November 1st

ABOUT SENDING AND RECEIVING LETTERS

Since I was very young, until my early thirties, I had serious problems in opening and reading any letters I received. Letters would stay on my table for weeks before I found the courage to open them, and during this time my sense of guilt would grow and grow. Most of the time, when I finally opened the letters, it was too late to answer them and my sense of guilt was worse than ever. I kept every single letter, from the first notes received from my mother, in I965, up to the time I left Belgrade for ever in I979. I decided to chronologically write down the first sentence from all of these letters, without noting the name of the senders. When finished, I was astonished to see how it was possible to trace all my life just by reading the text created by all these first lines. Later I heard that Marcel Duchamp, on receiving a letter, opened, answered, and immediately burnt the letter he’d received. Jean Tinguely never opened or answered any letter, and every christmas he made a ritual of burning unopened envelopes, which sometimes included important information and even checks. M. A.

(via Happy Accidents).

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