05 February 2012

Book du jour - and some thoughts on copying

Trying out various formats for the over-writing - using a strip of masking tape to make a blank area in the page, for example. The text is from the catalogue of an exhibition we saw at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in December (the exhibition goes till mid-March) - "Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere" -
Above, large writing with a pale pen, needing a lot of pressure, on onion-skin; below, small writing added with a pen that gave a darker line and flowed nicely over the paper. Writing on both sides, held up to the light, with and without the strip of masking tape -

Writing out other people's words is a pleasant thing to do, though old habits die hard and I'd like to edit a little here and there (after all, who would know?). You get very close to the words - not as close, though, as with copying other people's drawings, where there is so much that needs attention - the direction of the mark, the pressure on the pen, the relation to adjacent marks. The marks in the drawing are so direct; the connection to the artist is so immediate. With words there are many levels of processing before the words reach you - from the author's handwriting/typing and its revision to the printed page and finished publication. Copying the marks of handwriting - the immediate words - would be a different experience. It might feel a bit like trying to become that person? How close to, or far away from, that do you get by borrowing their words and putting them in your own handwriting? Why am I using someone else's text? How would I feel, re-writing various kinds of text - what to do next, what to do first?

Where is this going and what's it about .... ah, don't know yet ...

1 comment:

kathy loomis said...

A couple of years ago I covered a 14 x 20 inch sheet with rather small writing, copying Pride and Prejudice. I did feel close to the words (had been reading the book before I decided to write it) and loved the project.