Tuesday, August 01, 2017

James Ward's 'Adventures in Stationary' (2015): Postcards

James Ward, Adventures in Stationary: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case (London: Profile Books, 2015; first published in Great Britain in 2014). If you dig office supplies, art supplies and the like, you would/will absolutely dig this jaunty romp through the ups and downs of office artifacts, competing designs, rivalries and everything from paper clips and liquid paper to staplers. 

For this post, we shall consider only one chapter of Adventures in Stationary: Chapter 7: "Wish you were here" -- the postcard (mostly). 

"As a child," Ward notes, "I'd often send myself a postcard when I went on family holidays . . . . " (knowing it would only arrive well after his return home.) "The postcard was like a time capsule, sent from myself to myself, but the version of myself who sent the postcard was irritatingly smug. 'I'm sitting by the pool,' I'd write. 'I might go for another swim after I finish writing this. Anything good on TV in England? How's the weather?' Back at home, reading this message, I'd reconcile the sense of jealousy I felt toward the version of myself who was still on holiday with the fact that I knew things that he didn't. I knew, for instance, that he'd leave his sunglasses behind in his hotel room and that his flight would be delayed on the way home." (Adventures in Stationary, page 148).

Ward is a witty one, and clever, too: "I think postcards are probably more fun to send than to receive." (Ibid., page 149).

He then takes his readers through the development of "saucy" postcards, a section that morphs into a consideration of "floaty pens" such as the "tip 'n' strip" and on to "things shaped like other things" and "stationary shaped like other stationary" (Ibid., pages 158-159). 

It's a wild world. You don't even need to live inside of Twin Peaks to sense it. 

Next is but another true statement: Adventures in Stationary can help you light your way back through the dark swirls of the digital world -- with a smile. 

Today's Rune: Initiation. 

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I need to get this for Lana. She would love it.