Rather than a hastily scrawled afterthought, the P.S. can sometimes be a letter’s heart, the sting to its tail, its punchline. Indeed, over the years these parting words have often brought letters fully into focus and embedded into my memory pieces of correspondence that would otherwise have been perfectly average—to such an extent, in fact, that I began making note of them soon after my obsession with letters began. Below, because you deserve nothing but the best, are just a few.
P.S. Please excuse my not mailing this—but I don’t know your new address.
Richard Feynman | Letter to his dead wife, Arline, 17 Oct 1946 | Letters of Note
P.S. My come-back to your calling me Pappy is christening you by the word Egg, which implies that you belong to a very rudimentary state of life and that I could break you up and crack you open at my will and I think it would be a word that would hang on if I ever told it to your contemporaries. “Egg Fitzgerald.” How would you like that to go through life with “Eggie Fitzgerald” or “Bad Egg Fitzgerald” or any form that might occur to fertile minds? Try it once more and I swear to God I will hang it on you and it will be up to you to shake it off. Why borrow trouble? Love anyhow.
F. Scott Fitzgerald | Letter to his daughter, Scottie, 8 Nov 1933 | Letters of Note
P.S. I am awfully broke. Would you mind paying me a lot?
Edna St. Vincent Millay | Letter to editor Harriet Monroe, 1 Mar 1918 | Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay
P.S. A seagull has shat on the roof of the convent.
P.P.P.S. Another seagull has shat on the roof of the convent.
Malcolm Lowry | Letter to David Markson, 24 Nov 1952 | Selected Letters
P.S. Thank you for being my friend.
Dora Carrington | Letter to Gerald Brenan, 6 May 1926 | Carrington's Letters
P.S. One of the most striking arguments I ever heard in real life between a man and his wife became wonderful and theatrical, in the best sense, when the husband resolutely refused to yell back at her, and she finally screamed, “Don’t you dare keep your voice down to me!”
James Thurber | Letter to Malcolm Mermorstein, 5 Dec 1960 | The Thurber Letters
P.S. on the way home in the car, I almost fell out on a bend when the door flew open.
Tove Jansson | Letter to her family, 26 Apr 1939 | Letters from Tove
P.P.S. Don't you drink? I notice you speak slightingly of the bottle. I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure. When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well being that rum does? I would as soon not eat at night as not to have red wine and water. The only time it isn't good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief. Let me know if my books make any money and I will come to Moscow and we will find somebody that drinks and drink my royalties up to end the mechanical oppression.
Ernest Hemingway | Letter to Ivan Kashkin, Aug 1935 | Selected Letters
P.S. You know who does have a funny bone in her body? Your mom every night for a dollar.
Tina Fey | Letter in reply to a troll, 2010 | Bossypants
P.S. This letter is rather long, but I didn’t have time to make it shorter, such are the many demands on me these days from so many points of the compass.
E. B. White | Letter to his wife, Katharine, 31 May 1937 | Letters of E. B. White
P.S. Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
Jordan Anderson | Letter to his former owner, 7 Aug 1867 | Letters of Note
P.S. I don’t think four thousand copies such a wretched sale. You should try to take a longer view of it. If you had sold four thousand female tortoiseshell kittens, for instance, you would think you had done marvels.
Sylvia Townsend Warner | Letter to Ben Huebsch, 1 Feb 1956 | Letters Of Sylvia Townsend Warner
P.S. How dare you use the word “n****r” to me. You know I don’t use such a nasty word. I’m a refined lady and such a word simply upsets my conglomeration. What do you think I was doing in Washington all that time if not getting cultured. I got my foot in society just as well as the rest. Treat me refined.
Zora Neale Hurston | Letter to Langston Hughes, 20 Jan 1931 | A Life in Letters
P.S. Your portrait is framed on my office mantelpiece, but I have to point you out to my visitors as nobody recognizes you without the cigar and rolling eyes. I shall try to provide a cigar worthy of you.
T. S. Eliot | Letter to Groucho Marx, 23 Feb 1963 | The Groucho Letters
P.S. And pray cease considering me as a child. I am in many ways considerably more mature than you are.
Iris Murdoch | Letter to David Hicks, 29 Dec 1938 | Living on Paper
P.S. Twins! And girls! Some guys have a girl in one nut and some have girls in the other, but it takes a real He-Man to afford the plum of having a girl in each little nut. Cheers you old fuck—congratulations!
Norman Mailer | Letter to William Walker, 23 Sep 1967 | Selected Letters of Norman Mailer
P.S. You are hardly in any position to determine what separates stars from divas since you are neither one or an authority on either.
Aretha Franklin | Letter to Newsday columnist Liz Smith, 1993 | Brown Sugar
P.S. The last time I saw you, you were certainly one of the nicest people I had ever seen. Now I hear that you are learning to dance. That makes you just about perfect.
Kurt Vonnegut | Letter to his daughter, Nanette, 30 Sep 1965 | Kurt Vonnegut: Letters
P.S. There must be two Gods because I got pissed with one the other night and he's never been on a bus.
Peter O’Toole | Letter to Spike Milligan, 1967 | Man of Letters
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