Books, magazines, and pens
February 17, 2009 § 9 Comments
“Read THE GOLDEN KEY,” said someone at the water cooler today. It’s an 1800s fairy tale, and surprisingly good. I don’t know the author and didn’t ask, but it came from a readaholic source, so there is likely something to it.
In the current NEWSWEEK magazine dated Feb 23, 2009, (it’s Snarl’s but for some reason, comes to the house rather than going to his dorm. So I just kinda graze through it.) on page 44, there is a one-page article on The Curse of Cursive by Jessica Bennett. While I find her arguments against cursive writing to be squashable and due primarily to the fact that she had so much trouble forming the letter “Q” in first grade (which I understand and with which I empathize), her anti-cursive diatribe is fortunately humorous because her arguments against the “loops and swirls” are weak. She has not a dotted “i” to stand on.
But funny wins the day at the end of the day and she manages some humor.
However, Bennett comments during her essay that “by the 1890s, even Henry James dictated his novels to a secretary.” Hmmm… well, we don’t know if it’s because his handwriting was awful OR because he didn’t enjoy writing in longhand OR if he had an injury OR if he maybe had a thing for the secretary and could thus keep her occupied and near him by dictating his words. I am always suspicious of facts plucked from Here and thrown into There to make a point. But, mention a writer and his or her habits, and you have my full attention.
Bennett’s last lines, following some of her anecdotal humor, are perhaps her best: “So if loops and swirls make you feel better, be my guest. In fact, go buy a fountain pen. The economy needs all the help it can get.”
True enough, I suppose. Although I won’t have my precious pens slighted, nor thought merely precious.
I love my G2s; my freebies from Microsoft; my Tiffany slim silver pen that’s kept in all its royal velvet for doing hand-written notes only; my purple pens that write blue, a whole box of them given to me by a pharmaceutical rep three years ago; my straight blue stick BIC pens which my Dad always used, too; and then, the “tramp” pen, the one I find suddenly somewhere in the house, long forgotten, but it just happens to write beautifully.
As for cursive, to write cursively or not to write cursively, I laugh at how my own longhand has degenerated and take singular joy in NOT using the Palmer method anymore having adapted a blithe scrawl.