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Cultural references to the envelope

The enchanted post of Don Quixote

Don Quixote - Cervantes (Wordsworth Classics: Translated by P.A. Motteux)

How about the written envelope (sobrescrito) of Teresa’s letter to her husband Sancho Panza which Don Quixote read?

Don Quixote - Cervantes (Wordsworth Classics: Translated by P.A. Motteux)

In came the page that had carried the letters and the presents to Theresa Panza. The Duke and Duchess were overjoyed to see him returned, having a great desire to know the success of his journey. They inquired of him accordingly; but he told them that the account he had to give them could not well be delivered in public, nor few words; and therefore begged their graces would be pleased to take it in private, and in the meantime entertain themselves with those letters. With that, taking out two, he delivered them to her grace. The superscription of the one was, "These for my Lady Duchess of I do not know what place"; and the direction on the other thus, "To my husband Sancho Panza, Governor of the isle Barataria, whom Heaven prosper as many or more years than me".

The Cervantes Institute version implies that this letter was in an envelope; other versions and translations speak of \"sobrescrito\", understood as a mere text or address written on the letter or folded sheet of paper. It seems unlikely that in 1605 - year of the first edition of Don Quixote - he should speak of envelopes. In any case, the \"sobre\" (envelope) - invention to hold, preserve and carry the letter and its address - came to fulfil a role which the simple folded sheet of paper did not cover and which in those days the post needed. Likewise Don Quixote, who had accomplished his first journey without a squire, could do no more than search for a squire for the rest of his adventures. Things don't end there: if to speak of envelopes is to speak of post, the logic of Don Quixote takes our knight-errant to codemn his squire, in the case of the post, in the same way as in the adventure of the windmills: \"Sancho, you are the greatest ignorant fool on earth, as you are not convinced that this post is enchanted\"(Part II, LVII).Don Quixote the visionary was thus anticipating everything that today represents the post; suffice it to take a look in the colourful postal world to agree with the mad Don Quixote as opposed to his ignorant squire.

* - and so she gave a roll and a couple of eggs to a young friar who could write, and he penned two letters for Teresa Panza (II, L)."""

Index of: Envelopes

Envelopes

National and international associations, through their organizations, publications and congresses, are witnesses to the reality, to the evolution of the world of the envelope and its manufacturers.

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Evolution and history

  1. The origin of envelope
    • The French term "enveloppe" (and its English version "envelope") suggests the idea of "enveloping" or wrapping, while the Spanish word "sobre" (envelope) comes from the word "sobrescrito" (written over) or text which identified the addressee on the closed letter itself.
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Cultural references to the envelope

The envelope is, if not the most universal of tools, certainly one of the most generalised signs of our culture.

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The language of envelopes

Envelopes communicate

The main aim of a designer or marketing professional is to make sure that the reply envelope relates two key messages "open me!" and "respond."

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