Flea Market Love Letters
When History Isn't Pretty.
Hi folks, Liz here. This is a bit of a somber note but I felt it was important to post up. I think it's time to issue the reminder that the views and opinions expressed in the letters are not those of the archive. These are real people's letters and I treat them with dignity and respect, even if we'd fundamentally disagree.
It's not my job to police but it is my job to present the facts so we can learn. And this project challenges me almost daily in that regard. In the process of archiving these last four years I have encountered slang, slurs, and off-the-cuff comments that reveal for me the bigotry and misogyny which stud history.
But I have also read lines of poetry from sons to mothers, husbands asking after children they've yet to meet, and the tenderest promises of sweethearts.
Very rarely have I withheld a letter. I have though. Perhaps now is a good time to explain why. If the letter includes personal details about an individual in a slanderous or malicious light which some have, I have chosen to not publish it. These letters have been recorded but not published.
I should add that this is not the norm. Most of the letters in the archive are lovely, flowery and what you would want to find in a shoebox for five bucks at a Flea Market. But for the ones that aren't? For those we have to consider them critically and ask: How can we do better, now?
While I am sure that I am missing something in this I hope that my point comes across, however confused it is: These are real letters that contain real examples of history all the good and bad bits mixed in. I'm not pretending this is a very eloquent essay on censorship. I am learning as I go along.
I hope that while you are enjoying what you read, you also notice the parts that make you uncomfortable. Ask yourself why and push on that door.
Thank you as ever for your readership. Soon we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Until Next Time,