

- Ted

P.S. I forgot to mention - I was touched by your extremely generous offer of money. But even if it would have done any good, I wouldn't take it, not from you. When I took to the woods, I made a decision to forgo financial security, being fully aware of the consequences to be expected with the onset of old age and illness. It would obviously be unfair for me now to accept money from you, who have paid the price of earning financial security. It would be different if I leeched off the welfare dept., since the society that provides welfare is the same one that has fucked up my way of life in the woods - so why not screw them? Though as you know I would for other reasons have a strong aversion to taking welfare. Also it would be different if I took money from our parents. As you know, I hate them, so why not screw them? But from you I wouldn't take any money.

Bear in mind that as one gets older one is likely to get sick more and more frequently, perhaps with expensive chronic ailments. If I started taking money from you for medical expenses I could easily keep you penniless for the rest of your life. I don't think it would be polite for you to describe my restraint in this respect as "cutting off my nose to spite my face."

- Ted

In case you get this letter same time as the other, please read other letter first, since prompt reply to it is desirable.

From Ted to Dave, Feb 18, 1986 (T-32)

ENVELOPE Postmark date FEB 18 1986 AM CANYON CREEK, MT 59633 (T-32)






LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 ------------------------------------

Dear Dave:

I'm writing a second letter to tell you the same things as in the first one, cause letters do occasionally go astray, and I figure it's worth a 22 c stamp to make sure that I don't waste 2 or 3 hundred bucks coming down there only to find that I don't get picked up cause you didn't know I was coming.

So -- I'll arrive in Alpine on February 28, with March 1 as alternate dates. I'll come by Greyhound, and I'll wait for you at the station if they have a greyhound station in Alpine. If there is no station with a waiting-room or anything, I'll meet you at the main post-office in Alpine. If I temporarily leave the bus station or post office, I'll leave a message for you at the counter. I don't yet know what time of day I'll arrive, so you just come whenever it's convenient for you and one of us will wait for the other.



By the way, in regard to your last letter, I do not appreciate getting advice concerning my health.

From Ted to Dave, Mar 15, 1986 (T-33)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated MARCH 15 1986 (T-33)






I like to make some comments on my reasons for hating our parents.

First I'll quote some passages from a letter that mother sent me about Christmas time, 1984.

"All families have their fights...But most of us are able to forgive.. "

"[Your hatred] I think, I am convinced, has its source in your traumatic hospital experience in your first year of life"...

"Somehow you were never able to overcome that embedded distrust of the people around you".

I could quote some other accusations from that letter, but the above I think is enough to make the point. Which is, that our parents will not accept any blame for the way they treated me during my teens. Any resentment I have toward them they attribute to there being something wrong with me. "That hospital experience" that mother always likes to dredge up is very convenient for them because it's something that was beyond their control. Of course, if my resentment of them was caused by that experience, then it remains to be explained why I never resented them before my teens. (By the way, I don't know how severe "that hospital experience" actually was, but it's a safe bet that mother's account of it is considerably exaggerated - you know how she always does exaggerate whenever she is emotionally involved in something, and Dad will generally back her up against any third party.)

When she mentions "fights" in the first passage quoted above she is referring to my complaints about their having applied to me such epithets as "another Walter Teszewski", "a creep", "sick", "mind of a two-year-old", etc. The term "fight" here is hardly appropriate, since it implies some sort of rough equality of power between the 2 combatants. If a 200-lb. bully beats up a 120-pounder you don't call that a fight, it's just abuse. The same applies when parents shout the most cutting sort of insults at a 14 or 15 year old kid who is in their power. It is easy for them to talk about forgiveness - they don't have much to forgive, since they always won what they choose to call the "fights"; they finished them by sending me up to the attic or by shouting "speak respectfully to your parents or we'll throw you out of the house". Mother's calling these things "fights" is one of her typical evasions and an illustration of our parents' self-righteousness. They will admit to having "made a mistake" and things of that sort, but they never will admit the real reasons for their behavior toward me: first, that they were too lazy to make the effort needed to exercise self-restraint; second, they evidently had certain frustrations or irritabilities, and I was a convenient target on which they could vent these. In later years, if they had felt and expressed a real sense of remorse and regret about these things I probably would have forgiven them. But as you can see from the passages I quoted above, their self-righteousness is incorrigible.

Far from having any sense of having been in the wrong, they attribute all problems to there being something wrong with me.

Actually, about 3 years ago after I'd written them on the subject, mother did write back: "We are truly sorry to have been such failures as parents" (But isn't there a hint of there of something like, "We are truly sorry you turned out so rotten"?) But even then she tried to excuse it on the grounds of ignorance". (They can hardly have been ignorant of the fact that it is extremely painful for a teenage kid to have his parents repeatedly tell him, in anger, that there is something wrong with him mentally.) Getting that much of an apology from her (UI) like squeezing...(ui)... of a miser. It was cold and curt, and afterward she seemed to just shove it under the carpet and forget about it. Certainly it conveyed no sense of remorse; and very likely it was something she said merely to get me to soften towards them, since her later letter, from which I quoted above, reveals the same old (ui) dad, from him I have never had any shadow or hint of an apology.

I've brought up this subject partly to explain to you my lasting resentment toward our parents, but also partly because, in thinking about these things, during the last few years, I've become more aware of the fact that the shit that I had to take from our parents I tended to pass on to you, so that you have somewhat the same reason to resent me as I have to resent our parents. I have already apologized to you for this, and I now repeat the apology. I very much regret having bullied and insulting you the way I often did. I wouldn't blame you if you hated my guts for it. It's an indication of the generosity of your character that you've shown very little resentment toward me.

I would note, though, that my position with respect to our parents was worse than your position with respect to me. Our parents were the last authority in this case, so that in conflicts with them I always lost. I generally ended by getting sent up to the attic where I could do nothing but sit and be gnawed by frustrated anger. You, on the other hand, in your conflicts with me could often turn to our parents for support and by that means were sometimes able to carry your point. I had nowhere near as much power over you as the parents had over me. I want to emphasize that I say this not to excuse or minimize the way I sometimes abused you, but to help make it clear to you why I have such a deep resentment against our parents.

By the way, as long as I'm on this sort of subject, you'll recall that exchange of letters we had a few years ago in which I sharply criticized the motives behind your philosophical opinions. I naturally found it pretty frustrating that I couldn't get you to accept certain points that seemed so obvious to me, especially in view of my opinion concerning ........................ (ui).... these points. As you know, I tend to get hot and angry in frustrating circumstances, and for that reason my criticisms of you, though they (ui) in a general way represent my real opinions and feelings, were harsher and more uncompromising than they would have been if I'd written them in a completely calm state. The things I wrote then should have been softened and qualified a good deal.

In your next to last letter you mentioned the hypothetical possibility that you blood pressure might "shoot up again". I don't know whether this refers to that one reading of 150/95 that you got, or whether it's been higher than that, and I won't ask you about it, since it may be that, like (ui), you don't like being interrogated about your health. But I'll tell you about my own experience with blood pressure just in case the information might be relevant to your case.

Since a predisposition to hypertension is sometimes hereditary, about 11 years ago I thought I ought to get it checked. I tend to get tense whenever I have to keep an appointment, and furthermore, being anxious (ui) to have a bad reading contributed to the tension.

So the doctor got a reading of something or other over 90, the 90 being borderline. So the doctor had me lie down and relax for a minute or two and then got a reading of 80. The doctor was young and conscientious and he told me I should have my blood pressure checked every three months. I didn't do so, but on any occasion when I consulted a doctor thereafter, and they took my blood pressure, being tense I generally had a reading on the same general order as yours: 150/95, give or take a little. Figuring that I would never find out if I had a blood pressure problem getting it measured in a doctor's office where I was always tense, I brought one of those gismos for myself. Taking my own pressure at home under relaxed conditions I got, and have continued getting ever (ui), systolic pressures anywhere between 115 and 145, and diastolic pressures anywhere between 77 and 86, usually about 81, which I take it is quite safe. As a check, I took my own pressure under the doctor's supervision to make sure I was doing it right. Incidentally, when I told the doctor (not the young one mentioned above but an older one) about the situation, he made a wry face and said, "Yes, that's the difference between taking it at home and taking it in the office." He seemed to think I was alright as long as my relaxed readings at home were ok. Though I've frequently been under great tension, apparently my blood pressure goes back to normal when the tension is off.

Lately I've been reading a biography of columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison which I find interesting. More interesting was a book I've just finished reading, A Question of Madness, by Zhores and Roy Medvedev. This book, which appeared in 1971 and refers to events that occurred in 1970, is about how the Soviet authorities tried to railroad Zhores Medvedev into a mental institution for expressing opinions that certain highly placed parties evidently found objectionable. Fortunately for Z. Medvedev, he was a well-known scientist with many friends, including apparently some fairly influential ones, both inside and outside of the Soviet Union, and there was so much protest over the affair that they let him off. According to the book (ui).. fortunate Russians today are (ui) up in the booby-hatch for exercising rights that are (theoretically) guaranteed to them by the Soviet constitution.

What was interesting to me about the book is that it seemed to indicate that the soviet system for enforcing ideological conformity is less well-organized, uniform, and intelligent than I had tended to assume. I had generally supposed that the soviet leaders, in pursuit of a fairly well-defined goal (namely, the survival and expansion of the communist system), had a reasonably consistent policy as to just what degree of deviation from official dogmas would be permitted, and that they had a reasonably efficient system for dealing with those who crossed the forbidden line. But the Medvedev book seems to indicate a much less simple situation. Certainly to Medvedev case was a fiasco, and makes the soviet authorities look like a bunch of bungling amateurs. (Stalin doubtless would have handled the affair much more efficiently: the knock on the door at the midnight, the suspect carted off by the secret police, and never heard of again.) The authorities (ui) to have attempted to maintain a thin facade of legality without having a well-defined standard procedure to assure that such cases were handled successfully, so they ended up by backing down. Also, there are indications that Medvedev was not persecuted as the result of a standard policy for insuring ideological purity, but because of the jealousies of the Lysenko clique of biologists, whom he had criticized. Also, the book seems to indicate that ideological dissent in Russia is more widespread than I had supposed and that Russians are better informed about the outside world than

I had thought. For instance, the author seems to indicate that, for many Russians, it is a routine matter to listen to the BBC.

You'd think that with that much "free-thinking" (so to speak) going on, Russia would be rapidly evolving toward a freer sort of society. Yet it certainly doesn't look to me as if the situation there today is any better than it was 15 years ago when the book was written, and I know that some Russian dissidents have denied that there has been any progressive liberalization of the system since de-Stalinization. But then, I don't really know much about all this, especially since I rarely read newspapers or magazines. I'd be interested to hear what you know and what opinions you may have on this subject.

PARAGRAPH IN SPANISH (EXCEPT AS NOTED) "Let's stop here and get some groceries". - "How do you say "groceries" in Spanish?" - "Uh, I think it's groserias' or something like that" - etc., etc., etc...


P.S. Got your latest letter. I'm very sorry to have caused you so much inconvenience - and I also very embarrassed to have made such a hash of all this.

One reason why I offered to send you (ui) copies of the Skeptical Inquirer is that a few years ago you mentioned to me a woman psychologist you saw on TV who claimed to have evidence of re-incarnation. The stuff I read in the Skeptical Inquirer, and also a book I read by Philip Klass, UFO's Identified, shows that time and again you get these very convincing stories of UFOs, psychic phenomena, etc., but when the stories are carefully investigated they always seem to be based on highly misleading information, sometimes on outright lies and deception. I wouldn't take that kind of stuff seriously unless it has been confirmed by some independent and unbiassed investigators.

I take the liberty of returning your Spanish passage with corrections marked. Yes, it's true, your grammar is pretty bad. On the other hand, I don't doubt that the passage would be understood readily enough by any native speaker of Spanish. Your method of learning - i.e., by conversing with a native speaker rather than studying books - may not be the best way to learn to speak grammatically correct, educated sounding Spanish, but it probably is the best way to learn how to communicate easily with native speakers. If I ever do get to converse with a native speaker myself, I'll surely have to ask him to speak very slowly, otherwise I won't understand.

I look forward to hearing more about Juan.

One error you made repeatedly was in the placement of the object pronoun. The object pronoun (le, la, lo, les, las, los, se, te, me, nos, os) always precedes the verb, except when the form of the verb is the infinitive, the present participle or the imperative. In these cases the object pronoun follows the verb and is combined with it as one word. Thus: I look at him

I look at her

They look at us

I look at myself etc.

But It is impossible to look at her infinitive

They cannot look at us


I am looking at him

Participle | Singular look at him (familiar imperative) | Plural | Sing look at her (polite imperative) | Pl

But with the negative imperative, the object pronoun again precedes the verb (also, the negative imperative always uses the subjunctive form): Sing fam Do not look at him pl fam sing polite pl polite

Also, in the construction with "Que..." meaning "let. ", the object pronoun precedes the verb let them break it let them kiss you (pl familiar)

Let him go jump in the lake

Note: This is the "let" that denotes command, not the "let" that denotes permission.

But these could also be written without the "Que":

Let him go jump in the lake.

And with the "Que" omitted this is handled like an imperative, with the object pronoun tacked on to the end of the verb.

Finally, when there is an auxiliary verb, not in the infinitive, present participle, or imperative form, the object pronoun can either precede the auxiliary verb, or be tacked on to the end of the infinitive or present participle of the main verb, thus: They cannot look at us I am looking at him

They must not offend thee

I am going to give him a kick in the ass

They are beginning to pay us.

About 400 years ago or so, this rule about the placement of the object pronoun was apparently not well developed, cause in stuff that I've read from that period, these rules are often violated. Also, in modern writing, especially of a high-toned literary type, they occasionally follow the archaic custom of putting the object pronoun at the end of a verb; this is supposedly done for "stylistic reasons". Thus: Danle un lapiz - they give him a pencil. But I always avoid doing this because, in the first place, it isn't done very often any way, and in the second place, I don't know under what circumstances this practice would be considered to enhance the "style".

Apparently there are some local dialects where they still follow sometimes the archaic practice of putting the object pronoun at the end of the verb, as in Danle up lapiz.

Thanks for your kind offer of assistance. I have a copy of the book Colloquial Spanish, which explains the colloquial or informal use of many words or phrases. I don't use it much, but you might have more use for it than I do. If you want it, let me know, and I'll send it to you.

When I send you a Quiroga story for your birthday, would you prefer to have it in English or Spanish?

Yes, you may send me a book for my birthday.

Thank you.


From Ted to Dave, Apr 16, 1986 (T-34)

Postmark dated APR 16 1986 (T-34)







Dear Dave--

You son of a bitch. Your letter made me so mad that I was on the point of cutting off all communication with you forever. I had a note to that effect written out and put in an envelope and the envelope stamped, addressed, and sealed. And if I had once sent that note I would have stuck to that resolution, too. I got over being mad at you--or partly got over it--just in time.

Clearly you don't realize that every time I bring up that issue and someone says "Oh, it's only cause you were warped by "that hospital experience*," all it does is make me more angry. By repeatedly giving that kind of rationalization those old fuck-heads have only increased and increased my resentment against them. And by arguing the same way yourself, you also have increased my resentment (UI) against them.

In the first place, most of that shit in your letter is based on unfounded speculation that you are unable to support with any evidence. But the real stupidity of your arguments is revealed by simply conceding (for the sake of argument) that everything you said was true. Let's assume that I did have a fund of resentment against our parents as a result of "that hospital experience". It's still obvious that quite independently of any previous resentments, the treatment I got from them during my teens was quite sufficient to build up any amount of resentment. You don't have to resort to any fancy manipulation of speculative psychoanalytical principles, but only to common. You didn't use those words, but in effect that's what you were saying. (new page) experience of the way people behave, to realize that when someone is repeatedly subjected to humiliating insults without being able to retaliate, he will come to hate those who insult him. This by itself is quite sufficient to explain my resentment, and whether I had any previous unconscious resentments

(which I don't believe is the case) is beside the point. Did you ever hear of Occam's (or Ockham's) Razor? It's the principle that when a simple and obvious explanation, and a complex explanation, are both available for the same phenomenon, the simple explanation is the most probable.)

OK, now let's take your contention that because I was a "gloomy" etc.* kid, the parents had reason to believe I really was "sick". OK, for the sake of argument, let's concede that. Let's even go further and assume I was a real nuthouse case--let's suppose I went around insisting that I was Napoleon Bonaparte. Far from justifying our parents' behavior, that makes it even worse. they certainly knew enough to realize that if someone really is mentally ill, one of the worst things you can do to them is to shout at them in a hostile and accusing manner, "You're sick! You're sick! You have the mind of a two-year-old!" etc., etc. This is a point that I made several times in my letters to our parents on this subject, and you claim to have read at least some of those letters. Yet neither you nor they seem to be able to get this obvious point through your thick skulls. They (and now you) keep citing supposedly "sick" symptoms (on bottom of page of letter)

**You weren't old enough to remember what I was like before the age of 11 or 12. Before that I was not gloomy or anything of the sort. After that age I had plenty enough reason to be gloomy.

(start of next page) of mine in order to justify their behavior toward (UI). The only way to explain this is by assuming that they (and you) are more anxious to justify themselves than they are to get to the heart of the matter.

If you had any real understanding of psychology you would realize that every time I try to get the justice (UI) my case recognized, only to be answered by more arguments purporting to show that there is something wrong with me mentally, it only causes me frustration and consequently intensifies my anger.

I'm not going to go through your letter and answer your arguments point by point; for two reasons: One is that whenever I start thinking over that shit I get so angry that I get tempted to cut off communication with you once and for all. The other reason is that any attempt to reason with you would probably be futile. I know from experience in arguing with you that when you have an emotional investment in your point of view, rational argument has no effect on you.

I will however mention this one point: On the basis of no evidence whatever, you hypothesize that in being affectionate toward you when you were a baby, I was "denying" an unconscious hatred for you. Of course, how can one prove or disprove an assertion that one has such-and-such an unconscious urge? All I can say is that, insofar as it is possible (UI) know anything about such matters through honest introspection, I feel sure that my affection for you was unmixed with any resentment. (When we were older of course we had conflicts that resulted in resentment, that resentment was relatively superficial rather than deep and lasting.) [on left hand margin writer inserts, on my part anyway] A more interesting question is why you seem to feel--without being able to cite any evidence for it--that I must hate you unconsciously. I (UI) that a few years ago you said you had feared that I had (as you put it) a hatred for you so great that even I was unable to acknowledge it. Just to show that two can play this psychoanalyzing game, I'll resort to the phenomenon of "projection": Note how you keep attributing to me characteristics that you yourself have:

(1) You assume that I, like you, have, or had, a major problem with guilt over sex. I was really astonished to find you misjudging me so badly. Of course I'm not free of shame over sex--I don't suppose anybody is in our society--but I never had enough shame over sex to feel that it was a serious problem. Actually, though I knew you were kinda prissy, I was surprized to learn that you had such a problem with sex as you indicate in your letter. I never felt that our parents attitudes toward sex were particularly repressive, neither explicitly, nor "subtly" as you put it.

