Scriptus reviews of books, films, plays, concerts – anything our contributors find exciting and thought-provoking enough to stimulate debate – and a fresh look.
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The Pelikan M800 Brown Black Fountain Pen
Philippe de Felice
All of us collect things not because we actually need them, but because we like them. “I like pens so I collect them. That, to me, is justification in itself.” So why this particular new special edition Pelikan? Philippe de Felice gives several reasons in this review.Read review
In Praise of the Old Style Visconti Van Gogh ‘Maxi’ Fountain Pens
Philippe de Felice
Throughout their history, Visconti have set new standards for imaginative and striking designs, ranging from the very expensive to cheaper “every day” pens, earning a well-deserved devoted following of fountain pen collectors and users.Read review
The Fountain Pen: An Introduction
Philippe de Felice
Philippe de Felice shares his interest with other fountain pen collectors and enthusiasts.Read review
My Octopus Teacher
How a documentary film not only informs the viewer, but also enriches his spirit.Read review
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Signor de Felice: your autobiography (writer and pen) is as exquisite as the Visconti models you convey in your photographs.
As a novelist and screenwriter, for over thirty years I purchased a new pen with every new project, so that I would not have in my nerves and hand old habits from the previous work! As a result, over the years I ended up with a superb. collection of pens and, of course, Italian papers of different size and colors for each project. After we moved to Rome, when the work was finished, I would have it bound in with a Florentine cover.
The bound novels and screenplays, up to this point, reside in the special collections at Dartmouth College The pens, I am unhappy to say (for myself, and not to my daughter), I gave to my first daughter, who is a graphics designer of exceptional taste, when I divorced.
Returning to the United States from Rome, where I had been living for sixteen plus years, I discovered the Macplus. In general, that was an unhappy discovery, because it was so swift, and the print looked like green mucus shivering and slobbering on a Venusian background.!
Writing longhand, with my Mont Blancs or Pelikan, I could literally define the number of pages in a screenplay – which meant the length of scenes I required of the particular work. The screenplay always ended up within 2-3 pages of my handwritten text, when typed.
My first adaptation on the Macplus, which was Joseph Heller’s GOOD AS GOLD, should have been 115-125 pages long. Instead, writing directly on the machine, the first draft fame to 345 pages!
It took me years to be able to adjust to the value of the computer writing program.
The only novels I wrote directly;, and well, on the computer became the JEWS ON THE MOON series. And they worked because the chapters skipped between Fictional Scenes and Memory Riffs, and the swiftness of the keyboard was a help. Writing it longhand would not have worked.
I am used to writing on the computer now — but when there is a program glitch or a blackout, I’m back to the pen (a simple $78 Lamy, which has a very sexy nib. But my handwriting is so idiosyncratic I must transfer the text within twenty-four hours to the computer – otherwise, I can no longer read it!
As helpful as my Mac program can be, there is no sensuality to the process of writing, or the singular beauty of the handwritten page, even with my verkakte scribbling! – which is a donné when the process involves a superior pen, gorgeous ink that flows, from an elegant nib, onto specially woven Italian paper, of a distinct size and color, reflecting the tone of the novel or screenplay. And there’s no place where I live now that binds the completed work, with a choice of Florentine covers.
Of course, down the road, for all of us, lurks the village idiot, posing as the Saviour of the World: Intelligence that is Artificial, and promises a civilization that is a captive to Artificiality in all its wannabe sincerity.
The proper revolutionary response, as you imply in your essays, is a Visconti pen as the weapon of choice!
Comme toujours: Allons, enfants!