03 August 2011

The Lost Art of Postcard Writing

I love getting snail mail...I've started with a friend last year, and it's wonderful, but I wish it wasn't just one person. Many others in their own handwriting and in their own stationary...and of course, postcards when they travel!

An excerpt from a wonderful article by Charles Simic in the NYR blog (here).

"Unlike letter writing, there never has been, and there never could be, an anthology of the best of postcard writing, because when people collect postcards, it’s usually for reasons other than their literary qualities. If there was such a book, I’m sure it would contain hundreds of anonymous masterpieces of this minimalist art, since unlike letters, cards require a verbal concision that can rise to high level of eloquence: brief and heart-breaking glimpses into someone’s existence, in addition to countless amusing and well-told anecdotes. Now and then one encounters in antique shops and used book stores boxes full of old postcards valued for their antiquity, their images and their stamps. The writing found on them most often tends to be in faded ink and hard to read. To anyone with plenty of time on their hands, I recommend reading a bunch of them. Postcards continued to be used by people of modest means to convey important family news long after telephones ceased to be a novelty."

No comments:

Post a Comment