(2) You suppose that I have a strong craving for affection. Your arguments, in my opinion, don't hold water, but I'm not going to go over them in detail. As I said before, how can one ever disprove an assertion that one has such and such an unconscious urge? But your need for affection is obvious and one doesnt need any speculative arguments to prove it. Look how important it is to you to have closeness, loyalty, and affection with your friends. And I was surprized at the extent of your gratitude when I revealed to you, a few years ago, how much I care about you.

(3) Finally, you tend to attribute to me a repressed resentment toward you. Yet you've admitted yourself in the past that you have certain resentments toward me--and I wouldn't be surprized if you had considerably more resentment toward me than you permit yourself to be conscious of---such resentment would be perfectly natural and justifiable considering the way I used to denigrate you and otherwise push you around when I was in my teens. As I said before, I'm very sorry for it now, and I wouldn't blame you if you hate me.

Actually I don't take this "projection" bullshit very seriously---how much truth there may be to it is merely a matter for speculation. I just wanted to show that two can play this psychoanalysis game. You can "prove" almost anything you want, by selecting, from among the various possible interpretations of the observed phenomena, those interpretations that are convenient for your thesis.

OK, look, I'm still mad at you. I still haven't fully got over it. The only thing that prevented me from sending you that letter cutting off all communication for good was the fact that the night before I was going to send it I had a dream that brought to the surface my real feelings toward you---which are soft and affectionate. Since I'm still mad, don't write to me for awhile. Permission to send me a book for my birthday is rescinded. Later, when I get over being mad---say after a few months---I'll write to you again and then you can resume corresponding with me if you like. But don't ever argue with me about my relations with our parents. I have so much accumulated anger against them that whenever anyone tries to argue with me about it, and especially when they attribute my resentment to some kind of a mental aberration, I almost choke. This, moreover, causes me to accumulate more resentment against them, so by trying to argue with me you only defeat your own purpose, which I assume is to encourage reconciliation.

So I flatly refuse to accept any contradictions on this point.

No doubt this is unreasonable. But you're just going to have to humor me if you want to get along with me.


In your letter you mentioned in their favor that they took very quietly our respective decision not to follow respectable careers as they wanted. Ha! You weren't there most of the time during the first couple of years after I quit my assistant professorship. You wouldn't believe how much shit I had to take from the old bitch. To take just one example: One evening I had to sit there and listen to a long and extremely insulting tirade from her in which she accused me of causing her high blood pressure and ended by calling me "a monster! A monster! An ungrateful monster!" I took all that quietly and when she was done I went to Dad who was in the bathroom shaving or something and I asked him "What do you think of that?" All he said was, "Well, I think maybe you are contributing to her high blood pressure". Now if I had said only a fraction of those insults to the old bitch, he would have come to me and said "You know, you hurt mother's feelings, I think you should go and apologize, blah blah blah". Similarly if I seem a little cold toward the old fucker--nothing concrete, just a vague coldness toward him--Ma will come to me and say "I think Dad feels you don't like him[13], you should try to be warmer toward him, etc. etc." Yet during my teens Dad could give me not a vague coldness, but the most cutting kind of insults, and did she ever go to him and urge him to treat me differently? Not that I ever knew of! And if she did it certainly didn't have any effect. Of course there's always an excuse for Ma or Dad, "they're tired, they're worried, blah blah blah". Yet I have to take any kind of insults from them and if I show the effects of it, then I'm "sick".

-- Walter Teszewski II

"...an almost universal belief to the effect that anyone is competent to discuss psychological problems whether he has taken the trouble to study the subject or not..."----------------- H. J. Eysenck, Sense and Nonsense in Psychology Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1959, page 13.

"One of the reasons why popular discussions on psychological matters are so uninformed..."--Ibid., p.1 (UI)

"It should not be thought, however, that the purveyors of nonsense in this field are entirely to be found in the ranks of non-psychologists. Alas, many members of the psychological fraternity--and particularly the psychological sorority!--have been equally guilty in this respect."--Ibid., p. 20.

"What most investigators have done in order to find out whether psychoanalysis and other types of psychotherapy are effective...has been to take a group of seriously ill people, submit them to the particular type of therapy in question, and state at the end of a period of treatment...how many of the patients have been cured...Suppose we find that 70 percent of our patients are cured after four years of treatment. This improvement...might be due to the treatment, but it might also be due to any number of other causes...a proper experiment has been recorded...in which matched groups of neurotic subjects were respectively treated by psychotherapy and not treated at all... The treated group improved to a considerable extent, but the untreated group improved equally." ---Ibid., pp. 68-69.

"The critical reader may feel at this point that while the discussion may have been quite interesting at times, it has not produced a single fact which could be regarded as having scientific validity. Everything is surmise, conjecture......................... The blame for this state of affairs must be squarely laid at the door of the analysts, whose efforts have always been directed towards persuasion and propaganda, rather than towards impartial investigation and proof." ---Ibid., p. 170.

"It was found again that some people were very much better than others [at assessing a person's personality intuitively on the basis of a brief period of observation.

...Students of the natural sciences are usually superior to other groups in making judgements of this kind. Psychiatrists have been found to be reasonably accurate in predicting verbal behavior, but not in predicting behavior in actual life situations... Practically then the only relationship between the psychiatrist and his patient is one involving words and verbal behavior...

"Perhaps the superiority of students of the natural sciences over psychiatrists and clinical psychologists is not to be wondered at either. Physicists, chemists. engineers, and so on, are trained to deal with facts and not to indulge in speculation and complex theorizing unsupported by evidence. Psychoanalysts...all too easily take their highly speculative theories seriously, forgetting the very small factual basis supporting them...It is not known whether this is the correct explanation of the findings, but it certainly is a possible one..." ---Ibid., pp. 189-190

Timothy Leary (who, before he went nuts on LSD was a respectable psychotherapist) said:

"One can postpone the moment of painful discovery but eventually the unhappy truth finally becomes apparent---that... eventually you begin to think maybe, maybe you don't know what you're talking about." Quoted by Thomas A. Harris in I'm OK - Youre OK, page 14. Harris then continues: "After this rare and revealing admission of doubts the few psychotherapists dare state but many have felt..."

In a letter to the Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. IV, No. 2, Winter 1979-80, (pp. 107-108), Associate Professor Mark B. Fineman of the Dept. of Psychology, Southern Connecticut College, wrote: "... the pseudoscientific gibberish so endemic to modern-day mental-health professionals... We should no more accept uncritica (UI) the pronouncements of mental-health adherents... (UI)

I can't quote page numbers on the next one, but a psychoanalyst named Robertiello, in a book titled Your own true love, which I found in the Lombard Library, mentioned studies which had shown that the effectiveness of a method of psychotherapy depended less on the theory used than on the personal relationship of the patient to the therapist---the patient had to have respect for and faith in his therapist. Robertiello, however, did not draw the obvious conclusion: All these different schools of psychoanalysis hold theories which largely contradict each other--- thus the theories can't all be right* at most one or two of them can be right. If one were right, one would expect it to show a decisive superiority to the other theories as a basis for treating psychological problems.

Since none of the theories does show such a decisive superiority, it seems likely that none of the theories (UI) right. Insofar as psychotherapy is effective it is evidently a kind of faith cure.

So much for all this bullshit psychoanalysis stuff! (And presumably its validity is even more dubious in the hands of those who are not even thoroughly trained in the theories.)

[Written vertically in left hand margin is the following:]

P.S. Later--when I get over being upset--if you want to discuss our family's old "dirty laundry", that's OK. But just don't argue with my point of view regarding my resentment toward our parents. Unreasonable as it may be, I can't endure contradiction on this point.

I just get too angry. --Ted.

[3.] Ted him with my head, but he laughed and ran outside the tent. In a few minutes he returned with a young girl who didn't appear to be more than thirteen years old. She was a shy and timid creature, and the man had to pull her into the tent by force. She was barefoot and she had no other clothing but a dirty blue blouse.

[4.] This means that he responded in the negative, moving the head from one side to the other; we would say in English-- he shook his head.

From Ted to Dave, Apr 21, 1986 (T-35)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated APR 21 1986 (T-35)

To: Dave Kaczynski

463 N. Ridge Ave.

Lombard, Illinois 60148

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Dave:

I apologize for calling you a son of a bitch and other harsh language that I used in my last letter. But, you know, I was mad. I'm not mad any more, and you can send me the book for my birthday if you want to --- or don't send it if you don't want to --- whatever you may prefer. But don't send me any letters for awhile yet, [on the left hand margin writer inserts "unless for some urgent reason"] cause if you start raking up all that old family stuff you may just get me upset again, and having just got over being upset I don't feel like getting upset again for awhile yet. Later on we can discuss some of these things further if you want to.

Meanwhile I'll mention the following: As to your hypothesis that I have an unconscious hatred of you, I'll mention that I don't recall ever having had any dreams about you that would suggest hostility or antagonism, but I've had quite a few dreams about you that indicate friendly, loving, and suchlike feelings toward you. Of course, you can always argue that I have a hatred for you that is so deeply repressed that even in dreams it appears only in cryptic symbols that I am unable to interpret.

There is no way of disproving such a supposition --- but is it likely? Do you have any evidence to support such a hypothesis? Can you suggest any reason why, if I hated you, I would not permit myself to be conscious of that feeling? I am certainly ready enough to feel other resentments consciously including resentments toward "forbidden" objects such as parents.

It's true that during my teens there was a good deal of antagonism at times between us, but I see no reason to believe that this goes back to any such source as you suggested. In the first place, kids will have their quarrels in any case. In the second place, I was often treated badly both by our parents and by the kids in school, and being unable to retaliate effectively against them, my anger unfortunately tended to find an outlet in rough treatment of you.

Finally, our parents made matters worse: you'll recall that when we got into a quarrel, our parents often would automatically throw the blame on me without even inquiring into the matter. When I then complained that "Dave did such-and-such", they would just answer --"That doesn't matter. You're older --- you should be more mature." (Of course they often got into screaming matches with me, but apparently it didn't occur to them that they were older and should be more mature.) This wasn't favoritism on their part --- it was just laziness. To inquire into the source of the dispute and then try to settle it fairly would have taken an effort. It was much easier to just throw the burden of keeping the peace on the older kid. When they did this, naturally it resulted in resentment on my part, which caused me to be more aggressive with you on the next occasion.

But insofar as it is possible to be confident of such things I feel (UI) that I have no unconscious resentment of you. I wouldn't be likely to hide from myself any resentments that I might feel!

By the way, while I'm on the subject of our parents' tendency to blame on me anything that went wrong when we were together, there's something that always touches me when I remember it: According to our parents, when you cut your hand, the surgeons said that you kept saying: "Don't blame Teddy, don't blame Teddy."

You say Dad, claims he once sent me an apology. I don't remember it. Of course I can't claim to have a perfect memory, but that's not the kind of thing I would be likely to forget. It maybe that Dad's memory is playing tricks on him --- you know how much he used to complain about memory problems. People sometimes plan out something to say, and never get around to actually saying it; then later they think they actually said it. What they are remembering is the speech they composed in their mind and not what they actually said. Another possible explanation of the contradiction is that Dad might have sent me some kind of a half-assed incomplete apology full of rationalizations; or that he apologized for some one or two particular incidents. Since I wouldn't have had much regard for any such half-apology, it's possible I might have forgotten it. But if he'd sent me anything approaching a full and satisfactory apology, I find it difficult to (UI) that I could have forgotten it.

Also, are you sure that you are remembering correctly what he told you? Some minor error of memory could put an entirely different complexion on the matter. I've noticed that from time to time you make errors of memory in your letters --- unless it's my memory that's wrong. Example:

In your last letter you wrote "When you saw the murdered babies in the Nazi camp... you vowed to protect me at the expense of your own life...

As I remember it, I didn't refer to "murdered" babies, but to kids who had been reduced to extreme emaciation through starvation. also, I said that I decided to "do anything I could to protect you" --- I don't think I said anything about "at the expense of my own life". If you still have that letter you might look up the relevant passage and see which of us is remembering more accurately.

No, I won't get frustrated if you don't absorb my corrections of your Spanish.

As for your blood pressure, I don't know what you're worried about. Diastolic pressure of 65 or 75 is excellent --- typical normal reading I take it is about 80. A single reading doesn't mean anything since all kinds of factors can temporarily vary your reading. Systolic pressure of 150 probably (UI) particular reason for concern --- it's on the (UI) of high, but I understand that the diastolic (UI) reading is the important one. Diastolic reading of 90 is on borderline between normal and high, but if you're 20 lb. overweight, what do you expect? Get your wght back to 150, and if your reading goes back to 75 I'd say you're in excellent shape. As for increase of pressure with age, I don't doubt that the population as a whole shows a statistical tendency to this, but it needn't take place in every given individual. I've taken my pressure occasionally over the last 8 years or so, and though it fluctuates somewhat I have not observed any upward trend.


From Ted to Dave, Apr 30, 1986 (T-36)

ENVELOPE Postmark date APR 30 1986 AM CANYON CREEK, MT 59633 (T-36)







Dear Dave:

I recently - shortly after receiving your letter that got me mad - sent a note to our parents saying simply, "I need about $6,00000 for medical reasons." Actually I had no immediate need for the money. As for my heart acting funny, I'm confident that what that needs is simply to avoid tension as much as possible. So for the present I am not going to go to a specialist just to have him tell me what I already know - especially since just making the trip to the specialist would itself involve considerable tension. You know, it's a big pain in the ass for me just to get to Helena. Anyway I'd just as soon die as become a slave to pills and doctors.

The reason I sent that note was because I was angry and wanted to punish them by subjecting them to the conflict between their greed and their anxiety. The idea was sort of suggested by your recommending to me last winter that I ought to ask them for money if I needed it for medical reasons. If they sent me any money I could either keep it or send it back contemptuously as the humor might suit me. Of course I can always use the money anyway, so perhaps I would keep it. But mainly I just wanted to hurt them because my anger had been stirred up by your letter.

However, I'm afraid you might object to this and with some justification. Not that I feel you have the right to intervene in any disputes between me and the parents. But it's possible that you might feel you were in some sense a party to this party trick I played on them. For me (UI) I was of course relying on the assumption that you would tell them that my heart is prone to act funny; for another thing, you had suggested to me that I should ask them for money; and finally, it was your letter that got me stirred up against them.

So, out of consideration for your feelings, and not out of consideration for our parents (I don't give a shit about them), I'll say this:

1. If you like, you can tell them that I sent that note just to punish them and not because I had an immediate need for the money.

It would be interesting, however, if you would hold off for a while on telling them, just to see what will be the outcome between their love for money and their supposed love for their kids. You can always tell them later, after you see what they decide to do.

2. If they actually do send me money, I will send it back not to them but to you and you can do what you want with it, which I assume will be (unfortunately) to give it back to them. They spoke of giving me an advance on the $600.00 that they usually send me for my birthday.

If they send me that I'll just keep it, since it's what they were going to send me anyway, but if they send me anything beyond that I'll send it to you.

I trust this will sufficiently mollify your presumably outraged feelings. You know, if I really did need money for doctor bills that' s just when I would not ask them for it.

For your information I'll quote in full the letter they sent me after they got my note:

Text of Letter

In left hand margin, writer says the following:

To judge from difference of pen and handwriting, this first part is written by Ma, second part by Dad.

Dear T.J.

Please be more specific. Fill us in with details.

Have you explored the possibilities of pubic assistance? Medicaid? Social Security disability payments? County hospital?

Have you any savings left or health insurance?

Can arrangements be made for monthly payments with doctor and/or hospital?

Let us know (UI) problem is all about. second part (presumably by Dad)

Can you understand our resentment that you totally disassociated yourself from us yet in time of need call for our assistance!!!

The last couple of years have been painful. Your rejection, we feel, is unfair, uncalled for and at the least shows lack of understanding, tolerance or a sense of family.

Right now we can give you an advance on what we have been sending you yearly. In the meantime, please respond to the above questions.

Your father

(Though he spoke of an "advance", he did not enclose any money.)

The difference between this letter and your very generous response when I merely mentioned that I had a health problem, is quite striking. All the more so considering that you have much less money than they do -- as you said yourself, they have more money than they can spend anyway.

Now, I want to make it clear that I do not consider that they owe it to me to send me money. What they owe me has nothing to do with money, and they couldn't pay it off with any amount of money, no matter how large. But the letter does reveal their selfishness and hypocrisy.

Their self-righteousness is actually funny! I am grinning broadly at it as I write this. Note where the old son of a bitch accuses me of a lack of understanding and tolerance! When I was a kid, if I annoyed him he would insult me in the most cutting way, calling me "sick", "immature", "mind of a 2-year old", and if I talked back it was "speak respectfully to your parents or we'll throw you out of the house" and now he accuses me of a "lack of understanding and tolerance"!! Can you believe it? Not that I claim to be understanding and tolerant. But it's like a thief who steals something from somebody and then accuses his victim of dishonesty.

I am reminded of the fact that Hitler accused the leaders of the western democracies of being "hysterical war-mongers".

Can you wonder at the fact that I won't forgive them? If they had ever shown any remorse, any sense of having mistreated me and wanting to make up for it, I might have forgiven them. But after all this time and all the words we've had over it, it is quite clear that they will never change. So you might well give up the idea that there will ever be a reconciliation between me and them.

You claim to have seen "guilt" expressed in their faces during discussions of this subject. I don't believe it! How can you square it with the tone of that letter, for example? I mean, I'm not questioning your honesty---I just believe you're mistaken. Perhaps their faces were expressing not guilt but the tension between (on the one hand) the difficulty of denying that they had mistreated me, and (on the other hand) their need to maintain their sense of moral superiority.


P.S. You can write to me whenever you like, but please DON'T try to psychoanalyse me, and TRY not to get me upset. It's no use trying to reconcile me with our parents, because only a complete and lasting change in their attitude would accomplish that and it's clear by now that their self-righteousness is incorrigible.


From Ted to Dave, May ??, 1986 (T-37)








Here it is, sent to you according to promise, for you to do as you see fit.


From Ted to Dave, Jun 2, 1986 (T-39)

ENVELOPE Postmark date JUNE 2 1986 PM LINCOLN, MT 59639 (T-39)





-Dear Dave- From a birthday card that our mother sent me, I get the impression that you told them some kind of white lie about the $6,000 check business. Since I gave you full discretion to do what you wanted in regard to that business, I will not complain about your fib. But I would prefer that you tell them the truth about it. This is neither a complaint or a demand---it is merely the expression of a preference.

By the way, I came across something in a store in Helena that might interest you---a very small, light (adds this statement in left hand margin) i.e. suitable for carrying on hike portable water-filter that claims to remove giardia. Costs $18 or $19, replacement filter I think was around $8, one filter is good for 400 gal. water. With that + purifying tablets to kill bacteria I imagine you'd be alright. Of course, as you know, I take a dim view of bringing technological stuff like filters, and tablets into the wilderness; though I wouldn't swear that there might not be certain circumstances under which I might use such a thing.

