The Kindness of Strangers

In Tennessee Williams‘ “A Streetcar Named Desire” the tragic figure of Blanche Dubois has the great line: Whoever you are— I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. While this is an apt line for Blanche it is not really a seniment I share. This attitude may be cynical but it makes the moment when I experience the kindness of strangers all the more important.

Today when I got to the office a brown envelope was waiting for me. The address was printed on a computer, the stamps were Swedish but otherwise no identifying marks. Inside the envelope was a copy of Elias Canetti’s The Voices of Marrakesh.

I have no idea who sent me the book, it is a new copy without any identifying marks or inscriptions. Very mysterious and what a wonderful gesture. I have not read it and I am looking forward to begining on it later this evening – thank you!

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