Mad, Morbid Love – 1939 May 14

Sunday, May 14, 1939

Dear Thelma,

It’s now 6:30 a.m. and these lines are being penned in Albany.  Last night Dave, Marion and Sam drove out in a big green truck and brought two new mattresses for two beds in Grafton.  One for my father’s room and one for my mother.  While Sam was there I got him to relieve me and I came in with Dave + Marion.  You see they tempted me because they were going to see Wuthering Heights.  I had just completed reading this morbid novel and was anxious to see it on film.  So that explains why I’m here in Albany.  I got up early because I had a very pleasant dream about you.  When I reached for you you vanished.  So I decided to get up and write you before we leave for Grafton.

As for the picture all that can be said for it is that it gives one a very faint, mild and deluded notion of the novel itself.  However it was quite interesting and with an excellent cast who in my opinion could have done the real job if Hollywood didn’t “doctor-up” the text.

Thelma, darling from the looks of things I fear I will be detained here for one additional week.  So I will get in to Washington on the 28th instead of the 21st of the month.  My father is doing much better than even I expected out in the country.  He has put on some weight and looks surprisingly well considering what he has and has gone thru.  The additional week of me being out there with him will I think complete a job where I can feel (when I get back) that he has regained sufficient strength to help himself.  So, Sweetheart, I want you to be sweet and patient despite the delay.

The mad love portrayed by the villain of Wuthering Heights will give you an inkling of my love for you.  If you can get to read this novel do and keep the above in mind.  If not see the movie.  You will realize then what would happen to me if anything happened to you.

Extend my love to the entire family and tell them I’ll be seeing them all in two weeks.  Also my best wishes and regards to the comrades and friends.


P.S. I’m still madly in love with you.

P.S.S. Let me know if you received the inclosed money.

P.S.S.S. Write me soon, darling your letters brace up my spirit and help me pass the time.

Editor’s Notes: Yet another delay in Izzy’s plan to return to D.C. He estimates an additional week just two days after his last letter proclaiming the 21st to be his homecoming day. He’s buoyed on by his connection to the novel and film Wuthering Heights. The book is absolutely morbid with family illnesses, ghosts of lost loves, and the awful Heathcliff. Izzy can identify with Heathcliff’s “mad love” for Catherine
whbookand even alludes to how he would be sent into a great depression and ultimately die without Thelma. Two days earlier Izzy told her not to read the novel, it’s too morbid, too depressing.  But the book stays with him; grows and changes in his mind.  Now he tells Thelma she should read the book and think of his love for her.


The 1939 film adaptation of Wuthering Heights starwhred Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff and “Cathy” is played by Merle Oberon. It is considered a classic and preserved by the US National Film Registry. However, it differs from the book and Izzy agrees the book is better.

To dream about a loved one disappearing can indicate a feeling that the dreamer has neglected a part of their life. The physical distance between the couple could obviously make it feel like the relationship has disappeared. Just as likely, the image of the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy walking across the screen impacted Izzy’s subconscious life.

“You know that the stimulus for a dream always lies among the experiences of the preceding day.” – Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams



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