An interesting thing: as strange as it may sound, the English word much is NOT related to the Spanish word mucho. According to my English dictionary, much comes from the Anglo-Saxon word micel; which mucho comes from------- so I think-- the Latin word multus, that also means "much." Well, I don't suppose that you would be interested in such things. Bah! You have the soul of a turnip! But, what would you say if I told you what is about to follow?: All of the European languages---with a few exceptions---belong to the great Indo-European family, which also includes many Asian languages, including the more of the languages in India, like Sanskrit. Comparing the different languages of that family, scholars have managed to reconstruct a large part of the original Indo-European language from which the modern languages of the family have originated.

Sanskrit Latin German English Indo-European vaks vox voice vaks matri mater mutter mother matar

Furthermore: there's also the great family of Semitic languages (that includes Hebrew, Arabic, Ancient Egyptian, and other languages) and the great Finno-Ugric family, that includes Finnish, Magyar (the language of Hungry), and various Asian languages, including the languages of some primitive groups of people. These families are different from the Indo-European family and they don't derive from the ancient Indo-European language.


Indo English European Ancient Finnish Sanskrit Egyptian Latin German shash sex sechs six ? sas saptan septem sieben seven septm seitseman sefekh vasar soror Schwester sister svasar(?) sisar (senti? nomen Name name nimi serau mare Meer (sea) meri gin

This tends to confirm what the scholars say: that there's some relationship---though distant---between the Semitic and Finno-Ugric, and the Indo-European families. I've obtained a book regarding the Ancient Egyptian language and another dealing with Finnish---but like I said, you're not interested in such things. Soul of a turnip!

Moreover, many directors of mental institutions where training is in the area of Freudianism and psychoanalysis insist on treating schizophrenics by means of "talking therapy"--- which is useless for schizos because their problem originates in the chemistry of the brain.

In another book I read that a number of normal people, as part of an experiment, signed themselves into public and private mental institutions all over the U.S. They later had some difficulty in getting released and eventually were all released as "schizophrenics in remission"!! This is ridiculous, because according to that book on schizophrenia there is a series of clear-cut, objective tests that reliably determine whether a person has the chemical abnormality that leads to schizophrenia. Probably most nut-house personnel (like uncle Benny) just work in a nut-house cause they can't get a better position, so are generally low quality; furthermore, many or most have probably been trained in the psychoanalytic tradition and don't know anything about biochemistry or genetics, hence refuse to admit that psychoanalysis is useless for their patients, who doubtless are mostly schizos and manic-depressives, since this would amount to admitting that they themselves are not competent to fill their positions.

All this makes one wonder whether Joe's mother or our cousin Nora, have had proper treatment. As you know, I take a dim view of miracle drugs and all that technological (UI). I would respect someone who made an intelligent decision not to use that stuff---I might well make such a decision (UI) such a case---but it is disgusting that people who may be in severe suffering are victimized by crackpot psychoanalysts and people who "put crystals on their body" and shit like that. Though that book doesn't seem to be available, you might think whether you can find some way of calling to Joel's father's attention these facts about schizos-if you think that may be Joel's problem.


From Ted to Dave, Jun 17, 1986 (T-40)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated JUNE 17 1986 (T-40)

To: Dave Kaczynski

463 N. Ridge Avenue

Lombard, Illinois 60148

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Dear Dave--

Thanks for handling that $6000 check business. Thanks also for telling them the truth --- mother's answer was surprisingly restrained under the circumstances.

As to Joel's problem --- I'm not going to answer your comments in detail. Your views on a number of subject appear to be greatly modified by your ideology and by other factors that I consider to be non-rational, and I just get sick and tired of writing interminable letters to answer all the points you raise --- as I just finished doing with this family business. So I'll just make the following remarks:

(a) The objective diagnostic tests mentioned in the book do not claim to determine whether anyone is sane or insane (as far as

I can remember, the word "insanity" was never even used in the book). The tests only claim to determine whether the person has a certain chemical peculiarity of the brain. In the most severe cases the person will be what in common parlance is called a raving lunatic; in the most mi-(UI) cases he will show hardly any symptoms in his thoughts or behavior.

(b) As for explaining mental illness on the basis of "skewered [do you by any chance mean skewed?] perceptions or thought processes" it's not clear what you are talking about. Presumably, mental illness is "skewered" (skewed?) perceptions or thought processes, so what does this explain? As for explaining mental illness on the basis of "the 'insanity' of society itself", this is certainly plausible in many cases, since our society often uses "mental illness" as a label to pin on anything it disapproves of. But this is not reasonable in the case of schizophrenia, or at least not in the more severe cases of schizophrenia. Example: some severely schizophrenic children walk awkwardly with their legs wide apart as if they had difficulty keeping their balance; the reason is that, to them, the floor appears to be heaving and pitching under their feet. Are you going to argue that the floor really is heaving and pitching and that society is insane for regarding it as stationary?

(c) you "strongly doubt that even most of the hard-core brain theorists would recommend him [(UI) for chemical therapy". Of course no responsible doctor would recommend him for chemical therapy before he has undergone diagnostic tests. But on the basis of the limited information in your letter, I'd say that any specialist in this field would certainly recommend that Joel undergo the diagnostic tests. The fact that he expresses himself clearly and intelligently in some areas --- or even in all areas--, by no means incompatible with schizophrenia. My knowledge is of course very limited, but on the basis of what you told me I'd say Joel is a likely candidate for schizophrenia. For instance, he says his sense of time is very poor.

If I remember correctly, distortion of the time - sense is a typical symptom of schizophrenia. As to Joel's oddities: Do they result from some ideological commitment? Are they a response to some emotional need? Are they rational consequences of some original perception that he has arrived at? Or are they simply the pointless and disorganized responses of someone whose mind is falling apart?

(d) In many cases schizophrenia gets worse with time. In such cases, if I remember correctly, the book said it was important to begin treatment early, because later the problem may be more difficult to control.

(f) On the other hand, specialists may be over-enthusiastic about the use of their own tools, and (UI) may exaggerate the benefits of the drugs and minimize the undesirable side-effects.

(g) Also, there are all kinds of value-judge-ments involved in whether or not one wants to use such drugs, even if one has already concluded that they will benefit the individual patient in the purely medical sense. I won't discuss those here --- you can make up your own mind.

(h) You really ought to read that book. Though your library doesn't have it, you can probably get it through the interlibrary loan service. I've got books that way myself and the process is very simple --- it's almost as easy as just taking out a book, except that you have to wait a couple of weeks until the library gets a copy of the book from some other library. Ask the librarian. Title (i think): The Schizophrenias, Yours and mine; author -- I don't remember; it was written by several doctors. It was put out by an organization called (if my memory serves) The Schizophrenia Institute, in the early 1970's. There a reference book called Encyclopedia of Association (ask the reference librarian). Look under "Schizophrenia" and you should be able to get the address of the Schiz. Institute or some other organization that can give you information on the subject of schizophrenia, clinics or specialists in Joel's area, etc.

If you can't get the book or the information, let me know. There's just a chance I can get the book back on loan. When I traded that book back in at the place where I trade paperbacks, the woman who was keeping store showed an immediate interest in the book, because, she said, her brother has schizophrenia. When I visited the store a couple of weeks ago, the book was not on the shelves; it may have been put back on the shelves after I traded it in and then someone bought it. But it's also possible that that woman kept the book. In that case, if I explained the situation, she might be willing to loan it to me so that you could read it.

But really I think you can probably get it through the interlibrary loan service.

Okay, once you read that book you'll know everything about schiz. that I do, so let's drop the subject. I get sick of these interminable discussions by letter, especially when they touch on philosophical issues. It's a vast expense of time.


From Ted to Dave, Jul 2, 1986 (T-41)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated JULY 2 1986 (T-41)







Since you liked the story regarding the vampire, I am translating for you now another tale form the same book, Raggle Taggle, by Walter Starkie, C.M.G., C.B.E., Litt. D. But, different from the vampire story, this story is true---if the author isn't a liar---and I doubt that he is, even though I'm not inclined to trust very much in the accuracy of his details.

I finally arrived at a wooded area, where I found a peasant that was resting in the shade. He was a fine figure of a man, strong, close to 6 foot 3 inches tall, as husky as a boxer. It was difficult for me to understand his dialect, but we became friends and we continued on together, and he told me many anecdotes regarding rural life in Transylvania. He was born in the village of Poplaka, close to Sibiu, and had spent many years in the Carpathian Mountains (Carpathians), and he gave me a very laudatory description of the life of a shepherd in the highlands during the summer...

While we walked, I heard unexpectedly a confused sound that came from a thick forest to the right. It appeared that there was a fight, since we heard the shouts of women and the barking of dogs. Due to curiosity, we got closer to the forest, and under the trees we saw a circle of men and women and in the middle two ragged men who were fighting. My friend, the peasant, wanted that we flee quickly, and said: "Leave them; they're not but some dirty gypsies and if you get close to them you wouldn't gain anything, but to get hit; or better still, they will pick your pocket." It was a bloody fight and the two men were bleeding profusely, but what surprised me was the ferocity of their supporters. Each man had a wild-looking band of hags that scratched with their nails the faces of their adversaries who defended the other man. Everybody in the camp appeared to take part in the fight, even the shrieking children and the growling dogs. Then, suddenly, a man along the outskirts of the mob gave a sharp whistle and warned of us to some of his companions. Within a few seconds the fight had dissolved into a noisy crowd and the multitude transferred their interest to us. The fighters were left alone so they could help themselves up and place their weapons in their sheaths. The mob of dirty gypsies quickly approached us and in an instant they had us surrounded. I compared them to the drawings by Doré of the greedy souls from hell, all of them with outstretched hands, grimacing; multitudes of troubled human beings with crazy eyes. The peasant faced up to them like a man, but he whispered in my ear: "By God! Let's not stay here: they are Netotsi and they'll do us harm, because they are as treacherous as foxes." I was mesmerized by those tramps and forsaken children and I wanted to see their camp, and finally persuaded the peasant to accompany me until I could satisfy my curiosity. I was difficult to acquire space to breathe within this smelly throng, but I came up with an ingenious trick. [Cogí*] I grabbed my violin and, [blendiéndo-cannot recognize word] out loud, I shouted: "Bashavav!" Then I started to play one Rumanian dance after another, hoping to imitate the Pied Piper. My idea turned out pretty good, because the gypsies retreated a

* The word coger is very common in Spain, but it is well to avoid it in Latin America, since in parts of the latter it means "fuck". little and they looked at me admiringly with their eyes wide open. They began tapping their feet and clapping their hands to the beat. Little by little the men and women moved away and my audience diminished until it consisted of a bunch of naked kids with bright eyes that were rolling in the dirt at my feet. Later we went to the camp, that was a few feet away behind a large rock. It was the accustomed gathering of ragged tents, but much more miserable than the gypsy camp near Arpas. Next to the tents were the rickety cars loaded with all kinds of miscellaneous objects; sticks, furs, carpets, pots, pans, pillows, and around them were miserable donkeys and horses. Some of the women were crouched over some fires and they were smoking some curious pipes, and very short full of weeds that emitted a bad odor. I had some cigarettes in my pockets that I threw to one of the men. With a joyful shout he ran to show what I had given him to a ragged woman that was dressed in a red discolored costume, but that wore large earrings. Just like the majority of women with children, her breasts were naked and she carried her baby in a bundle tied with straps to her back and when she walked, the baby cried. She came to me and extended her hand and asked for money whimpering. Seeing that this maneuver was a failure, she retreated a few steps and she started to dance twirling repeatedly, singing in a monotone voice while some of her companions clapped their hands and the baby on her back kept crying. My peasant friend was very uneasy because of my long stay in the gypsy camp, and every moment he would come to me and tell me: "Why can't we leave the this damned place?" Then a gypsy with a black beard took him to show him some talismans that would bring good luck. In the meantime, a small gypsy with a skinny face grabbed me by the arm and whispered in my ear: "reci". I remembered the very strong reci, or liquor, that the leader of the tribe of gypsies near Arpas had given me when they received me warmly, but I wanted to try it again. That's why I followed him to one of the tents.

There was nobody in the tent, except us, and for the first time I began to feel uneasy, since my companion did not inspire any trust. His hair was long, it was tangled up and hung in greasy folds over his coarse unshaven cheeks. Inside the tent there was the suffocating stench of dog and pig shit, being that he had some pigs tied to the entrance, and in the back of the tent there were some dogs lying down.

When he had led me inside the tent, he put his fingers to his lips as if he had a secret to tell me. Then he muttered the words "chai shukar", and I understood he wanted to bring me a girl. I refused

But, she had around her neck a chain of colored beads. Her body was slender and athletic like a puma, her skin was the color of a hazelnut, and her hair was as black as her eyes. The gypsy remained quiet to observe the effect that the beauty of the girl would have on me. I deduced that she was his daughter, but he would give her to me for a specific amount of lei (Rumanian money). I refused moving my head, but he didn't appear to understand why I would decline to take her, and he continued repeating many times the word "shukar", smiling malevolently. As far as the girl was concerned, she was passive like an animal that had to be offered for sacrifice. Oh! O Borrow*: Where are your theories regarding the modesty of gypsies [feminine gender] and the ferocious jealousy of the males? Here this vile vagrant offered me his own daughter for a few lei as if she was some merchandise.

Seeing that I persisted, he signaled the girl to leave, and he went to a corner and brought out a bottle of liquor, saying "picho reci".

Being that I thought it wise to please him, I took a drink and expressed my appreciation. The drink was horrible, and I could have swallowed liquid fire for the same effect. Once I had tried it, I returned the bottle to him and he took a big swallow. Soon his entire personality turned ----------------------------------------------------- *

George Borrow was a man who had wandered with gypsies in Spain---I believe during the 19th Century and he wrote a famous book regarding his adventures. But there are many distinct classes of gypsies, with different customs. very sinister and brutal: his eyes glowed malevolently and he asked more insistently for the money. He extended his hand and he touched my clothing and he gave me taps on the arms, simulating an imploring manner that caused me to retreat before him in disgust. While I attempted to retire toward the entrance to the tent, he continued to pursue me and suddenly he grabbed me. Before I could dodge him, he grabbed a hold of my neck and his callous fingers began to squeeze it. I tried to struggle against him but his arms surrounded me and I couldn't shout. We rolled around from one part of the tent to the other, and I could see that the only possibility of salvation was to deliver a kick to his shinbone so hard that he would loosen his grasp. Finally I was able to gain sufficient leverage in my leg and I gave him a kick with the entire weight of my boot. He uttered a muffled curse, and released his tight grasp on my neck and I was able to recover sufficient breathe to call for help to my peasant companion, who couldn't be far, since he had wanted to watch over me.

But, every moment the gypsy struggled more frantically. Suddenly, I saw him pull out something shinny: it was a knife. I felt myself become paralyzed with fear and I closed my eyes, anticipating the burning sensation of the knife and the stream of blood...but then I heard a shout behind me: it was my peasant friend. Without wasting words he leaped on top of the gypsy and landed a blow to his head with the large stick he was carrying. Moaning, the gypsy slowly fell to the ground, and remained there, stunned.

"Quickly, quickly! Let's escape immediately," said the peasant. They will catch us if we don't run for our lives and God only knows what they will do to us."

I was dizzy and exhausted and in no way ready to measure my velocity against that of some gypsies. There was nothing more to do but to follow the best I could my friend the peasant, who ran as if he was being pursued by a bunch of phantoms.

Fortunately, it was not too difficult to escape from the camp, being that the gypsy's tent was hidden from the others by some bushes. We heard some shouts, but no one followed us toward the road. Finally we stopped next to a stream to catch our breath. For a long time I laid exhausted on the ground; I was dizzy and my neck hurt as if the gypsy had branded his fingers on my neck with a white-hot iron.

According to the peasant, we were lucky to escape so easily, because those gypsies were the nomadic type known as the Netotsi, who are the most ferocious when they get excited. The police, told me, don't ever go near them in the countryside, since they are so treacherous that it's impossible to outsmart them. He told me they were reputed to have recently attacked a traveller and they had killed him. In addition, it was said they had eaten his body. It is due to this that the Rumanian peasants don't deal with those gypsies except during the day and when there lots of people around. "But you are a foreigner in our country, sir." --he said-- "and I felt I was obligated to accompany you to make sure that no harm came to you."

That declaration was characteristic of the Rumanian peasant, who usually takes the trouble to help a foreigner, even when they have to face danger, as in this case.

Finally we arrived where we had to separate and the peasant had to leave me so I could follow my path. We said goodbye and I kissed him on both cheeks, because he had saved my life, and I asked him his name and last name and the name of his village, because I swore I would send a reward when I returned home. In the meantime, I offered him a ring I had as a keepsake, but he declined to accept the gift. Then he left me, and I saw his tall figure disappear in the distance, crossing the fields and making a white dot on the horizon.

I'm glad that you have learned a lot of Spanish in order to read with little difficulty what I'm writing to you in this language; I like writing in Spanish, and this way I can train myself and gain experience with the language.

From Ted to Dave, Aug 11, 1985 (T-43)

ENVELOPE Postmark date AUG 11 1985 PM LINCOLN, MT (T-43)






LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 ------

Querido hermano:


The fact that Joel's case doesn't clearly fit in any set of symptoms as described in the book by no means shows he doesn't have schizophrenia. If I remember correctly, the authors emphasized that the problem manifests itself in very diverse ways.

I still think there's a good chance that his problem is schizophrenia. Take his personal oddities, like the snots running down his lip. Is there any way of explaining this in terms of emotional or problems, philosophical attitudes, or anything of that sort? To me it sounds just senseless. This, together with his problem with his sense of time and his feeling of dissociation of mind and body, suggest to me an organic malfunction of the brain rather than a psychological problem. Schizophrenia, if I'm not mistaken, is the most common of the mental problems that are caused by organic malfunction of the brain. Of course, in Joel's case there's also the question of the old head injury, but, if he has an organic malfunction of the brain, it's rather beside the point whether it's schiz.. or head injury or something else--he's still better off going to a brain specialist than going in for these crackpot treatments.

As for the side-effects of drugs, I don't know what those might be. You might try to dig up more information on the subject. Maybe the public health Dept., or a doctor, (UI) source of information; or you might try the Schizophrenia Foundation or whatever was the name of the organization that put out the book. Against the diminution of Joel's creativity that might be caused by the drug one has to put the fact that he may be suffering. Basically the decision to use or not use such drugs ought to be up to Joel himself; but then there's the question of whether his judgement is impaired enough to prevent him from making an intelligent decision. Of course, there are many perfectly "normal" people who are incapable to making an intelligent decision, so if you're going to start trying to pressure people into doing what you think is right because they aren't capable of making an intelligent decision...well you can see where that leads. Still, he may be suffering.

One can - and in principle I think one ought to, ideally - reject any kind of technical intervention on the human mind. But if one does not take that point of view, then I think Joel's problem ought to be diagnosed by a specialist. Diagnosis would simply provide knowledge on the basis of which one could make a decision. The only reservation I have about that is that "crazy" people can be involuntarily committed to an institution, and, at least in some states, the legal safeguards (UI), or were until recently, very inadequate. But, as long as Joel doesn't "make trouble", (UI) would be any danger of his being committed involuntarily unless his father, getting wind of an unfavorable diagnosis, might try to have him committed.

