Messy letters

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Well, this is appropriate timing… I’ve been reading Janet Malcolm’s excellent book about Sylvia Plath, The Silent Woman, and a day after I blogged about handwritten fonts, I reached a passage where Malcolm describes a pack of letters from Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, to the poet and biographer Anne Stevenson:

As I looked at the pages of dense, single-spaced typing, punctuated by x-ings-out and penned-in corrections, I had a nostalgic feeling. The clotted, irregular, unrepentantly messy pages brought back the letters we used to write one another in the 1950s and ’60s on our manual Olivettis and Smith Coronas, so different from the marmoreally cool and smooth letters young people write one another today on their Macintoshes and IBMs.

These days, I guess we’re just syntactically messy.

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