When I first heard the farcical story of the governor’s disappearance and then confession, I found it easy to laugh along with everyone else. I found it easy to agree with Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist as well as a journalist, that there was something bizarrely self-destructive in Sanford.
Now, having read the letters — or the excerpts running in the South Carolina papers — I’m not doing that anymore. The letters reveal nothing more nor less than true thunderbolt from the sky love. English professors tend to be people who love language, and who seek in language, more than in other places, the real. The Sanford/Maria letters have in them the grain of that sought-after actuality. Every word, every phrase, comes from the deep heart’s core.
Maria’s fractured English is as beautiful as Nora Barnacle’s in her love letters to James Joyce.
Perfection after all isn’t the real; Michael Jackson’s multiply knifed face was a horror. The flaw and the fracture that convey our humanity and its exertions toward expressivity is the real.
Sanford’s sincere, halting, emotional prose carries the impact upon him of his having been hit, and hit hard, by passionate love. Rather late in a very public life, Sanford has suddenly felt the bliss of utter enchantment with another human being.
Must read of the day, undoubtedly! One reason why I love English Professors!!