I'd enjoy (UI) to come. But I'd like to have notice at least 3 weeks in advance of when you plan to arrive, which means you have to mail the letter a month in advance@ I don't know yet whether I'll ride down to Texas with you -- I'll have to decide.

With all that long-distance travelling you do, I hope you take good care of that car. I don't too much trust an old car for safety.

When my car gave out and I traded it in for an old pickup, I noted that the front wheels on the latter looked a little out of line. I took it in to have it examined. The mechanic asked me "How fast were you driving on the way here?" I said, "60 miles an hour". He said "Jeez, you're lucky. That ball joint was just ready to slip out of there". Which means that a front wheel would have fallen off.

You might consider doing some of your travelling by train or bus. Might work out cheaper too.

**See Insanity Inside Out, by Kenneth Donaldson. The author was apparently a paranoiac himself-though he refused to admit it. He was committed involuntarily by his parents and spent 15 years in the nuthouse under very bad conditions.

Paragraph in Spanish

Getting back to this Joel business, I must say your reaction leaves me unsatisfied. You complain that the book didn't give enough information to (UI) you to recognize schizophrenia. But that's what the diagnostic tests are for (UI) to tell whether someone has schizophrenia. You seem to want proof that Joel has schizophrenia before you induce him to see a doctor who can diagnose him. Since you don't seem to be opposed on general philosophical grounds to having him treated if he does have schiz, I don't understand why you are so hesitant about simply having him examined and diagnosed. It's obvious that Joel has a serious problem of some kind, and surely you'll admit that its nature is such as to indicate at least a distinct possibility of a physical problem in the brain, and whether that physical problem is schiz or something else, diagnosis by an expert is required---right? You seem to be very reluctant to face up to the fact that your friend likely has a brain problem.

Of course, it's true that the practical difficulties in getting him diagnosed might be considerable. He might agree to it and then never do anything about it so that you'd have to make an appointment for him and then go and fetch him to see that he keeps it. Doesn't he have some friends in Washington or some relatives other than his father who could work with him? You might try his father- maybe he's not as bad as Joel pictures him. Considering the geographical distances between you, I'd see that it might be impractical for you to work with Joel yourself.

Written on left side vertically:

P.S. If you come out here (UI) I can use your car to take a driver's test and get a driver's license.

From Ted to Dave, Dec 30, 1986 (T-46)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated DEC 30 1986 (T-46)







Dave- Don't forget to try the experiment of going out for a hike for a couple of weeks without taking any reading material along. I think you'll find the experience rewarding.

With regard to the book on ancient Mexican sculpture that you gave me, I find that on looking over the pictures more attentively, there are more pieces that I like. For instance, there is the "Great Coatlicue", which didn't interest me at first but which I now like much better. I look at it with a sense of humor. Since it looks like the monster from a cheap horror movie, but still in its own way it is a kind of feast for the eyes. Much better is a statue of an adolescent boy, maybe 14 years old or so. From the point of view of strict realism it is pretty poor - for example the modeling of the limbs is very crude. But the artist has done a splendid job of capturing the general impression of the gawky physique of a teenage kid - and also it seems to me the psychological ebullience of that time of life - the kid looks like he has the energy of an adolescent An interesting question - if the limbs had been well and realistically modeled, would it have detracted from the overall impression by distracting the viewer's attention to the anatomical details? Very possibly so.


NORTH POLE (AP) - Santa ("Saint Nick") Claus alias Kris Kringle, was indicted today on charges of grand larceny and fraud for allegedly having diverted several million dollars' worth of toys to the mansion of a California millionaire on the evening of December 24 in exchange for $220,000 worth of shares in a nationally-known toy-manufacturing firm. The toys were to have been delivered to children across the country. The bearded, jack-booted Claus, who has been operating for years under a contract to transport several thousand sleigh-loads of toys annually, allegedly falsified records and altered shipping orders so that between 6 and 8 percent of the most expensive items arrived at the home of the millionaire, who was not named. Claus declined to comment on the charges.

"We feel that this may be only the tip of the iceberg", said investigator Anacharsis Klootz. "We know that Claus has repeatedly entered private homes at night through the chimney. This is illegal entry, but the police have been consistently winking at it. We are continuing our investigation to determine whether payoffs have been involved".

Meanwhile, a reliable source reported that the Easter Bunny has filed a complaint against Claus for allegedly attempting to muscle in on his egg-delivery business. Bunny, who had been threatened, was previously afraid to take action but was encouraged to do so on receiving news of Claus's arrest. In other developments, the Tooth Fairy reportedly has been accused of

NOTE: LINE CUT OFF ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE investigating for sexually abusing sleeping children; a recent audit showed that more than $700,000 in boullion is missing from the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; and laboratory tests have revealed that "Virgin" Mary is infected with AIDS. Several Halloween ghouls, including "Baron Frankenstein and "Count" Dracula are said to have ...(ui)... last October 31 by posing as costumed children.

From Ted to Dave, Jul 31, 1987 (T-50)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated JULY 31 1987 (T-50)

To: Dave Kaczynski

Terlingua Route, Box 220

Alpine, Texas 79830

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Letter ID 60225031 DVI K443

Dated July 31, 1987


Dear brother:

I just received your birthday present. You made an excellent choice: you have taken into consideration my preference for classical works. I didn't read anything in Spanish that I haven't read before.

I enjoyed reading Pepita Jimenez. I thank you. I do not know if you read the book before sending it to me, if not, let me tell you that deals with an old and exploited theme, erotic love, but it is a good story. Its composition is perfect, but not so in the last part of the book (like I explain later on) and I think that the human psychology I well presented. The author presented the {xxx} of a youngster that is preparing to become a Priest and that falls in love with a beautiful young female, whom also falls in love with him. Valera shows us how the young man is able to fool himself and the false pretexts that the young man uses to convince himself that he is not in love with the woman; also he is able to mix the concepts of egoism and vanity with a true sentiment of religion which makes him yawn to be a Priest. In one specific passage, the young woman confesses to the “vicar Priest”, who is her confessor, that she has fallen in love with the young man: it is presented in a very peculiar way the mix of desire and vanity that moves her. Of course, the author realizes the complexity of the human motives, but does not discards the human nature nor presents them as foul, like so many authors do now a days. To the contrary, he seems to be to humble to fool his kin. In his novel they are presented with love-but without shadowing their imperfections.

The ending of the book is not as good as the rest of the book.

The author gives, in an epilogue, the principal acts within the lives of the youngsters after their marriage, and this part of the book is quite lame. But I suppose that this were the ways in the past; Fielding, Thackery, Dickens, etc. did the same thing. More serious would be an insult, and the following duel that is introduced in the story by the author. This episode does not fit in the story; it has no relationship, and it does not necessary. It also tends to disrupt the character that the author has develop in the young man. I believe that Valera brought this episode in the novel, because almost all the action (if you can call it action) in the novel is psychological and the author thought that many of his readers needed some physical or violent action or thought that some of his readers would consider his hero as gay, this might have made him compelled to make more of a man out of his character; from here this episode seems to grow artificially from The rest of the story.

It is interesting to point out two things within the writings of Valera that we could feel are undetectable. In “Comendador Mendoza”, Valera makes a young man of 18 or 20 years, to fall in love with another man of 50 years of age. In “Pepita Jimenez”, and also in “Comendador Mendoza”, if I do remember well, some of the characters talk about dying for love. To us it seems a little difficult that a young woman falls in love with an old man or that someone might die for love. But in Valera’s writing it would be difficult not to believe something like this, when we consider a real life episode of Valera himself when he was 61 years old! He had a love adventure with a young woman {xxx}, who committed suicide when Valera left her.

This I learned reading the biographical data in the beginning of the book.

In the same prologue, Valera did not believe in the pedagogical value of the novels, and that they should not be used to "test theses"; for "dissertations and specialized books" should be written. He also said that "the object of art is to create beauty", and that after writing Pepita Jimenez, "my purpose was to limit myself in writing something to entertain".

In majority, Indeed to agree with that; but a matured taste finds more fun in works that represent true human psychology, it’s {xxx} developments and it’s changes, and then to bored the external and physical action. And so, indirectly, I believe the novel has some pedagogical function, because it tells us of certain things of the human mind and makes us think about our personal psychic.

I suppose you have received mi letter were I mentioned your marvelous adventures in Mexico and your relations to them?

Almost 2 weeks ago that the adopted daughter of Glen and Dolores Williams (owners of the cabin next to mine) arrived with various adolescents, friends of his, and without their parents. They did-as known- a lot of noise, but the bad thing is that the boys fired their rifles almost all day long, for two consecutive days. It seems, that this girls have made a group of some very stupid, and irresponsible friends, or like we would say in English she's fallen into bad company.

Because of this, I became quite concern about all the bullets this irresponsibles were firing, mainly, it made me mad {xxx} of the runnings. At the end of the first day, I got tired of the noise and I went down the hill to talk to this imbeciles to ask them to control themselves. But, as soon as I started to walk down, I found one of them walking up the hill. I started to talk to him very politely about the noise, but suddenly he responded -why don’t you shut the fuck up?- and then he said something that sounded like a menace, although I was not able to hear him well. I felt happy, because it gave me a clear and defined reason and I knew exactly what to do. A complaint such as "too much noise" is seldom strong, so I kept silence and waited until the stupid kids left. I later wrote a cordial letter to Glen and Dolores explaining to them what happened, and I asked them to please inform Kim (their adopted daughter) that from now on she should consider not bringing people as those; and that if some friends of hers wanted to shoot all day, they should find some other place to do that.

A few days later after sending the letter, Glen came by, and it seems he was madder than me with those adolescents. He told me the following story: When he received the letter, his wife Dolores did not told him about it. (Glen is from the south, and seems to belong to a school of strong discipline; while Dolores is less incline to it, and maybe this is why she did not inform her husband). So Glen {xxx} the letter. Glen works for McDonald’s in Great Falls. And his adopted daughter is presently living with her true mother and not with Glen and Dolores- I do not know why. Also, Glen told me that Kim should not have the key of the cabin, and that the one she has, stole it from Glen. (Glen said that he would change the lock of the cabin). Then, not long ago, after reading the letter, he was working in McDonald’s and they showed up-for one reason or other- Kim and her boyfriend or lover, what ever. Glen started to speak to them about the event; I do not know how he approached them. But they started to curse on him and Glen said to the youngster:- Are you man enough to come out of the car?- The boy started to exit the car and Glen hit him three times. {xxx} Kim and her lover left the place, they called the police and reported him for assault, and threaten him to take him to court, because the boy's eye started to hurt. Glen did not show proper wisdom by hitting the boy, but I feel happy he did. {xxx} {xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx}

Glen said: when they are together four or five of this boys, they think they are strong; but when you find one of them alone, is as tamed as a sheep". He told me that if something like this happens again, I should call him and he will come immediately with the sheriff.

I should tell you that Glen told me that once, one of those friends that Kim brought to the cabin pissed inside one of Glen’s coffee pots and Glen had to throw it away.

- Ted


* I want to say Sheriff.

From Ted to Dave, Aug 26, 1987 (T-51)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated AUG 26 1987 (T-51)

To: Dave Kaczynski

Terlingua Route, Box 220

Alpine, Texas 79830

From: T. Kaczynski

Stemple Pass Rd.

Lincoln, Montana 59639

Letter dated Aug. 26, 1987. LAB ID 60225031 D VI K444


My Dear brother:

I thank you for correcting my spelling of the word "subsistencia"; most probably I would have continued spelling that word wrong if you did not correct me.

I have not yet received the book of Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. The books that are ordered to Spain usually arrive within 3 months. After receiving the book and reading it, I will send it to you. I beg of you to safe it well, because I want to add it to my collection of Conquerors. It could be very difficult to find another such book, because when you request books from Espasa-Calpe, they say that they are run out of them. It is very possible that my book is one of the last ones available. I think you have already read the Nunez Cabeza de Vaca book in english, but without doubt you want to read it in spanish.

Pertaining to the attitudes of the hispanic peasant, they could have been different a few decades ago from what they are now. Emilio Zapata was a peasant, but a little richer than the medium peasant and, it seems that he wanted to have more economic enhancement than others.

... (Zapata) had foreseen that reorganized haciendas might be a bountiful source of public wealth, and recent talks with agronomists had confirmed his idea that the mills should continue to operate as "national factories". Farmers growing [sugar] cane and selling it to the mills would earn money, he understood, and so be able to save, buy new goods, and use new services...[He] urged villagers to quit growing vegetables and instead produce a cash crop. "If you keep on growing chile peppers, onions, and tomatoes", he told Villa de Ayala farmers, "you'll never get out of the state of poverty you've always lived in. That's why, as I advise, you, you have to grow cane..."...

"But most families went on truck farming. Rather than rehabilitate the hacienda, they obviously preferred to work and trade in foodstuffs that had always seemed the mainstay of the pueblo...

So profuse was the production {xxx}od that... there was little sign of inflation...

"...in the very crops people liked to grow, they {xxx}led the kind of community they liked to dwell in. They had no {xxx} for the style of individuals on the make, the life of {xxx}etual achievement and acquisition, of chance and change {xxx} moving on. Rather, they wanted a life they could control, {xxx}odest, familial prosperity..." - John Womack, Jr. {xxx}ata and the Mexican Revolution, Vintage books, 1968, pp. 240-{xxx} (the time referred to in this passage is between 1910 {xxx}920, and the place is the state of Morelos, Mex.)

The following passage is from Walter Starkie, Spanish{xxx}aggle-Taggle, E.P. Dutton, Inc. 1935, pp. 301-302.

In the early 1930's Starkie travelled on foot through {xxx} in Spain, consorting with Gypsies and peasants and so {xxx} In Castilla la Vieja (Old Castile) he met a peasant named Moreno. Here is a snatch of their conversation:

"'Come now, Moreno, what about the agrarian reform?'

"'Who cares a curse about the agrarian reform except the politicians? Why, here is Castile we all have our piece of land and what we want is to be left alone to work it!

"It was useless to urge Moreno to consider the benefits of modern methods, new inventions and mechanical contri{xxx} that would increase, his output. 'I have nothing to do with that' was his constant refrain. 'My father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather reaped and threshed in the old traditional way and they were able to live an honest life. Why should I worry my head over those new{xxx} notions?'"

This type of attitudes are often qualified as "mindless conservationism" and they are mindless- at least, in the case of the majority of the peasants- but I believe that the results are indeed less damaging than those of the mindless progressivism. But what I wanted to point out is that the peasants pertaining to the past, did not feel helpless, inferior, nor yearn the opportunities of the modern society.

But, I most tell you of the non-assured and {xxx} truthful passage of Starkie that I just cited.

This author encountered in his occurrences, many romantic incidents and it is very possible that he enhanced his adventures with a little of fantasy or exaggeration. The passage I cited is plain and free of romanticism; but I have no trust on the veracity of the author.

I do not sympathize with Glen Williams for having just a daughter;

I doubt he was a better father {xxx} daughter. It would be more appropriate to sympathize his wife, who- although was not smart, maybe was more of a parent to the daughter. To those adolescents you call them “rotten”. Maybe - but comparing them to the yuppies and certain other bourgeois, who are more rotten?

- Ted

P.S. Pertaining to the book of Nunez Cabeza de Vaca - could be that I may take quite some time reading it, mostly because I have ordered other books that should be arriving at the same time, and I will read them, probably, simultaneously with the one of Nunez. If you want a copy that you want to read, I can give you the address of the editor, the catalog number of the book, etc. Or, I could lent you my catalog, that contain many other books with interesting titles: fiction, philosophy, history, what ever {xxx}

From Ted to Dave, Oct 26, 1987 (T-52)

ENVELOPE Postmark date OCT 26 1987 PM LINCOLN, MT 59639 (T-52)







-From Joseph Conrad: Life and Letters, by G. Jean-Aubry, Doubleday,

Page and Co., New York, 1927, Vol. 11 pp. 72-73. Letter from J. Conrad to Arthur Symons, Aug., 1908:

My Dear Sir:

Thanks for communicating to me your study of my work - this "rejected address" to the public on behalf of my art. I can be nothing but grateful for the warm, living sincerity of your impression and of your analysis. (UI) imagine with what curiosity I went on from page to page.

You say things which touch me deeply. Reading certain passages

I feel that 14 years of honest work are not gone for nothing. A big slice of life that, which thanks to you I may say, in not altogether lost. There has been in all that time not 10 minutes of amateurishness. That is the truth. For the rest I may say that there are certain passages which have surprised me. I did not know that I had "a heart of darkness" and an "unlawful" soul. Mr. Kurz had, and I have not treated him with the easy moncha(ui) of our amateur. Believe me, no man paid more for his lines than I have. By that I possess an inalienable right to the use of all my epithets. I did not know that I delighted in cruelty and that the shedding of blood was my obsession.

The fact is that I am really a much simpler (UI) too. In the simplicity of my heart, I tried to realize these facts when they came in. Do you really think that old Flaubert gloated over the deathbed of Emma, or the death march of Malho, or the last moment of Beline?...

P.78 of the same book, in a letter to John Galsworthy concerning the latter's novel "Shadows":

"There will be thousands who will feel a sort of uneasiness.

It will to them dwarf the greatness of the book. I am talking of simple people. The other kind will no doubt discover varied interpretations, not one of which will be worth-having."

So much for the speculations of critics.

Paragraph in Spanish.

Note: A point about which I had wondered sometimes: Conrad was evidently a skeptic in religious matters: Above-mentioned book, p 83, in a letter to Edward Garnett, Aug 28, 1908: "I wish I could believe in an intelligent, benevolent Supreme Being to whom I could leave the task of paying my debts.................................. And perhaps there is one. I don't know, but it is clear that unless there be a God to repay you [rest of words cut off]


TWO COLUMNS SPANISH GRAMMAR, and then the following:

I like to run infinitive object of serving as direct object of "like" (UI) might analyse the sentence differently, but this is what it amounts to.) I guess grammarians would say the verb (UI) is "like to run", like "being an auxiliary verb to "to run"

That he runs is a well-known fact subject of sentence is itself a complete sentence ("he runs") preceded by "that".

You say "I went in order to ask for transportation", not "I went in order that to ask for transportation"

You do say "I went in order that I might find transportation," complete sentence prefixed by "that, though in this case I can't say it serves as a noun.

Thus, in spanish: "Le di un telefonazo para pedio transporte".

[Next two sentences in Spanish.]

I'm not explaining this well - I ought to get a book and review my English grammar so as to know the correct terminology for (UI) sentence.

[Spanish written on left hand margin] possibly you were confused here by Spanish expressions like "tener que hacer" and "haber que hacer". But these are special idiomatic expressions - normally an infinite is not preceded by "que".

You wrote Correction: realizan que el should have written "darnos cuenta de que hombre no iba el hombre no iba...

