Saturday, January 03, 2009

More About the Moleskine

What could be more endearing to the budding writer or artist than an item used by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Hemingway?

Yes, that's what I thought, the moment I saw my first Moleskine® notebook. Though I love art and have dabbled in oil paints, it was Hemingway who drew me to the Moleskine®. It gave me visions of sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Paris, jotting notes or sketching the Eiffel Tower from afar. Or sitting in an apartment lit by one window, at a table with only a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. Complete and total Romance.

In the secret little back pocket of every Moleskine®, you'll find a booklet about this marvel. There you'll find its history written in six languages:

Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-size travel companion held skketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books.

Originally produced by small French bookbinders who supplied the Parisian stationery shops frequented by the international avant-garde, by the end of the twentieth century the Moleskine notebook was no longer available. In 1986, the last manufacturer of Moleskine, a family operation in Tours, closed its shutters forever. "le vrai Moleskine n'est plus" were the lapidary words of the owner of the stationery shop in Rue de l'Ancienne Comedie where Chatwin stocked up on the notebooks. The English writer had ordered a hundred of them before leaving for Australia: he bought up all the Moleskine that he could find, but they were not enough.

In 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought Moleskine back again. As the self-effacing keeper of an extraordinary tradition, Moleskine once again began to travel the globe. To capture reality on the move, pin down details, impress upon paper unique aspects of experience: Moleskine is a reservoir of ideas and feelings, a battery that stores discoveries and perceptions, and whose energy can be tapped over time.

The legendary black notebook is once again being passed from one pocket to the next; with its various different page styles it accompanies the creative professions and the imagination of our time. The adventure of Moleskine continues, and its still-blank pages will tell the rest.

With such a rich history behind it, don't you think you deserve one, too? Even if you don't think of yourself as a writer or artist (who among us isn't?), you won't regret having a Moleskine. If nothing else, it will give you a place to gather autographs, like the genuine signature I got from Country artist Josh Turner before he made it big. I think he really liked me. Or maybe he just wanted my Moleskine.


Miss M said...

Are they paying you? Have you just been recruited? Happy with the notebook then?!

MauritaMason said...

haha, yes, I LOVE it. And I rarely get paid for anything!

Simon said...

Hey, Amphex sent me a Moleskin notebook and a ballpoint pen for Christmas – along with his rather irreverent card. I’d never heard of them before – well, I’d heard of notebooks; I’d even used them for most of my life, but I hadn’t realised that my literary career had been blighted by failing to use the correct type.

If only I’d known thirty years ago what I know now! I could have been another Picasso or Hemingway! But, sadly, I used ordinary writing pads of ruled paper from the local stationer. A tragedy.

As for those *ahem* allegations, all I can say is that I make sure my clients pay first.

MauritaMason said...

Well, Simon, now you know. We'll expect great(er) things from you now.

wildstorm said...

What a fabulous post. Summerwind

MauritaMason said...

Thanks, WS/SW! Happy to see you!

KingOfPain said...

I like the feel of moleskin on my heel when I'm on a hike... but you're talking about the other kind.
I'm so used to writing with my laptop these days. I should get one of those moleskin notebooks. Can you surf the internet and waste gobs and gobs of time with them as well?

GoGo said...

I've been writing in Moleskin notebooks since 2004 and LOVE them! I give them as gifts, as well--they are where I keep all of my most private thoughts and observations.

If you thought my blogs were wild, you should read my Moleskines!

One day the kids will find them (they are all numbered and kept in order). I hope to be dead by then...or completely gorked-out in the nursing home.