miðvikudagur, febrúar 01, 2006


The papers are piling up again.

The monster Sunday edition from Sunday last has begun to slide off the seat of the chair and onto the floor beneath the breakfast table. The paper I recall as overwhelmingly gray seems to contain ever more color, garish photographs in every section. I hardly recognize it.

Hand-scrawled notes on loose sheets rest precariously on every surface of the worktable. The writing is black, spiky and loopy, the paper a gentle, eye-saving green. I like the combination. I should---it is my writing and my choice of colored paper.

But my favorites are the full-color printouts of digital scans of weeklies from the 1890s. There was no technology for color printing then. All papers were black-and-white. But modern techniques have captured the subtle array of eggshell tones that the formerly white paper has turned over more than a century of repose in libraries. Some are rosy, some cream, others bluish green, and none of them perfectly uniform. With the honest black letters on them, the odd n and u reversed, they are very beautiful.

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