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Pickle Me This

December 16, 2013

A World Less Delightful

Canadian_Mailbox_(2925195187)“If I had to pick just one thing about the English novel, I don’t think I could, but if pressed to pick five things, one of them would have to be the post. Much in the same way that cell phones are pivotal to contemporary plotting, the British postal system is essential to the 20th century Englist novel. As are teacups, spinsters, knitting, seaside B&Bs, and the vicar, or maybe I’ve just been reading too much Barbara Pym, but the mail is always coming and going– have you noticed that? Someone is always going out to post a letter, or writing a letter that never gets posted, or a posted letter goes unreceived, or remains unopened on the hall table.”

Last week it was announced that Canadians are due to lose door-to-door mail delivery. Four years ago today, I wrote an ode to the post–foundation of not only my daily life, but also the plots of my favourite novels–from which the above paragraph is lifted. You can read the whole thing here and I haven’t changed my mind. With the elimination of postal service, we’re basically conspiring to make the world less delightful and this is not insignificant.

Without delight, what’s the point of anything?

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