Spanish "realizar" does not mean "to become aware"; it means "to achieve" or "carry out". "Realizanous nuestro proposito" = "we achieved our purpose". My dictionary does give "realizan que" meaning "to become aware that", but it marks it as an anglicism. I don't recall ever having encountered this use of this word in my reading. el solo camino factible I'm not sure but I rather question that this is a correct use of factible. I suspect that the word can only be applied to nouns that more or less describe an action. Thus I think you could say "projecto factible" or "plan factible". But I'm not at all sure about this. cada vez pasaban vehiculos cado vez que pasoban vehiculos

It may be that colloquially "que" is often omitted before a subordinate clause, but in the official language it generally should not be omitted.


So in two days you covered 60 miles on foot. That's good going considering that all of it was, I take it, either at night, or else cross-country without a good trail. Me intereso mucho tu relacion. Y leere con gusto cualesquier otras relaciones de tus aventuras que me qutenus (UI).

Pues cuidate bien, aventurero y atrevido hermanite - no te arriesques demasiado.


P.S. If you decide to order any books from Espaca-Calpe, this is how it works: What you pay will of course vary with the exchange rate.

So you write to them to ask the price of the book or books. In reply they send you a "factura" listing the books with their prices in pesetas, and also in "divisas". The word means foreign exchange. The units aren't listed in the factura, but the number that appears under the heading "divisas" refers to dollars and cents. Despite the variation at the exchange rate, the price in dollars and cents remains valid provided you get your order in within a fixed period of time - 60 days from the date of the factura, if I remember right.

A postal money order won't be valid in Spain. You'll have to get a money order at a bank. You don't need an international money order.

A regular bank money order is OK - but just to make sure, ask at the bank to make sure their money orders are good in Spain. You might want to send the money order by registered [bottom of page cut off] [written in left hand margin] (UI) able to get the money required.

But a registered letter to Spain costs about $3.60. It will probably take a month or more to get a reply to your inquiry. Then from the time you send in the money it will probably take about 3 months or a little more, to get the books. The way the facturo is set up, it's not clear whether you have (UI) order either all or none of the books you inquired about, or whether you can order just some of the books.

The (UI) cost (UI) bucks - I don't remember what I paid. Remember that in Spain, when they write numbers, they use a comma for a decimal point and a decimal point for a comma thus:






If at any time you find in some bookstore a copy - be it new or used - of The Summing Up, by W. Somerset Mangham, but it for me please, and send it to me. I will pay you for it. I have wanted to buy this book for a long time but it is hard to get. Several months ago I ordered it from Interlibrary Loan Service, but it does not appear (cannot read) supplied me with a copy.

(Cannot read) ...they are known mainly by the father's last name, (cannot read) second to last and not his last name: thus:

Ignacio Guzman Herrero father's last name mother's last name will be known as "Guzman" and not as "Herrero." Or so I thought: But Alver Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is known that way "Cabez de Vaca" instead of "Nunez and he who wrote those notes also is sometimes named that way?!?! Perhaps they do this because "Nunez" is a very common last name.

Dear Brother:

Your adventure with Juan was very interesting. But was it not very risky? - in two different senses, physical and legal. I ask myself if you are braver than you are smart. It is worth taking a risk when there is something to be gained. Something that is worth plenty to compensate the danger, but when there is nothing to be gained.* Wasn't your friend able to walk as well without you as he could with you? Well, "it's your ass" - it's your ass, as we say in English. You have the right to risk it without reason if you so desire.

As for the book of Nunez Cabeza de Vaca: I have received it and have started reading it. In spite of some archaisms, it is very easy to read as far as the difference in language is concerned. But some parts are somewhat difficult to understand, not because the author wrote in Spanish, but because he did not know how to give a clear and well organized narration of the events. Not only will I send you the address of the editors, but I will send you the catalog; they have sent me a new one and I will send you the old one. You don't

**Perhaps you had something to gain - knowledge of the lives of the Mexicans - It's worth the risk. have to return it to me. Before you buy the book, perhaps you prefer to read my copy - which I will willingly loan to you if you want it - because you may not want to buy it after reading it: First, the author describes a tribe of Indians who always appeared to be half starved. (Really, describes all the Indians* as if they were always half starved) and he goes on to say that the men from this same tribe could run all day, from sun up to sun down, and that in this manner they hunted deer, running them down until they could no longer evade the man, and in this manner they caught the live deer. It is clear that a man who is half starved cannot catch a running deer. But, OK: a wrecked man not accustomed to the hardships of Indian life could well exaggerate. However, the bad thing is, that Mr. Nunez asserts shaving cured the Indians by making the sign of the cross and praying over them. This does not refer to a few sick people who might have been made well by accident after they had somebody make the sign of the cross and pray over them. Mr. Nunez affirmed having cured a very large number of Indians; he affirms that his cures were never unsuccessful, including the treatment of people who are gravely ill; he also asserts having brought back to life a man who had no pulse and was believed by everybody to be dead. I am therefore obligated to conclude that Mr. Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is a liar or a fool, therefore one cannot believe that his story is true.

On the other hand, I have no reason to doubt that the majority of story he tells is true, and the story is very interesting - or it would be if one could believe it. I find it difficult to enjoy reading this because of the miraculous treatments; because I don't know which parts are lies and which are truths.

Be as it may, let me know if you want me to send you the book.

"(Can't read) Austral" of the Espasa-Calpe is a collection of cheap and rustic editions of classic works. The volumes of the old editions are well made, with the pages stitched; but the new volumes are very poorly made: the pages are bound with glue and they come loose very easily. The book of N. C. de V. that I got was printed in 1985 (and therefore, not withstanding what I said in my last letter, will be easy to obtain) and it has its pages bound to the back with glue. Because of that, if you want me to send you the book, I will not get angry if the pages come loose while you have it - really, it is probably inevitable for the pages to come loose. But I beg you to be careful and not lose any pages. Using the English expression: [I don't necessarily expect to get the book back in one piece, but I do want to get all the pieces back!]

Your Spanish continues to improve. I only have a few

I have read more into the book (can't read) But, as I said, in light of what it says about miracle cure, How can one believe this man? If he was not a liar, Cabeza de Vaca mu;st have had a poor sense of judgement, or he had a great ability to fool himself.

You wrote Correct

English English a small town a small town more or less more or less60 miles from rancho Terlingua

60 miles fromOne would probably say rancho Terlinguasmall town instead of small town, but the matter is very (can't read) and I am not sure. to requestto request transportation transportation"que" is not used before an infinitive - An infinitive serves as a noun. "que" is placed before a complete sentence to make that sentence serve as a noun.


To run is good


This, in Spanish: "I gave him/her a phone call to ask for transportation." "I gave Juan the boss' telephone number so that he can ask him for transportation." "Que" precedes this . . .

(English) possibly you were confused here by Spanish expressions like "having to do" and "having to do." But these are special idiomatic expressions - normally an infinitive is not preceded by "que."

You wrote Correction realize that theShould have written "Become aware man was not goingthat the man was not going..."

Spanish "realizar" does not mean "to become aware"; it means "to achieve" or "to carry out" "Realizar nuestro proposito" = "we achieved our purpose." My dictionary does give "realizar que" meaning "to become aware that," but it marks it as an anglicism. (English) the only feasible road I'm not sure, but I rather question that this is a correct use of factible (feasible) I suspect that the word can only be applied to nouns that more or less describe an action. Thus I think you could say "feasible project" or "feasible plan." But I'm not at all sure about this. each time each time that (que) vehicles passed vehicles passed

It may be that colloquially "que" is often omitted before a subordinate clause, but in the official language it generally should not be omitted.

1. Now and then-Now and then'

2. die-die

3. where a creek named-creek named

Terlingua Creek runs

4. It was seven in the -It was seven in the morning morning

5. forget how sweet it -forget how sweet it tasted tasted In your grammar book look up "how." until we arrive at the ranch infinitive until we arrive at the ranch complete sentence


Your narration interested me very much. I will gladly read any other narrations of your adventures that you wish to send me.

Take care, adventurous and daring little brother - don't be too daring.


From Ted to Dave, Dec 1, 1987 (T-53)

ENVELOPE Postmark dated DEC 1 1987 (T-53)







And yet literary creation being only one of the legitimate forms of human activity has no value but on the condition of not excluding the fullest recognition of all the more distinct forms of action. This condition is sometimes forgotten by the man of letters, who often, especially in his youth, is inclined to lay a claim of exclusive superiority for his own amongst all the other tasks of the human mind.

The mass of verse and probe may glimmer here and there with the glow of a divine spark, but in the sum of human effort it has no special importance. There is no justificative formula for its existence any more than for any other artistic achievement. With the rest of them it is destined to be forgotten, without, perhaps, leaving the faintest trace.

------- Joseph Conrad, "Books, II, in Notes on Life and Letters, Doubleday, Page (U) Company Garden City, N.Y., 1924, page 7.

Dear Brother:

Merry Christmas! I'm sending you for a present a book you might like if you are still interested in Bela Lugosi and those types; and besides I'm sending you some delicacies that consist of parsnips prepared this way: first they were cooked, then they were sliced lengthwise, and, finally, they were dried. They are ready to eat and don't require any preparation. But, be careful not to break your teeth on them! They are very hard. You have to suck on them until they soften up before you chew them. It's possible to soften them up cooking them or covering them in water, but that way they lose all their flavor. I'm not sending you but a small amount, because I don't know if you'll like them. Do me the favor of telling me if you like them.



From Ted to Dave, Dec 18, 1987 (T-54)

Envelope Postmark dated DEC 18 1987 AM CANYON CREEK, MT 59633 (T-54)









Dear brother:

Here are some books that you can buy for me if you can find them some bookstore. In descending order of importance (that is, the first is the one I desire the most.

1 .) The Summing Up, W. Somerset Maugham ($15.00)

2 .) G. Mackey, The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum

Mechanics ($15.00)

3 .) Fernando Orozco y (UI), La Guc*** de Treirta akos (but this one you're not likely to find) $3.00

4 .) Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (Diccionario de la Lergua Espanola, de la Real Arademcia Espanola) (Preferably the most recent edition, but wouldn't have to be the most recent.) The most recent edition is 2 volumes, older editions might have different no. of volumes - don't buy unless you have all the volumes. New this dictionary would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $70.00 - hopeless! But if you should find a used one, I'd go up to $20.00 for it.

Don't buy the Grammar of the Royal Spanish Academy - I already have that.

The prices written after the above books indicate the maximum price I'd be willing to pay for them. The maximum total I'd be willing to spend would be $30.00. I'm very (UI) to spend that much all at once on books, but the books mentioned might be difficult to get, so I'd hate to pass up the chance.

Bear in mind that the better book stores often have extensive

used book sections and that's where to look to get books cheap, or to find hard to get books.


I have finished reading the book of Cabega de Vaca. Let me know when you want me to send it to you.

Your account about the lamb was very interesting.

You wrote | should be | The name was | The name was | It was explained | It was explained | (UI) | (UI) | More or less 20 steps | Morae or less 20 steps | The eyes were green | The eyes were green | Across a distance | Across a distance | The skin was brown | re brown skin and hair | Me di cuenta | Me di cuenta de que | On left are parts | of sentences from Dave's letters. On right | Ted tells Dave how it should have been written. dar se cuenta de que means more like "to realize." If you (UI) notice I think it's better to use (UI), rotar, or observer el sol (UI) present participles (like [UI]) are not used as pure adjectives. (UI) (UI) (UI) no (UI) que is followed by subjunctive (fuera), but no sober si is followed by indicative.

Actually your use of fuera could perhaps be justified by recourse to a high-level and fancy grammatical conversation which equates the reference the past subjunctive with the (UI) indicative (fluera = habia (UI), (UI) = habia venido, etc.) This is (UI) the fact that the (UI) of the past subj. derives from the Latin (UI) sos that the above convention amounts more or less to using Latin grammar. - Ted P.S. You say you get this sodium-free baking powder. I can't get it around here. Please get me some, if convenient. Since I may not get another chance to get (UI) for a long time, get me about $10.00 worth, which of course I'll pay for. Thanks, Merry Christmas. - Ted

Did you get the Christmas package I sent you there in Texas? I sent it about Dec. 1.

P.S. How is Joel Schwarz doing?

T. J.


Stemple Pass Road

Lincoln, Montana 59639



1, 1987

Espasa Calpe, S.A.

Apartment 5_7

____ Madrid

Dear Gentlemen:

I wish to purchase one volume of each of the following titles which appear in your catalog of June 1985:

From Ted to Dave, Jan 20, 1988 (T-55)






LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 ---------------------------------

Dear Dave:

Thanks for taking the (UI) trouble to look for books for me. (UI) Thanks for The Summing Up, which I have received.

If Dale Edwards is so generous as to want to copy for me Mackey's Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Theory, he is (UI) certainly welcome to do so, and I'll be glad to receive the copy. If you'd like to give me his address I'll send him reimbursement and my thanks.

I'll send you the Cabeza de Vaca book next time I get to town---but please tell me where to send it. I gather you're still in Lombard, and I don't know when you're going back to Texas.

(A CIRCLE IS DRAWN AROUND: Note spelling of apparently)

(UI) One isn't supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth but

I suppose you want (UI) truth: I think Altamirano's (Spanish words) stinks. A part from the fine descriptive passage at the beginning

(UI) the book is inept from a literary point of view, and as for the ideas it promotes I have no use for a patronizing priest who tries to brainwash villagers into adopting bourgeois values.

You'll recall that Juan Valera regarded literature as mere entertainment, and considered the treatise rather than the (UI) novel to be the proper vehicle for instruction. You'll also recall the passage (UI) of Conrad I quoted for you recently, in which he argued mundane occupations. Here is Maugham on the same subject: The Summing Up, Chapt. (UI) XIV:

"There is no more merit in having read a thousand books than in having ploughed a thousand fields. There is no more merit in being able to attach a correct description to a painting than in being able to find out what is wrong with a stalled motorcar. In each case it is special knowledge. The stockbroker has his knowledge too and so has the artisan. It is a silly prejudice of the intellectual that (UI) the only one that counts. The true, the good, and the beautiful are not the perquisites of those who have been to expensive schools, burrowed in libraries, and frequented museums. The artist has no excuse when he uses others with condescension. He is a fool if he thinks his knowledge is more important than theirs and an oaf if he cannot meet them on an equal footing. Matthew Arnold did a great disservice to culture when he insisted on its opposition to philistinism."

Ted (OVER- >)


From Dave to Ted, Feb 17, 1988 (T-56)

Dear Ted

I'm back at the ranch again.

It would please me to receive that (UI) book anytime its convenient (UI) are delicious! Thanks on all counts.

I hope Dale sends you a copy of the Mackey book. He's sometimes forgetful. According to his plans, he would have left his mother's by now to return to Minnesota. Otherwise, I would write to remind him.

Hope you're having a nice, quiet winter.


From Ted to Dave, Feb 17, 1988 (T-56)

ENVELOPE Postmark date FEB 17 1988 PM LINCOLN, MT 59639 (T-56)






Dear brother:

I just sent you the book of Cabeza de Vaca. It made me happy that you liked the dried parsnips.

I have received the copy of Mackey's book. But you failed to give me Dale Edwards' address so that I can pay and thank him. For that reason I am enclosing in this letter a check for $5.50, which represents approximately, according to my calculations, what I owe Dale. Please see that Dale gets them both.


From Ted to Dave, May 31, 1988 (T-57)





Received birthday present. Thank you. Will read it later.

I'm very sorry to hear about Juan's accident. I wish I could do something to help out--he seems like a very decent sort of fellow, to judge from what you've told me about him. Let me know how it turns out.

If it's practical for you, you might try to see to it that Juan gets proper legal help so that he gets whatever money compensation he's entitled to. He might not know that free legal aid is available to poor people.


From Ted to Dave, Sep 15, 1988 (T-59)


BOX 216, HC 65




Dear Dave:

Some three years ago, more or less, I had a dream about you that I'm about to report. We were at our old house in Evergreen Park, and I saw you as you were when you were about 4 years old. I forget the exact sequence of events, but it went something like this.

When you were little you often seemed so full of energy and joy.

I have a vivid mental image of you a the age of about 4, running with your face all lit up with joy and enthusiasm. I clipped this picture out of the paper because it reminds me very much of the way you looked at those times. The kid in the picture is 4 years old, too.


After you came home from college you seemed to have become morose; you didn't seem to have any joy of life. Consequently my memories of you as a joyous and enthusiastic kid were poignant and nostalgic.

Anyway, in the dream I called to you and suggested that we should play catch. You came running with your face all lit up with joy and enthusiasm in the way I've described, and we played catch out in front of the house. Before the Berta's house was built, as you probably remember, there was a small "prairie" (as we called it) there. In this prairie I had a mental image of a pond of clear water with grass and trees around it--very beautiful. Then my thoughts transferred to the big prairie across 92nd Street. There I saw a bigger and better pond, with trees and grass around it. It was way on the far side of the prairie, out by the cemetery fence. I suggested that we should go out there and you enthusiastically agreed. So we headed out across the prairie to enjoy the beauty of nature--except that "beauty of nature" doesn't quite capture what I mean. Nature represents not only beauty, but peace and happiness and freedom and a lot of other stuff of that sort.

Anyway, at that point I woke up. I was filled with poignant, acutely nostalgic feelings, a kind of grief over the lost joy of your childhood. But then I thought of the fact that you were now enjoying the freedom and beauty of the desert, and this greatly comforted me.

That was before you paid me that visit 2 years ago. When you did visit me, naturally, I was extremely pleased to see how much you seemed to be enjoying life. Apparently you were enjoying it even more that I'd hoped after my dream.

So you see what kind of feelings I have about you, and how much I value you--in spite of our differences.

I suppose it would be superfluous to again express my regret over the way I used to treat you when I was in my teens. But it's something I haven't forgotten. Nor am I likely to forget it.


From Ted to Dave, Nov 26, 1988 (T-62)





Dear Dave--It occurs to me that if you haven't yet sent off that request on Juan's behalf to the millionaire, it might be best to delay sending it until after the Christmas season is over---say until January 2.

I'll bet that guy receives a particularly large number of requests during the Christmas season, and there should be a correspondingly slack period after the Christmas season is over. So the best chance for success should come after the Christmas season.


I'm sending a duplicate of this to Texas, since I don't know where you are at the moment.

From Dave to Ted, Oct 1989 (Excerpt)[14]

“I’m returning to Schenectady on Oct.8 to undertake the experiment of living with Linda. I’ve been in love with her for more than 20 years, so much so that no other woman has ever seriously interested me ... [T]his is a very happy time in my life. So wish me luck.”

From Ted to Dave, Oct 1989[15]

Dear Dave:

As for ‘Ernesto and the Widow’—This is a style of story–telling that I dislike. On the other hand, there must be a lot of people who like that kind of story–telling, since that style is much in vogue nowadays [among intellectuals]. I only read the story once, and while reading it I was in a state of irritation at you for reasons that will be explained below; moreover, I was continually interrupting my reading to write comments in the margins. Thus, I was less able to judge how the story flows along than I would have been under other circumstances. Moreover I am, naturally, less sensitive to differences in a form of writing that I dislike than I would be in a form of writing in which I take an interest. So I’m not sure if I can judge the story well. But, for whatever it may be worth, my reaction to the story is as follows.

