Mrs. Kartoshka and I are often apart. How do we keep in touch? The e-mail, sms messaging, telephone…
In years gone by, of course, we would have relied on letters.
I was reading a lecture by the Australian songwriter Nick Cave the other day. This is what he has to say about love letters:
I sat down with a friend of mine, who for the sake of his anonymity I will refer to as J.
J. and I admitted to each other that we both suffered from psychological disorder that the medical profession call erotographomania. Erotographomania is the obsessive desire to write love letters. My friend shared that he had written and sent, over the last five years, more than seven thousand love letters to his wife. My friend looked exhausted and his shame was almost palpable. I suffer from the same disease but happily have yet to reach such an advanced stage as my poor friend J. We discussed the power of the love letter and found that it was, not surprisingly, very similar to the love song. Both served as extended meditations on ones beloved. Both served to shorten the distance between the writer and the recipient. Both held within them a permanence and power that the spoken word did not. Both were erotic exercises, in themselves. Both had the potential to reinvent, through words, like Pygmalion with his self-created lover of stone, one’s beloved. Alas, the most endearing form of correspondence, the love letter, like the love song has suffered at the hands of the cold speed of technology, at the carelessness and soullessness of our age.
Maybe I should send Mrs Kartoshka more letters?
Maybe I should send for this guide?