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Summer Blogging: Life and Letters XII

Writing a lovingly crafted review of a new edition of the selected letters for Joseph Conrad in the newest issue of the Hudson Review, David Mason writes:

I miss letters, postcards, aerogrammes–typed or handwritten, arriving with kaleidoscopic stamps, inked with dates and places of origin. They took time and gave weight to words.  Often they went out like shared pages from private notebooks, collaborations with the friends and strangers to whom they were sent.  Now when real letters arrive I can hardly believe in their existence.  Caught from the neck up in the Internet, I have slowly learned that a civil voice still has to be fashioned with patience and calm I do not always possess.

We don’t actually have the edition of Conrad’s letters to which Mason alludes, but it made me think of collections of letters like Letters from a Lost Generation: the First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and four friends, Roland Leighton, Edward Brittain, Victor Richardson, Geoffrey Thurlow edited by Alan Bishop and Mark Bostridge.  A collaboration of people reflecting their times and their struggle with the war of their generation.  Weight in the words…exactly why to read letters, so succinctly put by Mr. Mason.

~ by pdoty on .

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