Diary

A is for Amorist

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After trying to make sense of a report about last week’s Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, which focused on 'border transcending technology', the Amorist grieved that, although digital innovation has transformed how we connect for work, family and friendship, it hasn’t improved clarity of writing.

Sometimes everyone needs to go back to ABC. The Amorist fondly recalls the Stalinist erotic alphabet book, made in 1931 to combat Soviet illiteracy, which showed several sexual borders being explicitly penetrated, transcended and transgressed, with no need of technology. 

The drawings retain a strange innocence, despite their sexual openness.This could be the result of our childlike associations with alphabet pictures, or perhaps the expressions on participants’ faces, which look as if they’re pondering a difficult word in a spelling bee.

Created by sculptor Sergei Merkurov, who was made The People’s Artist of the USSR, the alphabet demonstrates perfectly how to connect A (teach people to read) with B (get their attention) using C (creative and arresting visuals). The Amorist can only hope that digital whizz-kids will take note.

On a personal rather than global level, those of us who still pen love letters on paper can take inspiration. What better way to communicate a sexual fantasy – or several – than by sending an erotic missive illustrating the letters that make up the beloved’s name? Let your imagination rove without borders. But as with Scrabble, let’s hope there isn’t a Q in the name of your amour. (Unless you're yoga fiends, in which case: enjoy).


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My most beautiful of all little blue grey mouse catching, pearly bottomed, creamy-thighed, soft-waisted mewing rat-pursuers! Letter from Peter Pears to Benjamin Britten, 1941