Magazine
Latest Issue

Absence of mind

Letter writing is no longer a way of life. We have lost a way of thinking

By Vivian Gornick   June 2013

Calvino’s letters reflect his rich imagination and engagement with the world (© Getty Images)

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather eds. Andrew Jewell & Janis Stout (Knopf, £25)

Italo Calvino: Letters 1941-1985 ed. Michael Wood (Princeton, £27.95)

Here and Now: Letters  2008-2011 by JM Coetzee and Paul Auster (Faber, £20)

When I was young, in the 1950s, everyone wrote letters. The schoolteacher, the insurance agent, the social worker; the businessman who read, the lawyer who travelled; my romantic mother, our no-nonsense neighbour: all conducted an often large and varied…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect