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The Case for Writing Letters


I wrote a book about email –

and found myself pining for the days of letter-writing.

Commentary by Randy Malamud.

Here at Just Write Arts we are all about writing ... letters, cards, postcards ... because we think it is a very personal way of communicating. Email ... not so much.

Email has become so prevalent in our lives that writer Randy Malamud felt compelled to write about it for a Bloomsbury series called “Object Lessons” that examines “the hidden lives of ordinary things.” His article “I wrote a book about email – and found myself pining for the days of letter-writing,” reflects our own thoughts on the personal, sensual feeling of actually writing … longhand … our thoughts, inquiries, congratulations and all, to friends and colleagues.

“ Email” he write “had always evoked the image of my energy, attention and intelligence being sucked away, byte by byte, in a deadening tsunami of ill-composed blather, bland formalities and corporate group-think … (it) is ultimately a paltry and often disappointing piece of text – grammatically challenged, disheveled and ephemeral. Often ignored or deleted, it ricochets through cyberspace in search of validation. Dealing with a cluttered inbox is a chore; emails that require a response loom.”

“How much richer old-fashioned letters are. An email is like a letter shorn of almost everything people liked about letters: the feel and smell of stationery, the confident authority of letterhead, the art of penmanship, the closing signature in the writer’s hand.

On paper, lives were lived, trysts arranged, manifestos mailed and wars waged; the shift from “communication” to “.com” has stripped away all of this historical and social value.”

Read on … you may agree.

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