Words On A Page

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on January 22, 2014 in Personal |

I guess you could call it a bug, or a sudden flaring interest in communication, perhaps even a form – if you do it too much – of stalking: I understand the fetish for writing letters. I understand, having penned my little request to Simon & Schuster yesterday, how some people can get caught up in the hobby of letter writing and make it an art of their own. And, I must admit, it is something which appeals, in many ways.

I didn’t imagine for a moment that my letter, which I composed in my head before putting the words down on paper, would come to feel like so much fun. Fair enough, it was – and is – very much tongue-in-cheek, a challenge to try to gain an answer, a bit of fun over something which really irritated me. But I can easily imagine myself doing exactly the same over and over again. I mean, not just letting my thoughts on people and events throughout the world air themselves here, on this blog, but actually writing to these people, institutions, organizations, and challenging them to reply.

Viktoria Michaelis: Letters, Letterwriting, Post

Photo Credit: insEyedoutCreative Commons

Although, when I say challenge, I suspect that very few would take it up, would stoop to retrieve the gauntlet, would put a pen to paper either to explain or to justify themselves. Letter writing is an old-fashioned form of communication; hardly anyone does it for fun these days, hardly anyone remembers what it is like to hold a pen in their hands and write something which won’t be corrected and which is aimed at just one person.

In fact, I could have written a much longer letter yesterday, if I’d had the patience to wait and read further in Peter Watson’s book. Today I came across this gem, on page 186 of The German Genius:

Most wars, therefore, did not involve the general population as combatants hardly at all

which I guess makes sense in a way, but is very awkward, even if you do understand what the author means, and implies a double negative. Not that the English language is easy, the phrase:

If only the thoughts I had had had had more meaning

is absolutely correct, but awkward in the extreme! Yes, you can throw a comma in there which might ease the pace a bit, but you don’t have to. And I am not quite in the mood to write another letter to Simon & Schuster with this latest gem although, if I am honest about it, were I to find more such pearls of wisdom, I might take a pen to paper once more. But then, where does it stop? I mean, if I were a Grammar or Spelling Nazi I could have a field day with some books; it is rare to find a modern publication which doesn’t include several glaring spelling errors. To be fair to Peter Watson’s editors, I have only found one spelling error so far, but I think the rest makes up for that lack!

Viktoria Michaelis: Letters, Letterwriting, Post

Photo Credit: donovanbeesonCreative Commons

And why am I bothering with such a good education and such a massive reading list of excellent works if not to use the knowledge that I gain? What is the use of knowledge if you don’t share it? That, of course, within reason. It is easy enough to be a bore, and there are enough people out there who make an art of their knowledge boring the pants off others. I certainly don’t want to join their ranks.

But to have a full post box when I get back from college in the evenings. I already have a full Inbox, which is mainly spam and hits the trash quicker than you’d believe, but it isn’t the same. Telling someone selling me their SEO services that my ranking on the Internet is better than their ranking despite their apparent knowledge and skills has its limits.

And to start a real, long, enduring conversation with some intelligence in it, well, that would be the ideal. There aren’t, however, enough hours in the day, sad to say. Otherwise….

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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