21 March 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa taught Enzo what a wedgie is.  Was this wise?

*

I’m thinking about trying to improve my handwriting because of this:

Dearest Edward–I no longer feel I should apologize for handwriting after your compliments on same. I owe it to Nicolas Bentley who wrote an italic hand so exquisite that there are examples of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum. When I exclaimed about it he told me his natural hand had been an evil and illegible scrawl, so he had deliberately taught himself italic, and anyone could. So I bought the requisite pen, and worked away–my natural hand was large and loopy like loose knitting–and was soon able to write quite a pretty italic, but only very slowly–so at last I couldn’t be bothered any more, but the loose knitting had been tightened up for good, except when I’m scribbling notes–and then it turns into unravelled knitting.  The natural hand is gone for good–who know what psychic damage this represents.  (Diana Athill, Letters to a Friend, Norton, 122.)

Anything to be more like her! She makes you feel almost as smart and funny and warm-hearted as she is. And of course you’re completely entertained. She’s a marvel.

But really, if I could write quickly and legibly, I could get so much more writing done. (I’m a big believer in quantity.) When we were learning handwriting in school, I wasn’t that good at it and thought it was beneath me, like sports.

But it’s learnable.  Remember how Teresa hurt her right hand and taught herself to write left handed with that specially ruled Scooby Doo writing pad for children? And then she did her art left handed for over a year. 

My! She is an inspiration. Enzo knows what real work looks like from hanging around with her. (She lets him watch TV in her studio in the morning sometimes.)

About the good handwriting. I’m pretty sure I will never do this.

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