Thematic album for the World Letter Writing Day
World Letter Writing Day is celebrated annually on November 11. It is not so much a romantic holiday, but a reminder that the epistolary genre is gradually becoming a part of history. Traditionally, on this day, people write letters to their friends and beloved ones, relatives and scarcely known people, as if relocating to the past for a moment. Thanks to the extant correspondence, one can restore the events of ancient times, rub up memories, and travel to the atmosphere of the past. The importance of correspondence for history can scarcely be overestimated. While reading letters of the people that have gone long ago one seem to be making a journey through time - countries and people with their cheers and concerns, with their concept of life values and world order emerge in front of our eyes. Even everyday common letters become the important source for investigating a particular epoch, since they are a kind of documents of the past.
For many centuries, letters remained the only communicative mean between people be separated by a distance. It is not surprising that in the 17th-19th centuries literature, the epistolary genre was widely exploit, when the plot of a novel was based solely on the correspondence between characters. For example, the novel by C. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos "Dangerous Liaisons", "The Suffering of Young Werther" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the first novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky "Poor People", "Novel in Letters" by Alexander Pushkin ...
What for besides the information exchange, were everyday personal letters needed? For communication, of course. Nowadays, we can find not only the prominent people temper and personality outpouring in their letters that survived, but also ethic examples and behavioural patterns. Vladimir Dal called a letter "written speech, a conversation sent from one person to the other”. The letters written by Pushkin and their numerous drafts show how carefully Alexander Sergeevich wrote his letters, how he discerningly strove for simplicity. It was Pushkin who was the first to implement the principle of "writing as if speaking and speak as if writing" - first in his letters, and then in fiction. His letters create the impression of conversational speech. About five hundred of them have survived.
Letters from the Pushkin epoch are folded sheets of paper without postage stamp, without house number*. First postage stamps were invented in England. They were printed in 1840.
The envelopes customary to us appeared in the 19th century, but for a long time many people got along without them, folding letters in the appropriate way. In different epochs, not only the letters’ content changed, but also the ways of protection the content from prying eyes. Material for wafers, called "Spanish wax" made a revolution in the postal business. The Chinese invented it. Initially, the sticky substance known today as sealing wax was a luxury that was unaffordable luxury.
Nowadays, the Pope receives the most of the letters in the world. Every week, the Vatican post office delivers him several thousand enveloped messages, both personal and related to his service.
Santa Claus is the second major addressee of paper letters. There are so many of them that the Santa Postal Service employs about 3,000 people to process them.
Progress, of course, cannot be stopped - the history of handwritten letters, dating back over thousands of years, is in its final days. World Letter Writing Day – the unusual holiday that is celebrated in many countries and at the initiative of the Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association (WIMA). Letters and epistolary genre itself continue to arouse interest among different generations of people, which means that it has a future prospective as a significant phenomenon in the history of humankind and as the subject of research in various fields of science. Moreover, today, to join the celebration, just take a pen and paper and write to the person you know what is in the wind. Envelop the letter, address it and send by post - to surprise the addressee.
Thematic album the World Letter Writing Day is posted in the museum Photo Gallery.
* The house was indicated by the name of the owner. The numbering of houses, odd and even sides, was introduced only in 1834