Abutting absences: Love letters from two eras
Archived Articles 03 Nov 2008 Tiina KirssEWR
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The word ühtekuuluvus—belonging together (togetherness), is a common thread joining two recently published collections of private letters by prominent Estonians from two different eras. Both correspondences are written in the framework of marriage. Private letters made public can be richly textured sources for cultural history, as well as markers on the borderlines between those words meant for one person only-- as the warp and weft of whispered, intimate conversation, and communications meant for a wider circle of listeners, albeit strangers, interlopers, listening in, with purposes, interests, and curiosities of their own.

First published in ELM, Estonian Literary Magazine. For the complete article click on

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