The Literature of Love to me.

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Romeo and Juliet, Frank Bernard Dicksee, 1884

Almost a coincidence, arriving in Australia and finding myself in a literature class speaking about the 19th century and Shakespeare. Being Italian and just by chance from Verona, I feel this arguments from a very close viewpoint and I’m proud of bringing a bit of my Italian soul into this course.

There is a place in Verona..

where people who suffer can leave a message to ask Juliet for help.

I’m lucky to walk every day in front of the balcony where Juliet confessed to return the love of his beloved, even if it’s always hard to see something because of the crowd. I was inspired and fascinated by the romantic atmosphere and my mind started to wander. Until I made the decision one day, two years ago, to join a fantastic Volounteer Group based in Verona called Juliet Club ( I will post at the end of the page the website, you might check it is really interesting!) and I found myself responding to some out of thousands of letters from all over the world  of all those women in search for their lost, unrequited or platonic love.

I want to tell you shortly something about the Juliet Club.

The Juliet Club has been handling Juliet’s mail for many years. This unique phenomenon has made Verona the world-wide known “town of love”. Addressed to Juliet thousands of letters arrive everyday from all over the world and the volunteers replies to each and every one of them in the name of the most famous heroine in literature keeping alive the epistolary tradition.

In our technological era, dominated by instant messages that have no time, nor space (text messages, emails, Whatsapp, etc.), hand-written letters keep on being the privileged means to express feelings.

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Juliet | Philip Hermogenes Calderon | 1888

There are still thousands of people in all countries that take a pen and a sheet of paper in order to write to Juliet. And I find this incredibly fantastic!

Thanks to Juliet’s secretaries each letter is read, translated, answered and then kept in the archive, that contains thousands of love stories and countless words of love. The Juliet Club Archive now offers a unique opportunity to visitors: the chance to view some of the thousands of letters that arrive by mail from all over the world so if you’ll have the chance to visit the city, just pop in and have a look at it, it is really worth!

So it is pretty obvious why I have chosen to take part of this experience. The reasons are basically two:

  1. According to my opinion, this way of exchanging letters helps to keep alive an extraordinary epistolary tradition in an era where technology is destroying empathy.
  2. I am an eternal romantic.  I believe love is a most warming, happy, inspirational human feeling. It surrounds us throughout our lives and takes many shapes and forms. Love is something we all share no matter where we live, what age we have or which social status we belong to.  Through my previous Shakespearean readings, I came up with the idea that Shakespeare has captured the spirit of it, its highs and lows, and the beauty of falling in love. One cannot talk about love without immediately recalling the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a story unsurpassed in world literature as a celebration of young love: innocent and pure, love at first sight, strong and passionate. He has created an exceptionally powerful image of young love.

JULIET

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
 

ROMEO

Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

[Romeo & Juliet, Act II, Scene II]

After all this, I’m pretty excited to study more about Shakespeare and the Romantic Age, and maybe analyse it under another point of view!

Check ⇒ http://www.julietclub.com/en

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