13 NOTEBOOKS to write a life

By Teresa de Andrés. May 23, 2012


I must confess that now I find it easier to understand doctors because every day I find it harder to understand my own writing. I sometimes pick up the pencil and witness –horrified– the display of my clumsy hand sketching incomprehensible letters, vowels and consonants from another planet. Yet I went through the typical feverish stage of wanting to write a premature novel; I'm that kind of person who could spend hours gazing at how the pigmented ink of a fountain pen is soaked up by a medium-weight laid paper.

I’m sure that many of you can count on the fingers of one hand how many times you have picked up a pen and a piece of paper and written more than two sentences in the last week. I can. Now ask yourselves how many minutes you have spent without placing all ten fingers on the impersonal surface of a keyboard (and don’t count the hours you spend sleeping –always with your phone close at hand, of course–).

But there was a time when we lived surrounded by notebooks with plain, squared, ruled, graph paper. Inside them we learnt to imitate that symbolic construction in which History is printed. Surfaces aside –and because we know that paper and screen can and must coexist– we have chosen 13 notebooks to continue writing the life before the flood comes and turns paper into pulp.

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