Modern Antiquarianism

August 18, 2008

If the movement to Modernism can be defined as owing in large part to the collapse of distance (of any type of flows), then modern Post-Modernism can be defined by the move towards instantaneous communication and the new systems of flows and ideas. This instantaneous communication has even led to the phenomenon of “instant nostalgia”: wistful storytelling describing what has just occurred or is in the process of happening.

My problem is that I’m something of a modern antiquarian. I want to be able to communicate by snail mail, but I don’t like wondering whether or not people have sent letters. I can wait for the mail, but not wait to find out if it ever got there. There needs to be some sort of system akin to the way bookmooch works. where you indicate the status of letters. Twitter seems a little too inclusive; everyone would know that you were writing, and sending an email points to the fact that you could have just sent an email. Sadly, with the loss of the telegram, twitter might be the best bet.

It’s the curse of the modern antiquarian. We want everything to be as it once was, without giving up on what makes today so different.