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The unquestionable appeal of handwritten letters
la riscoperta della lettera scritta a mano

Latest articles - Writing

The unquestionable appeal of handwritten letters

30.11.2022

The pleasure of writing a letter in the age of 5G

Our daily lives are now filled with emails, text messages and endless notifications. These tempting, instant means of communication make it almost too easy to relegate pen and paper to a remote desk drawer. However, no screen can hold a candle to the thrill of writing a letter by hand to a loved one, and no notification will ever make our hearts leap as much as the swishing sound of a letter slipping into the mailbox. This creates a unique bond between sender and recipient, now united by a private message that has travelled far and wide before reaching its destination.

The slow reveal of opening the envelope by slicing it open with a letter opener, unfolding the sheet of paper to instantly recognise the handwriting of the sender, are simple and old-fashioned gestures that we are now unaccustomed to. Yet, fortunately, the sheer pleasure of writing is driving some to keep this tradition alive. Taking pen and paper to jot down one’s opinions and feelings or simply tell stories is a liberating act that allows us to unload the thoughts that weigh us down.

The ritual of writing

Writing a letter is an intimate moment that starts with the careful choice of the right paper and perfect pen. It often takes place in the dark of night, on a desk lit by a soft, warm light. It is a special time where emotions can be unravelled and our thoughts given free rein to flow onto the page. This intellectual activity is also rich for the senses. The feeling of the paper’s texture as the pen slides over its surface can go from the slight roughness of a letter to the smoothness of a greeting card. Whichever texture you prefer, it will always be a pleasure to take time for this creative activity of great significance that rewards both reader and writer.

Putting our thoughts on paper for someone we care about also has another benefit, the one of remembrance. The letters lovingly preserved in a drawer or box, can later be rediscovered and re-read, thus rekindling the same emotion that was felt upon their first reception. Sifting through old correspondence certainly cannot be compared to re-reading a chat or retrieving an email with the ‘search’ function. Handwritten letters also connect us to our past and the generations that came before us. They open us to an intimate world and the stories of our family that we sometimes know very little about.  A person’s written word can also be a last unsevered connection to a loved one that has passed away and a way to keep their memory alive. Bringing into our lives the simple and more traditional means of communication can therefore help us to reconnect with who we are today as well as leave a physical trace of who we were for our loved ones.

Scrivere a mano

A creative act within everyone’s reach

No one requires us to write an entire epistolary novel like the famous Italian writer and poet Ugo Foscolo, but only to be sincere and genuine as we write letters to the ones we love and respect. Though we may not have the best handwriting, what truly counts is being  authentic and unique. If you cannot resign yourself to writing in a simple or unoriginal style with an eligible handwriting there is always the option of creative writing courses to create small epistolary masterpieces and calligraphy ones to teach you how to form the curlicues of a perfect cursive.

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