I understand from my sister that your present intention is to travel; to return to England. I have decided, after long consideration, to write to you. We have travelled together, and I hope we have become friends sufficiently to – my dear Lady Anna, let me dispense with attempts to be clever or discreet. I am in love with you. There. It is said. For many, many years I have believed it was my fate never to say these words. A long time ago I had hoped, as all young men hope – no, I had mor ethan hoped, I had confidently expected to be overtaken by those feelings I had read so much about. It never happened. And now it has.
Ahdaf Soueif, “The Map of Love“
We have been talking about these old-fashioned artifacts at the studio recently when our assistant brought in a four page, monogrammed love letter she had received (which inevitably ended up on a shoot!). Do people still write love letters? I got to thinking about it and when you open your mind to the written word of love you begin to see it everywhere. In Santiago I found Pablo Neruda’s Love Poems; in the book “Map of Love” Sharif al-Baroudi’s love letter to Lady Anna brought tears to my eyes, and in the film HER, our main character makes a living writing beautiful handwritten letters. What is so special about ink on paper that when we receive one – even if the feeling is not reciprocated – we can’t throw it away? Will one day, people feel sentimental about emails in the same vein or will all our digital maps of love disappear like the flash of a Snapchat?…
Typewriters // Embossers // Monogrammed Stationery // Poetic Love // Dramatic Love
2 thoughts on “Love Letters”
I don’t think the question is do people still write love letters but are there men who still consider pen and paper rather than a smartphone and text short hand an eloquent way to express how they feel?
I still write or type personal letters occasionally. I think it–when done genuinely–indicates thoughtfulness and care, time and effort, which is so personally embedded in each word, sentence and letter as a whole. Its as though it is expressing something unspoken.