“Here and there I noticed places where words were used amateurishly or not quite correctly. But apart from that I thought it was a good story—for those who like that type of writing, but not for me. If the little awkward places I mentioned were cleared up, I see no particular reason why the story couldn’t be published. But, while I felt pretty sure you ought to be able to find a publisher for the stories that stuck closer to the material you had from Juan, I don’t know whether you could find a publisher for stories like ‘Ernesto and the Widow.’ The difference is that, while the stories that followed Juan’s material had a note of authenticity—something on the order of folkloric material—‘Ernesto and the Widow’ is obviously a made–up story, merely inspired by an incident you heard from Juan. Of course there are thousands or millions of people in America who want to write fiction and they all think they have something original to say, so there is an abundance of stories offered—far more than anyone wants to read. But there are not so many people who can offer authentic stories from a peasant culture. That’s why I think your stories that stick closer to Juan’s material—with their note of authenticity—have a much better chance of being published than ‘Ernesto and the Widow’, which just doesn’t fit into the same category.

As for the reason why you’ve never been able to get anything published, I can only say this:

The story titled ‘The Raid’, which you sent me some time ago struck me as hopelessly amateurish—both in the details of language and the general outline of the story. If that story is typical of your previous writing, then it’s obvious why no one wants to publish your stuff—it’s just plain bad, by anyone’s standard. ‘Ernesto and the Widow’ is such a vast improvement over ‘The Raid’ that the difference seems incomprehensible. If your previous writing resembles ‘Ernesto and the Widow’ rather than ‘The Raid’, then I suppose that your failure to get anything published is due either to the fact that, as I mentioned, there are more would–be writers than there are readers, or else to the fact that here and there in your writing there appear little awkwardnesses or amateurish constructions. What you need is someone to criticize the details of your language (as I did with ‘The Conjurer’s Stone’) to induce you to develop literary craftsmanship.”

The question is whether you are capable of profiting from such criticism. It seems doubtful. It seems that your vanity prevents you from making any suggested changes except on inessential points—and sometimes even on minor points it prevents you from making changes. Here are two examples from your revised version of ‘The Conjurer’s Stone.’ First, on p. 1, the phrase ‘descend to the street on strutting claws.’ Leave aside the fact that I think the metaphore [sic] is hackneyed. As I carefully explained in my last letter, the sentence is illogical because the buzzards don’t descend on their claws, they descend on their wings. This is just the kind of amateurish linguistic blunder that will discourage an editor from publishing your stuff. It is not an arguable point. The sentence is clearly and plainly illogical, there is no conceivable literary motive for introducing that kind of illogic at this point, and any competent editor would agree that it is simply an amateurish blunder. If you felt you had to retain the ‘strutting’ claws metaphor you could have done so by reconstructing the sentence to eliminate the illogic. I carefully explained in my last letter what was wrong with the sentence, yet you let it stand.

Second . On the last page you have: ‘some of the others began laughing so hard it looked like they might hurt themselves.’ As I explained carefully in a previous letter, this sentence is grammatically incorrect because ‘like’ is not a conjunction. To make the sentence correct you have to replace ‘like’ by ‘as if.’ There is no conceivable literary motive for using the incorrect ‘like’ instead of the correct ‘as if.’ Yet you let the sentence stand.

I can see no motive for your leaving these two incorrect sentences in their original form except stubborn vanity—vanity of the most puerile kind.”

This last remark was unnecessarily cruel. Lots of people would show as much vanity–motivated resistance to changing something they’d done as my brother did.

To argue about metaphors—whether they are hackneyed or not, appropriate or not, etc.—is reasonable, since after all that is a matter of taste. But I suppose you can understand why I get frustrated and irritated when you ignore my corrections of clear–cut and unarguable errors of logic or grammar.

Even when it comes to metaphors—your defence of your metaphors and similes (in an earlier letter) irritated me because—while one can reasonably argue about those metaphors—your arguments were simply silly. You explained all these meanings that these metaphors were supposed to convey—meanings that no one but you would ever guess at or even sense intuitively.

Of course, you have the right to write anything you damn well please. But I’m not going to criticize your work any more because, as I’ve just explained, I find your reactions frustrating and irritating. I do feel that you’ve got something good there in your re–tellings of Juan’s stories, and I would really be very pleased on your account if you could get them published. I would moreover be willing to spend considerable time criticizing the details of your style if it weren’t for the fact that, when you ignore my corrections of clear–cut, unarguable flaws, it just seems futile, and it’s too irritating and frustrating.

More than that. This has been building up for a long time. It’s not just this business of the stories. I find you insufferably irritating in general. You’re certainly not the type of personality I would choose for a friend—I just happened to get stuck with you as a brother. As you know, I have tender feelings toward you, but that’s just because you’re my brother and because of old ties going all the way back to childhood.

Some of your letters are a pleasure to read, but, just as often, they irritate me and make me conscious of an unbridgeable gulf between you and me. It’s not so much a difference of attitudes or ideology—in some respects our attitudes are pretty similar—as a difference of personality. The ideological differences are largely a reflection of the personality differences. You use verbal formulations to satisfy your emotional needs, very often to protect your ego [here, ego = self–esteem], and you frequently insist on verbal formulations that are meaningless (or at least, whose meanings you don’t try to analyze) or contrary to reality, or simply ludicrous. I use verbal formulations in a reasonably honest attempt to describe reality. I am so constituted that I find it difficult to listen to your nonsense without arguing against it. So when you write me some of your silly ‘ideas’ (as you choose to call them) I am faced with a choice: either I restrain myself and make no reply, which is frustrating, or, what is more frustrating, I permit myself to be drawn into writing you one of these interminable letters in which I explain my point of view in detail—though it is absolutely futile, because I know by this time that, wherever your ego is involved, you are absolutely impervious to reason and will resort to the most far–fetched rationalizations to avoid having to make any concession.

A good example occurred a few years ago when I ventured to suggest that your friend Joel might have schizophrenia. I don’t know whether that suggestion was right or wrong, but the point is that your reaction to it was irrational. You tend to take any criticism of your friends, from me, as an assault on your ego. In this case you also took my suggestions as an attack on your ideology; even though I was careful to frame my arguments as tactfully as possible and in such a way as to avoid offending your ideology. Of course you got your back up and became absolutely insufferable. Later, when you came to visit me, in reference to schizophrenic children who see the floor heaving and tossing under them, you said, ‘maybe the floor really is heaving....’ Of course you don’t really believe this—you just make that statement to confirm an ideology designed to satisfy your emotional needs. Where your ego and your ideology aren’t at stake, you take an entirely different point of view. Thus, during that same visit, you mentioned Nora’s case. There—since no friend of yours was involved and your ego and ideology weren’t at stake—you unhesitatingly accepted the existence of schizophrenia, the undesirability of it, and the fact that drugs can bring a schizophrenic back to perception of reality. You also added, ‘Gee, I hope we haven’t got anything like that.’ If you really believed that the hallucinations of a schizophrenic were as real as the perceptions of a sane person, why would you ‘hope we haven’t got anything like that’?

I refrained from pointing out the obvious contradictions in your expressed views because by that time I knew that it was hopeless to try to reason with you on that subject—you would never under any circumstances make any concession. I find that kind of thing thoroughly contemptible and insufferably irritating—though in the majority of cases I refrain from showing my irritation, since it would accomplish nothing anyway.

This has just happened too many times. If you don’t irritate or disgust me in one way then you do so in another. I’ve just had enough of it. My tolerance for irritation was low to begin with, and the older I get, the less I can tolerate irritation.

And now, to top off my disgust, you’re going to leave the desert and shack up with this woman who’s been keeping you on a string for the last 20 years. You write, ‘I’ve been in love with her for more than 20 years, so much so that no other woman has ever seriously interested me.’ You forgot to add the qualification, ‘except Linda E.’ But leaving that aside, I would say that love is one thing and grovelling servitude is another. Judging from the comparatively little that I know of the case, it seems clear that this woman has just been exploiting you. I recall that one time when I was helping you clean out your apartment in Great Falls, I picked a letter out of the garbage on your table and started reading aloud: ‘Dear Linda, Of course it was a blow to learn that you may be falling in love with someone ... ’ You got mad and snatched the letter out of my hand.”

But it’s pretty clear what was going on there. She knew you were stuck on her and she knew that she wasn’t much attracted to you as a male. Under the circumstances, the decent thing to do would have been to simply cut off all relations with you. In that case you probably would have forgotten about her eventually and would have found someone else. But she found it more expedient to keep you on a string—to keep hold of your affections while her affections wandered elsewhere. Women like passive, gentle males—but they don’t typically consider them desirable as lovers. Especially when they are younger, women are attracted sexually by dominant, virile males. But they like to have a shoulder to cry on—some gentle, affectionate person to whom they can turn for emotional support. There’s nothing evil in that—but in using you for that purpose, knowing that you were in love with her and that her love was going to go elsewhere, Linda Patrik was exploiting you. She must have realized that it would be painful and humiliating for you when she unburdened herself to you about her love affairs, yet apparently she did so anyway, to judge from that letter.

When she got married, I can just imagine her husband’s amusement when she told him about ‘this poor sap who’s been in love with me for years, and still is, even though I am marrying you.’ Then when her marriage broke up, the first thing she did was run to you for a shoulder to cry on. And you accepted that. Don’t you have any self–respect at all? Apparently not. It’s just too despicable.

So now, after having kept you around as a kind of spare tire for the last 20 years, she’s finally ready to shack up with you. Maybe because she’s getting older and can’t so readily find sex partners any more, maybe for some other reason. Does she love you? I venture to doubt it. I’ll bet you’re the one who is making all the concessions and sacrifices. Thus you’re going up to live with her in Schenectady and she’s not going down to live with you in Texas. It’s safe to say that you two will be adopting her life–style and not your life–style.

If you want to find out whether she loves you, try this: Ask her to make some major concessions to your life–style and preferences. For example, ask her to live with you in Alpine. This would be a reasonable compromise, because in Alpine she would have most of the urban conveniences to which she is presumably addicted, yet you would be close to the desert. If she says yes, then probably she really cares about you. If she refuses to consider the possibility of moving down to Texas, or of making any other major concessions to your life–style, then clearly she doesn’t love you but is merely using you as a convenience.

The idea here is not actually to extract concessions from her. For instance, if she agreed to live in Alpine, you could then, if you wanted to, be generous, change your mind, and say, ‘No, let’s live in Schenectady after all.’ The idea of asking for concessions is simply to find out whether she really cares about you or whether she is just exploiting you and wants to have everything on her own terms.

But if I know you, you probably won’t even have the nerve to ask her to live in Alpine. I can pretty well guess who the dominant member of that couple is going to be. It’s just disgusting. Let me know your neck size—I’d like to get you a dog collar next Christmas. I recall your negative opinions about Jeanne’s selfishness in her relationship with [K. H. En.] and I wonder whether your own case is going to be any better. You thought Jeanne was selfish because [K. H.] wanted to stay in Chicago, Jeanne wanted to go to Texas, so of course it was a foregone conclusion that they would go to Texas. How does this differ from your case? At least Jeanne didn’t keep [K. H.] on a string for 20 years before marrying him.

The only thing I’ve really respected in you has been your life in the desert. I especially remember how you returned that beautifully–made spear–point to its original resting place out of respect for the people who made it, and how you crossed the Rio Grande with Juan and shared his risks and hardships. So now you’re going to leave all that just because this female has finally decided to permit you to become her personal property, and I presume that you will now be adopting a more–or–less conventional middle–class life–style. While you’re at it, why don’t you take a few courses and learn to be an accountant? Or better—why don’t you go to law school? I’ve always felt that if a thing is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right, so as long as you’re selling out you may as well go all the way and become a lawyer.

Be all that as it may, I’ve just been disgusted and irritated by you too damn many times. I just can’t take all that crap any more. So from now on, I am just going to cease corresponding with you altogether, and I’ll thank you not to send me any letters of any kind. There’s no question of ill will here—it’s just that I can’t any longer take the frequent irritations that I have from you. You probably don’t realize how often I’ve restrained myself in the face of your irritating traits. That’s the reason for the present outburst of irritation in response to relatively minor irritants; as I said, it’s been building up for a long time. Time after time, after receiving a particularly asinine letter from you I’ve told myself that I ought to cut off correspondence with you, but then I’ve always softened again. But now I just can’t take any more. I realize that it’s partly my fault. It’s true that you’re a fatuous ass and that our personalities are incompatible, but it’s also true that my tolerance for irritation is unusually low. I suppose that one reason why you get me so upset may be the fact that I do care about you. When my neighbor [Butch Gehring] down here chatters along idiotically like the jerk that he is, I just listen noncommittally to his nonsense and then forget it. But when you speak or act like a fool, I find it hard to be indifferent.

You’re still my little brother (unworthy though you are of that honor) and you still have my loyalty, and I’m ready to help you if I can whenever you may be in serious need. But, as I said, I’m not going to write you any more, and I don’t want to receive any letters from you either. If you send me any letters I’ll just throw them in the stove unread. Except: if something really important comes up, you can write to me and get my attention as follows: On the envelope, draw a straight, heavy line under the stamp (or stamps). If you send me a letter with this marking, I will know that it is something particularly important and will read the letter. But don’t cry wolf by putting this marking on an envelope that contains an unimportant letter. If you do so, then I will no longer regard the marking, and you’ll have no way of getting in touch with me if something important comes up. As to what I consider important: If you’re seriously ill, that’s important; if our parents croak, that’s important; if you’re in any kind of serious trouble and need my help, that’s important; and so forth. On the other hand, if you want to justify to me your ideas about writing, that’s not important; if you want to explain your relations with Linda Patrik, that’s not important; and so forth.

I realize that, not knowing very much about the case, I may possibly be wrong about your relations with Linda P. (though I’m probably right), and I don’t doubt that you could be induced to withdraw your threat (contained in your last letter) to send me some of your goofball ideas on language and literature (the last thing I want to hear from you), but it wouldn’t really matter, because if it’s not one thing then it’s another. If you don’t irritate me in this way then you irritate me in that way.

So let’s just call it quits, for the indefinite future.

But remember—you still have my love and loyalty, and if you’re ever in serious need of my help, you can call on me.


From Dave to Ted - Sept. 1990

Dear Ted,

Our Father has cancer It began in the lungs and then metastasized. He is suffering quite a lot of pain from a tumor lodged against his spine. However, the doctor's believe that radiation will shrink the tumor and cure the pain. They say its difficult to predict how long he will have, but probably in a range of a 6 months to 2 years.

I though you'd like to know.

I hope all is well with you.


From Ted to Dave - Sept. 1990


While I was hurt and deeply disappointed by Dad’s suicide— especially by his failure to tell Mom he loved her—my brother wrote me a note expressing his admiration for Dad’s courage. He said that in “doing what he had to do” our father had shown a lot of guts. Although Ted declined our invitation to attend the memorial service, he made a rare phone call from a pay phone to Mom to convey his sympathy. She sensed that he might have been crying on the other end of the line as he hung up. It was reassuring to know Ted still had feelings for his family.

… he attempted to re-established some contact with mom, he still said he didn't want to talk with me anymore.

From Ted to Dave, July 20, 1991, pp. 8, 9[18]

Concerning the foregoing letter ... Quite intentionally, I grossly exaggerated my real feelings. I did this because Dave is so inert and passive that I figured that in order to be sure of getting any action out of him I had best lay it on pretty thick.

Mother must not send me any checks, money, or communication of any kind, except that one registered letter containing either the check for $7032.81 or the letter withdrawing all offers of money. Other than that one registered letter, any communications that I receive from you, Ma, or anyone else connected with our family, will be thrown in the stove unopened, regardless of whether they contain checks, money, or anything else important. ... As for my share of the inheritance, I don’t want any of it. Not because I can’t use the money, but because in order to collect the money I would have to have contact with the family, and I can’t endure that.

I have got to know, I have GOT TO, GOT TO, GOT TO know that every last tie joining me to this stinking family has heen cut FOREVER and that I will never NEVER have to communicate with any of you again. ... I've got to do it NOW. I can't tell you how desperate I am. ... It is killing me.

From Ted to Dave, Aug. 13, 1991[19]

At first, however, he did not do so forcefully enough to stop her from writing to me. Within about three weeks she sent me a letter and three postcards, one of which said, "I am deeply, deeply sorry for having hurt you," and nothing more. For once, no evasions, excuses, or accusations. It was beginning to sound like a real and honest apology, but by that time it was too late. I wanted no more contact with my stinking family. I sent my brother a second emotional letter in response to which he must have intervened more forcefully with my mother, because she did stop writing to me, apart from one or two minor relapses over the next couple of years.

Ma sent me a letter which I did not open and two postcards AFTER I made it emphatically clear that I did NOT want to hear anything more from this stinking family. POSTCARDS so that the whole world can read the messages about this family stuff. And now you send me a post card. You KNOW that the mailman is an acquaintance of mine. I introduced you to him when you visited me. Now I will be too embarrassed to ride to Helena with him after he has seen these stupid cards from you and Ma. Don't you have any common sense? By sending me these postcards instead of letters you two are deliberately thwarting my expressed desire to receive NO communications from you. I made it clear - I said it over and over again in my last letter that I DESPERATELY need to get away from this stinking family once and for all and to get away from anything that even reminds me of it.

How many times do I have to say this before get it through your stupid head? I quite clearly in that letter that any message you could send me would only get me more upset - and it did. After I got the check I felt so relieved and so good thinking I would never again have to have any contact with or reminders of this filthy family. Then I start getting these postcards and letters from you and Ma, and every time I get one I get upset all over again. You two are driving me desperate with frustration.

I've TOLD you in the clearest possible terms that I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING MORE FROM THIS FAMILY EVER AGAIN - NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON IS OR HOW IMPORTANT IT IS. By this time you have got my heart beating irregularly again and I don't know when it will go back to beating normally. I do know that I won't be able to sleep for the next 2 or 3 nights since receiving your stupid postcard.

Since you can't seem to get it through your head, I'll say it a few more times:

I have got to get away from everything that reminds me of this family

I have got to get away from everything reminds me of this family

I have got to get away from everything that reminds me of this family.

You must not try to communicate with me You must not try to communicate with me You must not try to communicate with me. Now have you finally absorbed that?

ALSO you have got to stop Ma from sending me these letters and postcards. I have GOT TO get away from this stinking family and forgetit completely, and by repeatedly frustrating my need to do so, you two are driving me to THE UTMOST DESPERATION. So you have GOT TO stop Ma from trying to communicate with me.

She has got to understand that this means FOREVER.

Once more, you have GOT TO stop Ma from sending me these letters and postcards.

From Ted to Dave, Feb 19, 1992 (T-67)


1266 KEYS AVE.



P.O. BOX 524

LINCOLN MT 59639 ----------------------------------------

February, 13, 1992


It seems that the bureaucracy puts obstacles in the way of making a quick and clean break with one's family. I need a piece of information.

Because of the amount of money she gave me in 1991, our mother could legally claim me as a dependant on her 1991 income tax return.

I have to know whether or not she is actually claiming me as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. Would you please find out and let me know as promptly as is convenient for you? I might add that it is likely to cause me serious inconvenience if she does claim me as a dependent.

This is NOT an invitation to resume correspondence. I just need that piece of information for red-tape reasons.

