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Publishing John's Letters
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21 January 2011
Sitting singing songs for everyone by the mountain stream
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So Yoko sold the publishing rights of John's letters to the Orion Publishing Group for over 500,000 pounds or so. Hunter Davies is said to have persuaded her into selling the rights to them for a book to be released in October 2012, the 50 anniversary of Love Me Do. There is reported to be 150 letters being brought together for the book.


What do you guys think? Should we know John's personal feelings by reading his letters or do you think it helps us understand who John really was? Do you think John would have wanted them published?



Well we all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun.
22 January 2011
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A couple of thoughts on this

1) John was an avid reader and read the letters and biographies etc of many deceased artists, writers, etc. Since John was aware of his own fame, one has to believe that he realized that one day his own personal letters etc, would be published - just like hundreds of writers before him. Indeed he and Yoko may have discussed it - whether formally or as a part of marital chit-chat.

2) Whatever your opinion of Yoko Ono, I don't know anyone who would deny that when it comes to shaping, editing, censoring and even re-writing the commercial legacy of John Lennon, Yoko is in charge. We can be sure that there will not be one word printed that Yoko doesn't want published. What we can't be sure of is if every word that is published was actually written by John (just as she has issued artwork by John that really isn't by John - or not completely by John - altered after his death).

3) In terms of the money, well you have to use some measurement to decide who publishes. I guess Yoko could have scanned John's writings and put them on the internet for free - yea Yoko's gonna do that . . .

"She looks more like him than I do."
25 January 2011
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Assuming Marcelo's "he did?" is in reference to John posing nude for an album cover - the answer is yes Two Virgins - not sure how anyone wouldn't know that - maybe the question was tongue in cheek (an interesting phrase when discussing a nude photo).

Anyway, I've beene trying to hold off on this comment, but can't.

The concept that "Yoko has always been careful about protecting John's legacy" just continues to grate on my mind.

The truth is that Yoko has not so much protected John's legacy as she has re-created John's legacy. It is for this reason that when it comes to anything released by the Lennon Estate, the question is not whether the material (whether it be music, art, photos, writing, etc) is what John would have wanted released, what is for sure is that it is only what Yoko wants released.

In all my years I have never seen as redacted a personal history of a public figure as the re-write of the history of John Lennon by his widow.

No one knows whether John would have wanted these letters published (although personally I suspect he would approve). What we do know is that Yoko wants them published - and we can be absolutely sure that the only pieces that will be published are those pieces which support the image of John that Yoko has designed for us to consume.

"She looks more like him than I do."
25 January 2011
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And just after I'd written that, I saw that Yoko had left a statement on my article about the publication, clarifying some details. Hi Yoko! Come and join the forum! yoko-ono-01

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