Thursday, February 11, 2010

on friendships and romance attempts of long ago...

This book belonged to my aunt Valentini; when she passed, I was invited to take something from her personal belongings and this was one of the items I chose and now feel so fortunate to have. It is a type of a scrapbook/album, very much in fashion among girls in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. A  series of questions asked by the owner of the book, were answered by friends. Through these  answers  it's easy to "read" the level of intimacy, to detect the desire for intimacy, to recognize the narcissistic tendencies of some and the efforts of others in trying  to show off  and impress the girl posing the questions. Most of the writers made sure they left words of wisdom written in their best hand writing for the eyes of my aunt and for posterity... They all took this philosophical and arty exchange very seriously, and the owner of this book equally so; she kept it all her life tucked in the top dresser drawer, together with other very special and close to her heart items.
Every time I open this book and start reading, I am amazed by the level of knowledge, the writing skills, the artistic talents, and most of all the similarity in certain ways of youth we all share, regardless of the time span of a century that separates us, and today's communication ease through mobile phones, text messaging, facebook, twitter, etc. that places these  books so much more into fossil category of a long past age...  The pages of my aunt's book are filled with rather emotionally and sentimentally charged entries presenting the case of a communal kind of "valentine"; a multi page valentine where a group of friends express their sentiments with enough indirect methods and innuendos to make them perfectly acceptable and proper for the young girls of the time to hold, to read, to cry and smile while reading it. It was an innocent time where my aunt and all those young boys and girls while busily writing, they were also dreaming of perfect loves and perfect lives for their future ahead...
Happy Valentine's!


  1. My dear Anna,

    I cannot believe what it is that I hold before me. The beauty as well as it s fragility make this a priceless treasure. I love the different handwritings, the various colour of ink, all adding charm to the journals.

    Please make sure that the journal is passed on to someone who will not only take great care, but hopefully will also cherish it with their heart.

    Thank you for sharing,

  2. Hi Anna,

    I agree with Egmont, this is such a treasure, what beauty each page holds!


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