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In Stylo Vanitas

Posted by Dirck on 25 February, 2010

Oh, dear, he thinks he remembers Latin. Time for his pill…

That’s better. Yesterday’s gnawing upon of the vintage bone has left me with what I can only describe as a psychic itch. The tiny regret attached to choosing this pen as the pen for the week has grown to occupy far too much of my imagination, to the point I can hardly face the next… let’s say forty hours. That is a different regret entirely from having decided on this experiment in the first place, which was never tiny and is fighting with this newcomer for attention.

The regret lies in the plainness of today’s pen. It’s not pretty. It was never meant to be, of course, being a Bauhaus-school distillation of functional pen-ness and as far as function goes it’s a corker. It’s very plain indeed.

I am not what one would call a peacock. I dress well, in this slovenly modern context, but not flamboyantly. I have, however, arrogated to myself the role of fountain pen proselytizer. When I write, I want whoever sees me to notice what I’m writing with. Ideally, they’ll do a low-power spit-take, bug their eyes out like a cartoon, and cry something along the lines of, “Jumpin’ catfish! That guy’s usin’ a fountain pen!” but I’ll accept lesser demonstrations. The Lamy doesn’t get this sort of response.

Vintage pens can be very flamboyant. Even the black Vacumatic I regularly roll out has a huge slab of gold hanging off the front and an interesting clip. They came in some very arresting colours, and the shapes can be very much outside the modern idiom and thus rivetting. I could have been keeping my mind off the repetition and making my usual (and admittedly somewhat futile) effort to bring more people into mannenhitsu-do. I don’t know what possessed me to choose the landing strut off a stealth fighter when I could have had a confection in my pocket all week.

Ah, well. Next week I’ll go mad, and be the very Beau Brummel of pens.

Today’s unmarked pen: still the Lamy 2000.
Today’s ink for making marks: toujour Pelikan 4001 blue-black.

3 Responses to “In Stylo Vanitas”

  1. wordsworthwhile said

    Am looking forward to the next pen. That Lamy 2000 requires a bit of courage to look at. Is one per week a hard-and-fast rule? I would not want to be restricted to one pen, for any length of time.

    I do hope next week’s pen is a beautiful one.

    • One a week? Oh, no, the brakes are definitely coming off next week; the experiment ends tomorrow, and I start to root around in my toy box. In addition to prettier faces, I may well pack my pockets– “Today’s platoon of pens:” at the bottom of the entries.

      Well, maybe not. But definitely a return to diversity.

  2. wordsworthwhile said

    Whew! 🙂 Thanks for the good news.

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