Saturday, March 5, 2016

Simon Schama on writing with a fountain pen

"I have two styles of writing, anal and loopy, both adopted in slavish but futile imitation of models who used a fountain pen as though they had been born with one in their hands. I had not. My primary-school exercise books, an Abstract Expressionist field of blots and stains, looked as though the nib had wet itself on to the page rather than been purposefully guided over the paper to form actual words. And yet I loved -- and still do -- the purchase the metal makes on paper, and can't begin a chapter or a script or a newspaper piece without first reaching for a fountain pen and notebook. I scribble, therefore I am." - Simon Schama, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother (HarperCollins, 2010), xix.

My introduction to Simon Schama came through his excellent BBC / PBS series, "The Story of the Jews":

Highly recommended.

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