Thank you for your help with this.


Note address change--- > Ted Kaczynski

P.O. Box 524

Lincoln, MT 5939


From Ted to Dave, Nov 14, 1994 (T-69)





P.O. BOX 524


Receipt: On November 14, 1994

I received $1,00000 (one thousand dollars) from David Richard


Theodore J. Kaczynski s/b November 14, 1994

P.S. Thanks! - Ted

From Ted to Dave, Dec 23, 1994 (T-70)


I need another $2000 …

From Ted to Dave, Dec 23, 1994 (T-71)

ENVELOPE - Postmark date DEC 23 (UI) 1994 LINCOLN, MT (UI)





P.O. BOX 524 LINCOLN MT 59639

P.S. I asked a local realtor what she thought my property would sell for, and she said that under current market conditions it would sell for between 12 and 15 thousand dollars. No doubt prices fluctuate but it seems pretty safe to say that the value of the property would suffice to pay you back your money + interest.


From Ted to Dave, Mar 19, 1995 (T-72)


On January 19, 1995 I received $200000 (two thousand dollars) from David Richard Kaczynski.

Theodore J. Kaczysnki
January 19, 1995

Dave— Thanks again! Some time ago I withdrew my offer to give you any help I could if you ever needed it. I’ll now reinstate that offer. It would be ungracious of me, to say the least, not to do so after you’ve never been so generous with me. Probably you’ll never need to make use of the offer, since you have so many friends and so forth. But if you ever do need help in a big way and don’t know where else to turn, I’ll do everything I can for you.


From Ted to Dave, Mar 28, 1995 (T-73)

ENVELOPE-Postmark dated MAR 28 PM 1995 LINCOLN, MT 59639




FROM: P.O. BOX 524




For Value Received

THEODORE JOHN KACZYNSKI OF LINCOLN, MONTANA the grantor, does hereby grant, bargain, sell convey and confirm unto


DAVID RICHARD KACZYNSKI OF SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK the grantees, as joint tenants (and not as tenants in common), and to the survivor of said named joint tenants, and their assigns, and to the heirs and assigns of such survivor, the following described premises, in LEWIS AND CLARK County, Montana, to-wit:

BEGINNING AT THE W1/4 COR. SECT. 6, T.13N., R.8W., M.P.M.;

















TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said premises, with their appurtenances unto the said Grantees, as joint tenants with right of survivorship (and not as tenants in common) and their assigns, and to the heirs and assigns of the survivor of said named joint tenants forever. And the said Grantor does hereby convenant to and with the said Grantees, that they will be the owners in fee simple of said premises; that they are free from all incumbrances and that he will WARRANT and DEFEND the same from all lawful claims whatsoever.

Dated this 27 day of March 1995.

Theodore John Kaczynski s/b


On this 27 day of March, 1995, before me, a notary public in and for said State, personally appeared Theodore John Kaczynski known to me to be the person whose name subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he executed the same.

July L. Brown s/b

Notary Public for the State of Montana

Residing at Lincoln, Montana.

My commission expires 5-14, 1999.

-Dave - Here is a photocopy of a deed that I have just sent off to the Lewis and Clark County Clerk and Recorder's Office to be recorded.

The original of the deed will be mailed back to me. I will hide it by burying it in the exact center of my upper garden patch, so you will know where to find it if that is ever necessary. However, if you would prefer to keep the deed in your own custody, write me and let me know, and I will send it to you.

I put the property in your name and my name jointly. If I die, the property is all yours without any problems or probate or other red tape. I put it in my name and your name jointly, rather than in your name alone, because this gives an advantage with regard to taxes. I get a low-income tax discount of about $50.00 a year. If the property were in your name alone, the tax discount would be lost whatever your income may be, because you don't live on the property.


The tax bills will be sent to me, and I of course will pay them, assuming I have the money.

The water rights also will be in our names jointly.


From Dave to Ted, Nov 1995[20][21][22][23]

I needed something more to go on than guesswork and intuition. I told Linda I needed to visit Ted at his cabin in Montana.

This suggestion upset Linda.

“It’s not to confront him,” I tried to reassure her. “I won’t even mention the Unabomber. I just know that if I see him and spend some time with him, I’ll learn something.”

“But David,” Linda countered. “He might hurt you. He’s got guns, doesn’t he? I can’t let you go out there!”

“Hon, I’m sure Ted would never hurt me.”

“David, a month ago you didn’t believe he was capable of hurting anyone. The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know what he’s capable of!”

She thinks this man is psychotic and a killer, what would he do if he thought his brother suspected? So, she was adamant against it. At one point she said the only way I’ll permit this is if you have a bodyguard with you disguised as a friend and even then she was not enthusiastic about the idea.

After going back and forth for a while, we hit on a compromise: I’d write to Ted, ask for permission to visit, and wait for his response. Linda and I could make a decision once we heard back from him. Maybe Linda was counting on Ted to discourage me, since I hadn’t received a friendly letter from him in years.

In the letter I wrote, I told Ted I missed him. I said I had some vacation time coming and would be happy to drive him to Helena to pick up supplies before the heavy snows came. I tried to invest all the love and concern I felt for Ted in a simple and straightforward letter. There was no way I could put my heart on the page, but I hoped Ted might somehow feel it and understand.

“I’d like to see you because we’re brothers, with shared memories and a bond of genuine affection between us.”

From Ted to Dave, Nov 30 1995 (T-74)


Ted’s reply came two weeks later. I was alone at home after work when I retrieved his letter from our mail slot. I sat down on the living room couch and gazed at the envelope for a minute. My name and address were hand printed in the familiar block letters I’d seen on every letter Ted had sent me since college. I noticed my hand trembling slightly as I held the envelope.

I am not suffering, sick or discouraged,' and I don't know what indications' you think you have that I am so. But if you want me to get sick, all you have to do is keep trying to communicate with me, because I get just choked with frustration at my inability to get our stinking family off my back once and for all, and stinking family' emphatically includes you.

So get this straight — and I hope you will get it straight this time, because I get desperately frustrated by the fact that I’ve told you this again and again, and it just doesn’t seem to sink in— I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE YOU OR HEAR FROM YOU, OR ANY OTHER MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY, AGAIN. If I were “suffering, discouraged,” etc., It would only make me feel worse, MUCH worse, to see you or any other member of our family.

It was with the utmost reluctance that I asked you for a loan. But since I did so, of course some communication on practical matters related to the loan, or the land that serves as security for it, may be necessary. But I would really appreciate it if you would communicate only for strictly practical reasons related to the loan or the land. Or, of course, you can contact me if you ever need to cash in on my offer to help ou if you have nowhere else to turn, if all your friends fail you, etc. But understand that I reinstated that offer not from any affection, but only from a sense of obligation due to your generosity in lending me money. The affection I once had for you is all gone by this time, and it will never come back.

As for my wishes with regard to this piece of land, if I should die before I pay off my debt to you, the land is yours and you can do whatever you please with it. On the other hand, if I ever do get you paid off, we will remove your name from the deed and you will never have need to worry about what to do with the land.



The letter was a short one for Ted: two sides of one sheet of notebook paper. Ted’s anger and coldness were truly incomprehensible to me. I couldn’t fathom what was going on inside his mind.

“He’s gone over the edge,” I murmured.

I realized I couldn’t reason with him; I couldn’t control him. And now it struck me that he probably could not control himself either.

For Ted’s part he wrote later:[26]

Since I had made it emphatically clear that I wanted to separate myself permanently from the family … I don’t know how he could have expected me to let him come and visit.

Post Ted's Arrest

From Ted to Dave, 1996[27]


Of all the things you could conceivably have done to me, what you have done is by far the cruelest. You know it, and you knew it before you did it, even though, with your usual talent for self-deception, you never permitted yourself to be conscious of it. You know me well enough to realize that above all I need physical freedom, silence, and solitude, and that, to me, permanent imprisonment will be a fate far worse than death. That would be the case even if I were imprisoned under the best of conditions. But you know very well that in prisons there is a high risk of homosexual rape and of abuse by other prisoners, or even by guards; and that even without that prisons are noisy and crowded; and you are certainly aware that I can’t endure noise and crowding.

The FBI assured you that conditions in federal prisons were fine and that I would be happier in prison, but it is not conceivable that you could have believed this except by a particularly egregious act of self-deception. You know me, and you know that the FBI had very strong ulterior motives for giving you such assurances. As a matter of fact, I was living rather happily prior to my arrest, and prison will be torture for me.

You tried to get the FBI to arrest me under conditions that wouldn’t involve risk of my being killed, and you urged the government not to seek the death penalty for me. But, as already noted, you knew well that permanent imprisonment would be for me far worse than death, so your effort to “save” me from death can only have been an attempt to solve your conscience by inflicting on me a punishment that in our society, is conventionally regarded as less severe than death.

It is interesting that you asked the FBI to promise not to reveal your identity as the informant, and you were very upset when that promise was broken. Evidently you were ashamed of what you were doing. Why did you do it? To stop the unabomber? Hardly. You knew that the unabomber had promised to stop bombing if his manifesto were published, and you knew that the promise would be kept if I were the unabomber, since I am strict about keeping promises. Furthermore, if I were the unabomber you could have effectively stopped the bombings by warning me that you would tip off the FBI if I didn’t desist.

The real reason why you informed on me is that you hate me. You say you love me, and you probably do. But you have deep, unresolved and uncontrolled conflicts concerning me, and your loving me does not prevent you from hating me at the same time. This hatred has repeatedly revealed itself in your behavior toward me over the years. And what you hate me for is your own gnawing sense of inferiority. Your suspicion that I was the unabomber at last gave you your opportunity to get a crushing revenge on big brother for being smarter and more capable than you are, while maintaining the illusion that your motives were “moral.”

Of course, you will not accept the truth about your own motives. I know from long experience that it is useless to reason with you where your emotions are involved, because you will resort to any sort of rationalization, no matter how far-fetched, to avoid facing up to difficult truths. You wear a kind of veil over your motives to keep yourself from being conscious of them, and it is this veil that enables you to live with yourself. But, some day the veil will fall away and you will see yourself as you really are. And on that day you will go to hell, because seeing yourself as you really are will truly be hell.


From Ted to Dave, 1996[28]


If there was ever any doubt about the fact that your turning me in was motivated by your hatred of me, that doubt has been removed by your interviews that appeared in the New York Times and on 60 Minutes.

In those interviews you portrayed me as mentally ill. Did you really believe I was so? Hardly. In the past you have denied the very existence of mental illness. I have proof of this in the letters you wrote me concerning Joel Schwartz. Were you trying to “save” me from the death penalty by providing me with an insanity defense? If that had been your motive you would have emphasized the fact that I was subjected to verbal and psychological abuse, which you know is true and which would have helped my defense. Instead, you lied and denied that I had suffered such abuse, even though you are well aware (I’ve made it clear to you in various letters) that the acknowledgment of that abuse was desperately important to me, and that the denial of it tortured me with frustration and a sense of injustice.

Though you don’t admit it to yourself, you know deep inside that you were inflicting acute suffering on me by making the public statements that you did, and you were doing it because you hate me on account of your own feelings of inferiority and of inadequacy relative to me.


From Dave to Ted, 1996[29]

Oct. 30 1996

Dear Ted,

Your letters were shown to me. Afterward I spoke with one of your attorneys, Gary Sowards, who confirmed that the jail environment is terribly noisy and demeaning. I both fear and in a gut sense know the effect this must be having on you. I know that I am the immediate cause of this suffering. I’ve passed through periods of denial, in which I tried to convince myself that my actions might even have helped you. But all of that is over now. I have had to glimpse my own cruelty and it is, as you say, a kind of hell. I do love you, I’m so, so sorry for what I’ve done and for how it hurts you.


From Ted to Dave, Sep 18, 1998[30]

To David Kaczynski --

You have my permission to let Alston Chase interview you in regard to me.

Ted Kaczynski
September 18, 1998.

[Sent to Alston Chase.
-- TJK Nov. 1, 2011]

From Dave to Ted, Nov 23, 1998[31]

Dear Ted,

I recently received a letter from someone named Alston Chase, who is writing some sort of a book. He included a copy of a note from you which gave me permission to speak with him about you. He mentioned that you and I "apparently disagree about some matters." I can imagine that that is so. However, I wrote back to him saying that I didn't want to get into a debate with you, least of all through an intermediary.

In the past, our various disagreements have ended up being very painful for me and, I sense, for you as well. Very little was ever resolved. However, I would like to have a relationship with you and am willing to look at issues that may stand in the way of such a relationship. In other words, I am willing to hear you out in full and to think seriously about any and all of your concerns with regard to me.

Most of all, I would like to come to Colorado to visit you. I don't know that I have a great deal to say to you, except that I love you and would like to have a relationship with you despite everything. Perhaps something can be resolved or at least come unstuck through meeting face to face.

Please be well.

From Dave to Ted, May 21, 2005[32]

May 21, 2005

Dear Ted,

I've been out of contact a long time. In some ways it hasn't seemed so -- for instance, I think of you often in other ways, I've been feelin an ever greater distance. Your birthday comes and I think of you more. That long ago trip together to Canada. I just never realized how fragile everything was. I still don't understand your will to sever the past. You must somehow feel that you understand it.

The bright news is that mom seems reborn since her hip-replacement ...

Other Letters and packages from Dave

Yahoo News:[33]

At one point, Richards even began speaking regularly to Kaczynski’s family — his mother, Wanda, and brother, David, whom the bomber had cut off after learning his sibling had given the FBI the tip that led to his arrest. Her overtures weren’t a secret. His mother and brother wrote him letters mentioning Richards, and Kaczynski, who was quick to cut off anyone he didn’t trust, apparently had no objection.

His family, desperate to end their estrangement with him, viewed Richards’ outreach as surprising but hopeful. “I thought it was an opening, that maybe Joy could become the bridge by which I could reconcile with my brother,” David said in an interview.

In letters and phone calls, Richards mainly gave the family updates on Kaczynski’s life in prison — though occasionally she seemed to hint that she was passing the messages on at his request. “Once or twice, she even said something like, ‘He said to tell David this’ or something like that, which made me hopeful,” David recalled.

But one day, he had a phone conversation with Richards about his brother’s crimes in which she offered a view into her thinking on the Unabomber. “You know, they have never really proven that Ted killed people,” she told David, who was taken aback.

“Joy, if I thought he was innocent, I would be fighting a different cause right now,” he told her.

On the other end of the line, Richards was silent for a moment. “Well, even if he did it, I can still accept it,” she said. “I can understand it.”

Not long after that, David recalled, Richards stopped communicating. “The door was really shut,” he said. Several months later, the family learned why: Richards told Kaczynski’s mother that her son had forbidden her from talking to the family. He thought she was becoming too sympathetic to them and had started to question her loyalty.

Washington Post[34]

David writes to his brother three or four times a year, reminiscences sometimes, recountings of jokes he's heard, a gentle bemoaning of the loss of contact. The letters are never that long. Last Christmas, he sent Ted the book Ishmael about a gorilla who speaks telepathically, telling a philosophical tale about the fall of human beings from their natural state. David figured that the theme would be of interest to Ted.

“There is a tremendous threat to the soul of human beings. And I think so much depends on some ability to resist it, to keep your life spiritually rich.”

He has never tried to explain to his brother why or how he decided to turn him in to the FBI.

I guess it has to do with my past experience with Ted and an understanding of how his mind works. If I were attempting to justify myself it would trigger a sort of debate or an argumentativeness. And it's almost like he would analyze what I've said and try to show that it is insincere in some way or find the fallacy in it.

Time heals to some extent, but the bond I feel with Ted doesn't disappear. Sometimes I'll remember the good times -- a backpacking trip, a softball game, or talking at night in his cabin -- and my sense of loss is very poignant. Those times we shared mean a lot to me and so I hold on to them . . . Different as we may seem in some respects, Ted was a major influence in my life, and so, inevitably, he remains a part of me.

Unknown Dates

From Ted to Dave (T-76)

ENVELOPE - Postmark date (UI) LINCOLN (UI)





LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 -------------- - Here's the rest of that Vampire story.

Nine (9) pages in Spanish.

-Dear Dave:

I'm sorry if I seemed to take a somewhat lecturing tone when I urged you to get that book on schizophrenia on Joel's account---I scribbled that note at the last minute before sending the letter---but you know how you tend to procrastinate, and I hate to think of that poor guy seeking help from crackpots who "put crystals on his body".

Of course, I don't know for a fact that Joel's problem is schizophrenia, but it does seem rather likely---the disease is hereditary, most insanity is either schizophrenic or manic-depressive, schiz. is by far the more common of the two, and Joel doesn't sound like a manic-depressive.

Now I'll try to give a better answer to your long letter. I should first acknowledge that in your letter you did make it clear that you were putting forward those psychoanalytic speculations (UI) as a conjecture and not as an assertion. I tended to answer as if you had made a flat assertion, because I was so angry---my relations with our parents being such a sore point with me.

I find it burdensome to go over all this crap, but since you indicated that it was important to you to discuss it, I'll discuss it---except my relations with our parents, which are not open to discussion.

Yes, I did tend to downgrade you when you were a kid. That's one of the main things I was apologizing for.

You say that I handed down to you "narrow values and "repressive ideas". I can't imagine what those were. Would you please be more specific so that I could understand what you mean? Maybe you are referring to the fact that (owing to the fund of anger that I began accumulating during my teens, for obvious reasons) I tended to be aggressive in stating my own values and intolerant of any contrary values.

You did give one example in your letter of what you took to be my narrow values: You "interpreted my interference in the case of Linda Erickson as an expression of repressive attitudes toward sex.

I am really surprised [at how completely you misunderstand me. Not just in this case but other cases as well. I don't see how you could be acquainted with me for 35 years and know me so little. You seem to interpret me largely through your own preoccupations and consequently you badly misinterpret me. I don't think you ever will really know me. My interference in the case of Linda Erickson had nothing to do with sexual repression. If you wanted to go fuck some broad I couldn't care less, though I might wish you would choose someone more worthy than Linda Erickson.]

The writer pens the following in the left hand margin for the bracketed area:

This is probably a little too harsh--but I get kind of pissed off at the way you sometimes misinterpret me.'

What I was afraid of was that you would make a fool of yourself and be exploited, and by someone (Linda E) whom I found thoroughly contemptible. What it looked like to me was that (a) you were sexually attracted to Linda E. (your letter seems to confirm this); (b) your attraction was not just physical but---I thought you might be in danger of falling in love with her (c) I found her thoroughly contemptible (d) I suspected that she had little or no sexual interest in you but that (e) she might be using you as a shoulder to cry on, and (f) I thought there might be a risk that she would exploit you by getting you to marry her, not because she loved you or anything like that, but because she simply wanted to make her position respectable.

I must admit though that my motive for interfering was partly selfish---I would have felt it as a kind of personal humiliation for my brother to be exploited in that way or to marry someone so contemptible.

On p. 7 of your letter you give a list of traits of mine that you imagine are caused by my supposed "trauma" in the hospital. The trouble with your theory is that you didn't know me till I was older and already affected by our parents' mistreatment and by the bad situation in school after I skipped a grade. Most of those traits I did not have as a very young child. Of course, you can always speculate about delayed-action trauma-this psychoanalytic crap is flexible enough so that you can justify anything you want to believe.

