Friday, February 11, 2011
Letter writing - history on paper
A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping.
Yes, e-mail is a wonderful invention. It links people across the world, destroying in an instant the hurdle of geography that confronts snail mail. Yet it is by its nature ephemeral and lacks the spark of character that only handwriting can provide. When you get an e-mail, you can never be sure that you are the only recipient — or even that it’s original.
We have always liked to pore over the letters of great figures like Winston Churchill and Abigail Adams for the insight this offers into their lives: the writing, the crossings-out, the very feel of history on paper.
The entire article is HERE in the NEW YORK TIMES.