La last column It reminded me that when I was at school, any reason was good to write letters: the day of love and friendship, a friend's birthday, what I wanted to tell my mom but didn't know how, adolescent love.
Sometimes, in fact, I wonder how many people from my childhood have decided to throw away or keep some of my 'cards', which they probably stumbled upon during a “deep cleaning” weekend.
But I also thought about my closest past or my present. Yes, I confess. I still write letters by hand. I think it's a beautiful custom. In addition, it is magical for me to think that, after my death, someone will try to delve into the most private facets of my life and find my handwriting on some torn, yellowed paper and not only on social networks.
However, research shows that this practice is no longer as popular. In fact, experts say that the last paper letter will be sent in this generation and the time will come when they will only be seen in a museum, as we now see the papyri of the Egyptians. Will it be true?
Who knows. As early as January 1919, The Yale Review, the oldest literary magazine in the United States, claimed that the art of letter writing had been lost: “Some blame the telephone, the typewriter, the telegraph, or the railroad. Others say that the art was lost with the goose feather. But most attribute the loss to the modern art of leisure”, indicates the publication.
But, a hundred years later, there are still those of us who insist on pencil and paper. Because? Simon Garfield, author of a famous book on typography titled 'He Is My Type', argues that there is an integrity to letters that does not exist in any other form of written communication and it has to do with the application of the hand to the paper. That is, the value of the letter as a physical object: it was forged by the hands of one person and reaches the hands of another.
For this reason, the epistolary genre is considered a literary genre and there are many works that are based on the correspondence of authors. When talking about love letters, for example, the famous letter from the English poet John Keats to his beloved Fanny Brawn is always remembered: "Write the sweetest words and kiss them so that I can at least put my lips where yours have been." ”.
At that time, moreover, what was urgent was not counted, but what was important, since between the sending of a letter and the arrival of your response there was a waiting period, a period of rest, a moment of reflection. But could you resist this now? Would you be able to wait that long?
Sometimes, we yearn for customs that selective memory associates with pleasant sensations, such as eating an arepa made from chopped corn and not made from pre-made flour, but which at the time were the reason for great complaints and headaches.
On this, the Argentine writer Cristian Vázquez questions: "Isn't it a bit absurd to lament for having stopped writing paper letters, in times when we all carry a device in our pocket with which we can not only send and receive messages written, but also photos and voice and video recordings, in fractions of a second, from and to almost any part of the planet? Is not the longing for the old correspondence also a trick of memory, a fantasy concocted by the passage of time?
May be. Maybe not. But we would lose nothing in, at least, writing by hand to our 'self' of the future.
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