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Seinfeld’s “The Cheever Letters”

Of the first 39 books, today’s post is about one of the coolest little tidbits I’ve discovered about an author or a book.

This may come as no surprise to more dedicated Seinfeld fans, but I don’t remember this episode. But a little backstory first.

In the early 90s after the death of Falconer author John Cheever, some of his letters and journals were published. These letters, according to his daughter Susan, were written to a male lover and revealed his bisexuality.

Enter Seinfeld and the episode called “The Cheever Letters” in which George’s girlfriend, appropriately named Susan, discovers a box of explicit love letters between her father and John Cheever. For George or Jerry, this turns into a whole lot of awkward.

Again, this is one of the main reasons I’m having so much fun with this 101 Books project. Finding out little random pop-culture tidbits just never gets old. Compare this to the Graham Greene-Shirley Temple connection or how Stanley Kubrick changed A Clockwork Orange or all the little factoids about David Foster Wallace and Infinite Jest or the dude who “hand farts” to the tune of the banjo in Deliverance. I love this stuff.

So, if you missed it, here’s the clip from the Seinfeld “The Cheever Letters” episode. Click on the video link below to go to YouTube, as this video won’t let me embed it here. Fast forward to :55 to see the box of letters delivered.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brilliant! George is one of the great characters of all time.

    Like

    March 20, 2012
  2. Read Falconer. One of the best books ever!

    I wrote a fan letter to Cheever about it, and he wrote back. That was pretty cool.

    Like

    March 20, 2012
    • Reading it right now! That’s what inspired this post.

      Like

      March 20, 2012
  3. Hilarious! Thanks, Robert. You have no idea how much I need this little day brightener!

    Like

    March 20, 2012
  4. This episode was so great (they all were). I actually have that books of letters and haven’t read it, yet. Every time I see it on the shelf, I am reminded of Seinfeld and I laugh.

    Like

    March 20, 2012
    • Wow. I’d be interested to hear if they are so, um, graphic.

      Like

      March 20, 2012
      • I will definitely let you know. Now that I’ve been reminded of this episode–and what exactly was in the letter that Susan read out loud–I may have to start reading the book sooner rather than later.

        Like

        March 20, 2012
  5. Susan Cheever’s memoir about her life as John Cheever’s daughter is worth a read. It’s titled Home Before Dark. It’s not nearly as funny as Seinfeld, though.

    Like

    March 20, 2012

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  1. Book #39: Falconer | 101 Books
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