Woolf (or actually "we") opens her first letter drawing "a sketch of the person to whom the letter is addressed," because "Without someone warm and breathing on the other side of the page, letters are worthless" (3). She then continues to say that I'm "a little grey on the temples," my "hair is no longer thick on the top," and I've "reached the middle years of life not without effort." I'm assuming her "letters" are not intended for anyone specifically, or non-fiction, because there's no reason to describe the intended reader's appearance back to "him." This opening caught me off guard and I wasn't sure what to make off it. As Emma and Kent discuss, this text seems to be related to the archive. My question is why does this archive both create an (inaccurate) image of (me) the reader and why does the narrator use 3rd person personal pronouns throughout?
This weird distinction came up again later. Woolf explains to her reader the "Outsider's Society" (106). The Outsider's Society is "anonymous and elastic," and will support the pascifist cause but not join the addressee's organization. Each individual of this secret group must "analyse the meaning of patriotism in her own case" (107). The question, I suppose, I'm struggling with is whether or not I'm an outsider of this textual archive. I'm not really sure the exact connection between this feeling or the way Woolf opens letter 1, but I am interested in the function of the opening drawing of the reader and what that says about archives and historians/readers.