A College Term Paper on Religion in The Chocolate War

Joseph Sepesy's letter and term paper sent to Robert Cormier

Joseph Sepesy's letter and term paper sent to Robert Cormier

Joseph Sepesy’s one page typed letter, of October 1, 1988, to Cormier is a request that Cormier read through a term paper, which was enclosed with the letter.  The eleven-page term paper was written for a course called “Adolescent Literature” and was graded and annotated by Dr. Gary Salvner of Youngtown State University. From a note on page 11, and from the lack of a reference page, it appears that there may have been pages that have since been lost.

Letter from Robert Cormier to Joseph Sepesy 5 December 1988

Letter from Robert Cormier to Joseph Sepesy 5 December 1988

In his two-page, ten paragraph typed letter back to Sepesy, Cormier apologizes for not writing sooner because, he explained, he had been traveling in Europe in connection with another book. Cormier explicity states that he tried to address students’ letters promptly out of consideration for their scholastic deadlines. Furthermore, we are afforded a glimmer of insight into his process of correspondence management – that he answered the “’easy’ letters first” and save the more demanding ones for later. Here, as is consistent with Cormier’s correspondence, the tone he conveys is one of the utmost courtesy, humility, and serious consideration of his correspondent’s queries. Cormier entertains Sepesy’s premises in the term paper, and in doing so, reveals his own inner life as a writer who lives with his characters well after they’ve risen to life on the published page.

Related Link:

7 Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work, by Jake Rossen
http://mentalfloss.com/article/60290/7-authors-who-wrote-themselves-their-work