Thursday, January 16, 2014

a fetish for the manuscript

The handwriting has come a long way. The letter, the outline of letters and the sentences that churn out of the pen as a grandmother writes a letter to her granddaughter or an eccentric makes notes in his diary with his pencil. Here a small walk through manuscript lane. (in the order of mention)

Audrey Hepburn wrote back to Kubrick in round wobbly letters with what looks like a blunt fat pencil, just like her big round dreamy eyes, polite and stern. The writing permeates through a page along with the smudges of sweaty fingers flipping through them, ages after they have been written. That or the air conditioned humidity controlled glass casings of a gallery like Intensive Care Units maintain the lines on permanent ventilators, resuscitated in cycles, like Mira Schendel's graphite on rice paper, the ECG of these lines rising and falling like a restless summer ocean . Da Vinci found comfort in writing through the mirror while Dostoesvky often lost his sentences into solemn faces of his heroes. And as Vladimir Nabokov had just finished colouring the butterfly from his garden, it flew and planted itself on the window sill of a  far away Bengali mansion as as Rabindranath Tagore allowed his pen to consume his page and his words completely.

[all images sourced from google]