"David Foster Wallace was incredibly fond of collecting words he found to be noteworthy, either by scribbling on the pages of the books he was currently reading, circling specific words in his personal dictionary, or compiling standalone vocabulary lists. The latter method is illustrated below, in the form of just two pages from the hundreds of word lists he amassed over the years."
[I have to admit: this makes me like Tom Hanks a little bit]
"In July of this year, in an admirable attempt to secure him as a guest on his Nerdist Podcast, Chris Hardwick sent a beautiful 1934 Smith Corona to noted typewriter collector Tom Hanks and popped the question. Within days, Hanks responded with this charming letter, typed on the Corona."
"Writing a novel (or a story, for that matter) is confusing work. There are just so many characters running all over the place, dropping hints and having revelations. So it’s no surprise that many authors plan out their works beforehand, in chart or list or scribble form, in order to keep everything straight. After the jump, you’ll find a mini collection of those planning papers, so you can take a peek into the process of some of your favorite authors, from James Salter to J.K. Rowling."
"Letters are a slow-motion conversation, one where every word matters and you carefully consider what you want to say. One where discussions evolve over the course of months rather than hours and days."
'The shortest correspondence in history is said to have been between Hugo and his publisher Hurst and Blackett in 1862. Hugo was vacationing when the novel was being released and he wanted to know the reaction his work had gotten. He sent a single character to his publisher “?” and they sent a single character response back, “!”'
"The Cranevelt letters are one of the most important manuscript collections in the Central Library. They contain the correspondence of humanist Frans Cranevelt of Bruges with Erasmus, Juan Luis Vives and Thomas Morus, among others."
"One exists most of the time in morose discontent with the sort of work that one does oneself, and wastes vain envy on all others: the worst of it is that nobody will believe one. But no one regrets more that these moods should occur to Mrs. Woolf (of all people) than
The Missing Ink, from British novelist Philip Hensher, makes the case that it has probably been too long. Subtitled “The Lost Art of Handwriting,” the book is an ode to a dying form: part lament, part obituary, part sentimental rallying cry. In an age of texting and notes tapped straight into tablets, we are rapidly losing the art and skill it takes to swiftly write, with a pen, a sentence that is both intelligible and attractive. The time devoted to teaching handwriting in elementary schools around the globe has dwindled. Hensher opens his book with the plaintive question: “Should we even care? Should we accept that handwriting is a skill whose time has now passed? Or does it carry with it a value that can never truly be superseded by the typed word?”
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