A love letter can stir more emotion than any other literature the human race has produced. But take one out of a lover’s hands and most of them become embarrassing, boring and absurd. They’re full of minor events reported as if they’re the opening skirmishes of a great war and small favors received with the thanks due a profound sacrifice. They’re riddled with inside jokes and lousy with clichés.
Love letters tend to fail as literature because love’s hallmarks are also the hallmarks of bad literature: lack of perspective, repetition, superlatives. But strangely, these flaws are part of how we measure a love letter’s sincerity. If we remove them, [...]