Recent comments


"Last month, I had the good fortune to speak briefly with Peter Lunenfeld at
the Scholarship in the Digital Age conference at USC. I was surprised to learn
that this famous digital media theorist is currently obsessed with a print-based
initiative. His new Mediaworks Pamphlets are "theoretical fetish objects for the
21st century" – elegantly produced collaborations between designer and writer,
intended to break serious media theory out of "the hermetically sealed spheres
of academia and the techno-culture" and into the public discourse, much like the
famous collaboration between Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, "The Medium is
the Massage." By shifting reading, writing and design practices to the screen,
Lunenfeld argues, digital media have effectively "taken the weight off" of the
print codex, enabling its tactile qualities to flower anew. There is room now to
play and invent in the realm of paper, and a resulting emphasis on the pursuit
of pleasure and grace in the experience of book objects. As evidence of the
resurgent fetish book, Lunenfeld points to the immaculate productions of
McSweeney’s, which has made its mark by coupling serious literary output with
elegant design at relatively low cost to the reader.

Another sign of this resurgence is the Moleskine phenomenon – those indelible
oilskin-bound notebooks reissued in 1998 from the classic French design,
famously employed by Chatwin in his travels, and, if the packaging is to be
believed, by Hemingway, Van Gogh and Picasso as well.  Nowadays, Moleskines are
favored by aesthetes and design."

moleskinerie – the steadfast fetish
Future of the Book

"I’ll admit, I am heavily reliant on paper notebooks, and god knows I’ve
tried dozens of different notebook styles and notetaking schemes over
the years. I even own a moleskine, and had high hopes for it – for
awhile. But I keep coming back to 99 cent, 3×5, top-bound spiral memo
pads. Just before they fall apart, as they always do after a month or
so in my back pocket, I bind them together with duct tape. Cheap,
low-tech, available from any store, and eminently practical. Plus, it’s
the most compact and portable notetaking mechanism I know of – even
moleskines are big by comparison, and too rigid to ride comfortably in
a pants pocket. Plus, the damn things are expensive and available only
in select bookstores and stationery shops. No wonder the technorati
love them."

Moleskine Overload
The Tweney Report

"Modo & Modo (a group of Italian artists) trademarked the name “Moleskine”
and started manufacturing oilcloth notebooks with elastic bands in the mid
1990s. The new notebooks are very similar, but ultimately not exactly the same
thing as, the old notebooks. Thus, Modo & Modo’s claims that they are the
legendary notebook are a bit of fiction. But then again, most advertising
campaigns are.

There are a few more ironies worth mentioning, mostly that the Moleskine was
originally developed as a less expensive alternative to leather bound
sketchbooks, which is no doubt why the notoriously poor Van Gogh would have used
one. Today, he probably would have used a less expensive alternative to a

Pike Murdy
Visit hig blog.


"The article over at 43 Folders made me realize that I don’t necessarily have
to rely on a digital solution for most of my information management – email
excluded. While I won’t be carrying around a stack of index cards, I did get
myself a Moleskine notebook to take quick notes, exchange business cards, and
write down appointments to later put into the e-calendar at home. Why Moleskine?
Because I’ve had one before and they’re so damn nice – well made and attractive
and just the right size, with a pocket in the back and a bookmark
and an elastic closure. Palm Pilot, your days are numbered.

Then I happened upon this article in the Wall St. Journal. Apparently there’s
a movement afoot and I didn’t even realize that I’m a part of it. I’ve taken a
Moleskine notebook with me on my travels with Mary Anne, but I’ve never been
much of a journal keeper. Then, my web site happened and all of the sudden I am
a journal keeper, but not in the traditional sense. I guess I’ll name my new
notebook “ – the book".

Dalton Rooney
Visit his blog


"Whilst I’ve been using computers as a central part of my work for
over twenty years now, I’ve never lost the love of applying ink to
paper and preserving thoughts and memories in the time honoured way.

Much of my current doctoral research and business activities revolve
around reflective practice in which journaling is a key form. A modern
expression – the weblog –  is an invaluable tool in this form of
practice as well as being an art form in its own right. Much as I love
the blog, for me it can never completely replace the joy of making
symbols on a paper surface."

Paul Holland

Erratic Musings

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