But since there are clear reasons in my later childhood for my developing such traits, these are the more likely cause. You don't realize that the atmosphere in our home was quite different during the first few years of my life than it was later. You know how it was during my teens - people always squabbling, mother crabby and irritable, Dad morosely passive. Too much ice-cream, candy, and treats, parents fat and self-indulgent. A general low-morale atmosphere. But it was very different up to the time when I was, say 8 or 9 years old. Until then, the home atmosphere was cheerful, there was hardly any quarrelling, and there was a generally high-morale atmosphere. Ice-cream and candy were relatively infrequent treats and were consumed in moderation---consequently they were really enjoyed. Our parents were more alive and energetic. When punishment was necessary it was given with little or no anger and was used as a more-or-less rational means of training; whereas during my teens, when I was punished it was commonly an expression of anger or irritation on the part of our parents. Consequently this punishment was humiliating. The more-or-less rational punishment of the early years was not humiliating.

Also, after I skipped a grade, I was subjected to certain humiliations in school. Because of the situation both at home and at school, I had to do one of two things: either lose my self-respect or become hard. So I became hard---hence the traits you listed in your letter.

I should qualify this by mentioning that an aversion to overt signs of affection began somewhat earlier, and for a clear reason: As I remember it, as a very young child I was quite affectionate. When I was about six years old, the following incident occurred. Mother, dad, and I were all dressed up to go somewhere, and I was excited and happy. I ran up to Dad and said I wanted to kiss him.

He said: AAh, you're like a little girl, always wanting to kiss."

I drew back, hurt. Then he said, in a somewhat grudging tone, "No, it's alright, you can kiss me." But naturally I refused to kiss him after that. I remember that for several years I had a strong aversion to kissing. You can draw your own conclusions. So much for your psychoanalytic speculations.

You wrote that (during my teens of course), I was "clearly often moody and unhappy...in need of some kind of adult help." The only kind of adult help I needed was (a) to be taken out of that school where I was regarded as some kind of a freak genius, and (b) to have my parents stop abusing me.

Our parents did not "do a pretty decent job with our brother-to-brother relationship." On the contrary, they did a rotten job. If we have good relations today it is in spite of and not because of our parents. Let me remind you that when we got into a quarrel, our parents would scold me, not you, and when I said "but Dave did such and such", they would interrupt me with "That's alright, you're older, you should be more mature." They did this simply because they were too lazy to investigate the cause of the quarrel and arrive at a fair settlement. Naturally, this made me resentful, so that I was more aggressive with you next time. Thus their treatment made our relations worse and not better.

So much for all that shit.

I enjoyed hearing about Juan and the incident with the beer. As for his (to us) strange combination of wisdom and childishness, its something that I have encountered also in reading about other cultures. Apparently such things as wisdom, self-control, etc. are not simple and unified traits, but may be present in varying degrees in different areas of life. Thus, the eastern forest Indians of North America seem to have had very great self-discipline and perseverance in the fact of physical pain, fatigues and dangers. They exhibited a kind of dignified, philosophical stoicism when undergoing severe hardships. On the other hand, they couldn't resist the lure of booze*; when the

**Apparently there is some evidence of a genetic basis for a weakness for

(bottom of page cut off) had maple sugar they gobbled it till it was all gone, instead of saving some to last all year round; and they wasted their strength in inter-tribal quarrels instead of presenting a united front against the whites. Francis Parkman pointed out that under certain circumstances they showed remarkable courage, yet in open battle they were rarely able to stand against the white soldiers---a bayonet in charge was sure to send them running.

Also among other people I've read of mixures of traits that to us seem strange.

Did you take any hikes or make any visits to Mexico last winter?

I'd enjoy hearing about any experiences that you might care to relate.

Last paragraph in Spanish


From Ted to Dave (T-79)

ENVELOPE (No postmark)


Terlingua Route, Box 220

Alpine, Texas 79830


STEMPLE PASS ROAD LINCOLN, MONTANA 59639 ------------------

Dear Dave: I have a problem that you may be able to help me with if you are willing to participate in something slightly shady. I went to build a root cellar, and I want to use logs to hold up the sides and roof. I have picked out a stand of dead but sound standing lodgepole pines. Since they are dead, the forest service says I can have them for nothing. The only trouble is...how to haul them to my place. As for that guy I sold my pickup to...I asked him, and it turns out the pickup is no longer in proper running condition. I also tried to make a deal with Irene, but she says there is something broken in the steering mechanism of her pickup and it is only wired together so she wouldn't want to have logs hauled with it. I don't know any other likely parties to ask, so I guess I will have to try a regular rental outfit.

Now, the trouble is, I believe most or all car or truck rental outfits require a reference from your employer, and you have to have been employed in the same place for at least a year.

Now, I could try this: I could use my Illinois driver's license for identification, claiming I am on vacation, and give them the name of an imaginary employer, with our home phone number. I take it you are still home, usually between 9 AM and 3 PM, so you could answer the phone and say "yes, this is so-and-so company", etc. I would call you immediately before I go to the rental place, so that you would be prepared. If you don't want to do this, it's OK, since I (UI) conceivably one could get into trouble for it, (UI) I'm not trying to pass myself off with a false name or any such thing, I'm only trying to give the impression that I'm employed when I am not.

Here is the fake data we could use:

Horvath Sausage Company You are:

718 National Ave. Harold Buldinski

Lombard, Illinois 60148 Plant supervisor


I work on the loading dock, loading and unloading trucks. I have been working there about 3-1/2 years.

Please let me know what you think about this scheme, and also let me know of any modifications, or alternative ways of getting a truck, that you may think of.

One alternative plan would be for Dad to send me a signed, notarized statement to the effect that he takes responsibility for rental of the truck. He is a sufficiently solid - citizen type for that. The only trouble with this plan is the following: An owner, or a manager with plenty of authority, would probably accept some such arrangement; but I may not be able to see owner or manager.

I will probably be talking to some clerk who will say--"Sorry, but I don't have the authority to do this, I'm only supposed to rent to people who...etc. etc."

A variation on this plan might be to have Dad rent the truck by long-distance phone, arranging

Dave-- >See other letter enclosed where its explained that I'm not coming to visit you.

By the way, I remember a few years ago you spoke to me about some woman psychologist whom you saw on television who claimed to have impressive evidence in favor of re-incarnation. You said she cited all kinds of impressive-sounding (alleged) facts. Well, a few years ago when I was back in Lombard there I found a book called The Geller Papers edited by some guy named Parati or something like that.

It was difficult not to take the book seriously because the papers (those I read, anyway) were by people in the "hard" sciences who claimed to have done experiments under controlled conditions with this guy Uri Geller, and they found he exhibited powers not explainable on the basis of known scientific principles. What was impressive was the fact that there was nothing sensationalistic about the papers and the authors seemed to take a very conservative attitude and made no flat assertions that Geller had any supernormal powers. So I was forced to take the book seriously, though I didn't like to do so. On the other hand, the thing just didn't seem right to me -- it all just didn't seem to fit with things that are definitely known, are obvious and simple experiments that I thought ought to have been done. So I always meant to try to do some checking up to see if the book was on the level. But I didn't get around to it.

However, a few months ago I learned of an organization that goes by the initials CSICOP and publishes a periodical called "the Skeptical Inquirer" (formerly the Zelectic) devoted to exposing fraudulent occult and psychic - type stuff. So I wrote them asking about this Geller book. They wrote back referring me to some articles in back issues of their journal. So I ordered the 3 back issues in question ($2000 altogether, ugh!) It seems that, investigated carefully, these Geller claims look much less impressive. In fact, at one point it was flatly asserted that Geller was a fraud. A very clever trickster. Their investigation of Geller and other psychic-type stuff generally seemed to be very careful and reasonable. On the other hand that pro-Geller book (so far as I read it) had also seemed reasonably and moreover I have learned that people sometimes publish gross distortions if not outright lies, or sound quite reasonable while doing it. Furthermore, some (not all) of the Skeptical Inquirer writers seemed to have an emotional bias against this psychic stuff just as strong as the emotional bias that some people have for it.

Of course, in a case like this where it is impractical to do one's own investigating, so that one has to take the word of one side or another as to the facts on which to base a judgement---how can one be sure who is distorting things and who is not? However, I opined that the antipsychic school is right. Naturally, my preferences may be influencing me here, but it does seem to me that all the psychic and occult stuff just doesn't fit in with the general pattern of definitely established facts, so that, in the absence of very solid evidence for psychic phenomena one would have to reject this. And since the evidence produced by the anti's is at any rate sufficient to deprive the evidence of the pros of a solidly convincing character, one would have to conclude that the antis are most likely right. Also, some of the statements about Geller, notably the statement that he has been "exposed as a fraud," would lay the writers open to a libel suit if Geller were on the level.

If you find all this occult bullshit disturbing and would like to read those 3 issues of the Skeptical Inquirer that I have, let me know and I will send them to you. In that case you are welcome to keep them if you like, but if you decide you don't want to keep them, then please send them back to me rather than throwing them out.


From Ted to Dave (T-82)





Dear Dave,

I enjoyed reading about the apparently inaccessible canyon you found.

The reason I offered to send you the Quirog's book was because I thought you might find it interesting. If you ever want to borrow it, let me know. Besides your practical motive for wanting to learn Spanish, I imagine you would enjoy exploring Latin-American literature.

When you to get around to exploring Mexico, unless I get down there to go with you, I'll enjoy hearing about your experiences.

Yes, you may send me a book for my birthday, provided its width does not exceed 7 inches.. If it's bigger than that I'd have to make a trip to the post office to get it, and that's such a pain in the ass. Also, if you send it, it must be with the understanding that if it doesn't look to me as if I'll like it, I won't read it, but will trade it in a place where I trade paperbacks (if it's a paperback) to get something that's more to my taste. I assume you don't mind if when I send you a book or something without asking you about it before hand, since you haven't expressed any wishes to the contrary.

Here's a favor you can do me IF and when you find it convenient.

If you're busy or find it inconvenient, just forget it or put if off indefinitely or whatever you want. I have an idea. Years ago I have seen, in college newspapers, ads offering to do translations at such and such a price. It occurs to me that I might be able to make a little money by placing such an ad and doing translations of Spanish material. Worth a try, anyway, so, if you pass any large universities on your way home to Lombard, or after you get there, or any time you happen to have a convenient opportunity, if you can get hold of any college newspapers, and you can find in them any ads for translations, (UI) do me a favor by clipping them out and sending them to me along with the name and address of the paper. I could then respond to some of the ads just to find out what the going rates are, and if it seems promising, I could try placing such an ad myself.

What do you eat when you're in the desert? How do you make your flour edible? I won't ask you about blood-pressure, because I don't like to be asked questions about my health myself, and it may be that you feel the same way about it; but in case it hasn't occurred to you baking powder contains a great deal of sodium--I suppose a spoonful of baking powder is almost like a spoonful of salt in that respect.

Any kind of bread is superior to pancakes as a steady diet. You can make bread in a frying pan if need be, or by heating the ground with a fire and burying the bread in the ashes, or by improvising an oven. But its true that without a civilized oven, some experience in judging and controlling the heat is necessary for consistent success with the bread. Sourdough and yeast bread are much superior to baking powder bread. Sourdough bread worked fine for me for some time. But then apparently my sourdough pot got contaminated with some objectionable organism, because the stuff got spoiled. Since then I've been unable to sourdough because every time I try, the stuff goes bad---apparently my whole cabin is contaminated with the spores.

So I bought some commercial yeast and started a new pot with that. Apparently this yeast is stronger than the objectionable organism, because I am able to keep my "starter" pot going without having it get spoiled. This yeast also raises the bread faster and higher than the sourdough did, but on the other hand it doesn't have the superior flavor. I understand they also make pancakes with sourdough and yeast, but I haven't tried that. Another way to use flour is to make noodles--just roll the dough out on a board and slice it into strips.

But you have to roll it our extremely thin if the noodles are to be good. Tastiest if you add whole wheat flour and a little cornmeal to the dough.

You remember that old Doctor Smith that was here in Lincoln? Well, he died. It was about time--he was 94 years old. While he was in the hospital they posted up notices all over town asking people to write to him, and the same thing in the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch, which is a little local mini newspaper that someone has taken to publishing here. It was all disgustingly saccharine. I did send him a note anyway--he did treat my foot for nothing, and all that saccharine crap, wasn't his fault. I've been told that he was a doctor back in Massachusetts--he got sick of the "rat race", as its called, and came out here--it must have been quite a while back.

Meanwhile, a new doctor, one Doctor (UI) or Shiels, has settled here. I'm told he came here for the same reason, to escape the rat race. I'm also told that the first thing he did when he got here was buy himself an airplane. Sounds like he's trying to bring some of the rate race out here with him. But I will have to give him credit for the fact that he only charges $10.00 for an office call, when the going rate is $14.00. Also, I've known him to make an least one house-call. A few months ago my neighbor Dutch Gehring (son of the defunct Gehring from whom we bought the lot) fell off a scaffold, knocked himself unconscious, and broke both arms. By chance I was present at the time. The doctor came out and looked him over before sending him off in the ambulance. He gave the impression of competence, seemed to know what he was doing--but of course such impressions are not (UI). So who knows? Maybe he cam (UI) because he got discouraged aft (UI) 2 patients in one week.


California University

California University recently digitalized a long list of letters from Ted to his brother Dave.

Letters which have not yet been typed up - onto this website or anywhere else - are numbers: 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 25, 27, 38, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 58, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 92, 116, 117, 118 & 120.

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Kaczynski family T-1

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-1 T-1 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-3

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-3 T-3 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-4

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-4 T-4 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-5

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-5 T-5 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-6

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-7

  • Click – “The Flies: Replica of the Dead Man” by Horacio Quiroga T-8

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-9

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-9 T-9 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-10

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-10 T-10 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski; includes T. Kaczynski’s translation of “Our First Cigarette” T-11

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-11 T-11 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-12

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-12 T-12 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-13

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-13 T-13 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-14

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Professor Sherman J. Preece, Jr. T-15

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Professor Sherman J. Preece; contains the professor’s response to first communication T-16

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-17

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-17 T-17 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-18

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-18 T-18 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-19

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-19 T-19 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-20

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-20 T-20 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-21

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-21 T-21 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-22

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-22 T-22 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-23

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-23 T-23 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-24

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-24 T-24 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-25

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-26

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-26 T-26 Typed

  • Click – Article sent by T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski; According to notes, missing 2 pages of handwritten letter T-27

  • Click – “The Fort of Tacquil” by Juan Carlos Davalos T-28

  • Click – “The Fort of Tacquil” by Juan Carlos Davalos (typed version) T-28 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-29

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-29 T-29 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-30

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-30 T-30 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-31

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-31 T-31 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-32

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-32 T-32 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-33

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-33 T-33 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-34

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-34 T-34 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-35

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-35 T-35 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-36

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-36 T-36 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-37

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-37 T-37 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-38

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-39

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-39 T-39 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-40

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-40 T-40 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-41

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-41 T-41 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-43

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-43 T-43 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-44

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-45

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-46

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-46 T-46 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-47

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-48

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-49

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-50

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-50 T-50 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-51

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-51 T-51 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-52

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-52 T-52 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-53

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-53 T-53 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-54

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-54 T-54 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-55

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-55 T-55 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-56

  • Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-56 T-56 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-57

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-57 T-57 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-58

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-59

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-59 T-59 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-60

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-61

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-62

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-62 T-62

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-63

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-64

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-65

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-66

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-67

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-67 T-67 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-68

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-69

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-69 T-69 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-70

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-71

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-71 T-71 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-72

  • Click – Land deed and letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-73

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-73 T-73

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-74

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-75

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-76

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-76 T-76 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-77

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-78

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-79

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-79 T-79 Typed

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-80

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave T-81

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave T-82

  • Click – Typed transcription of T-82 T-82 Typed

  • Click – Letter signed “T.J.” and advertisement T-83

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave T-84

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave T-85

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-86

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-92

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-116

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-117

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-118

  • Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-120

[1] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[2] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[3] Clearing lost on account of drought: Apparently the clearing was made for the purpose of planting some crop which was lost due to drought. Sylvannus G. Morley in The Ancient Maya descries the method used by both the ancient and modern Maya to plant maize. They cut the trees and brush in an area of forest and burn off the debris before sowing their seed. Though this story would be located not in the Maya area but in northern Argentina or thereabouts, I take it that a similar method was being used.

[4] Hairlike mosses: the word is “cabellos”, literally hair, but the dictionary also gives the meaning “maidenhair”, and I have a vague recollection that this is some primitive plant of hairlike appearance, perhaps a moss.

[5] Ashes: Literally, potash.

[6] Left-handed Moroccan: The expression is “zoco marroqui”. “Zoco” may mean left-handed, or one-armed, or maimed. Of course this doesn’t make snes. The passage may be intentionally hallucinatory (also note “theory of decapitated men”), or it may be that the expressions “zoco marroqui” and “teoria” may have some local or slang meaning not to be found in the dictionary.

[7] Keyhole: Literally, lock, but I think he must mean that the fly would come in through the keyhole.

[8] Weightlessness: “Imponderabilidad”, which according to the dictionairy would mean imponderability; but I think the author must be using the word in the etymological snese, to mean weightlessness.

[9] Vine: Literally, liana, which I suppose to be a kind of vine.

[10] Click – Letter from T. Kaczynski to Dave Kaczynski T-31

[11] Click – Typed transcription and translation of T-31 T-31 Typed

[12] In fairness I should mention that they aren't going to clear-cut it - they'll just take out the big trees; but you can be sure it will mess things up pretty thoroughly.

[13] Of course I don't like him! Why should I like him

[14] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[15] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[16] David Kaczynski. Every Last Tie [Book]. Duke University Press. January 8, 2016. Original link. Archived link.

[17] David Kaczynski. Families as Secondary Consumers of the Mental Health System [Lecture]. NYS Consumer Affairs. 2012. Original link. Archived link.

[18] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[19] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[20] David Kaczynski. Every Last Tie [Book]. Duke University Press. January 8, 2016. Original link. Archived link.

[21] Alan Chartock (Host). David Kaczynski | WAMC's In Conversation With [Podcast Interview]. WAMC's In Conversation With. August 12, 2021. Original link. Archived link.

[22] David Kaczynski. Every Last Tie [Book]. Duke University Press. January 8, 2016. Original link. Archived link.

[23] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[24] David Kaczynski. Every Last Tie [Book]. Duke University Press. January 8, 2016. Original link. Archived link.

[25] David Kaczynski. Every Last Tie [Book]. Duke University Press. January 8, 2016. Original link. Archived link.

[26] Ted Kaczynski. Truth versus Lies [Book]. Boxes 66 & 67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library). Original link. Archived link.

[27] Brother to brother

[28] Brother to brother

[29] Brother to brother

[30] Brother to brother

[31] Brother to brother

[32] Brother to brother

[33] Falling in love with the Unabomber

[34] His Brother's Keeper