Skip to main content

Steve Jobs, TLS, really writing...

I can't ever remember reading the TLS Freelance column when it's been written by a woman. If it's not Hugo Williams, it's Michael Caines. I like Williams's, Caines not so much because he bangs on about the band that he's in. But this week's, by avid reader and critic Regina Marler, was perfect - if anything can be. She simply shares her years' long habit of recording what she's read - her book journals a better memoir or photo album as she looks back to see what she read as a young woman, then a mother... She evokes the simple pleasure of writing book title and author on a piece of creased paper before inserting it into an unmarked notebook. I like reading just as much, but writing - stories, yes, but the simple act of making shapes, letters on the promising page; handwriting. It was one of the things that I loved as a child - starting with pencil; using my tiny fingers to space the width between words; trying to make the perfect a, b, and c. And then cursive, connective, 'real' writing; joined-up. And then trying to achieve the elegant scribble that connotes elegance and intelligence. It's a shame you can't see that here. Maybe soon I shall find a stylus with a perfectly pointed nib that will enable me to really write - as much as I can in electronic form - and upload the file as a photo. It's doable on the iPad. Steve Jobs, back as a youngster, took one class in calligraphy - he said it was because of that one class that he included the fonts he did on the mac. He clearly understood the importance - or just sheer contemplative, tongue-lolling delight in the sample act of 'really writing' - or the aesthetic value of it - albeit on screen - iWriting soon, then.

RIP Steve Jobs. 1954-2011



Location:Train from Highbury to Kew

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

My PhD critical paper

I thought I'd upload the critical element of my PhD thesis. Hopefully, for those who are interested enough to read it, it will make sense despite the references to my creative work, which I can't upload as I'm seeking publication. And besides, at 68,000 words...

I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.




-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

***


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…