Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ruled paper for writing Arabic

Ruled paper for writing Arabic
Originally uploaded by kaleissin.
Learning to write on lined paper when we are very young tends to make those lines feel so Authoritative -- rigid, constant, unvarying.

Different writing systems require different kinds of lines. The lines come after the writing. But when they are given to us before we can write in order to help constrain our wobbly letters, they feel like they came before.

On a related note, I've experimented with writing of a variety of kinds of paper -- ruled, college ruled, graph, engineering graph, blank... None of them have any effect on my writing. I write all over the damn page, draw diagrams wherever I please, send arrows careening 'round the page to connect thoughts. And there hasn't been a line invented yet that can constrain my wobbly letters. My penmanship suggests mercury poisoning.

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