April 29, 2005

Photo Friday: Fancy.

I missed Photo Friday last week, so you get three for one today. I know, it should be two for one. But here are three. Be happy about it. For this week's challenge, Fancy, here are some photos of the Moleskine Cahiers I bought last month for the purpose of creative writing. I already wrote about that. I chose these for the Fancy challenge because, come on. They are fancy copybooks (as we call 'em in the US) that are just called by the French name for cheap notebook -- that, and they say MOLESKINE on the cover. Yes, they're nice, but I doubt mine would hold up better than a $2 copybook from the university bookstore. The cover is not even very thick. I allowed myself to be suckered into purchasing them because I decided they would get me to write things other than stuffy academic essays. In Hemingway's The Garden of Eden, the male lead is repeatedly referred to as writings his stories in "cahiers," using wooden pencils from the box of them he locks in his suitcase with his stash of cahiers. Despite my Space Pen affection and my own suckling at the Pilot G2 teet, and despite my ownership of at least one nice fountain pen, I love wooden pencils. Especially a nice cedar Mirado Black Warrior, Dixon Ticonderoga Millennium, or my currect favorite, the Mirado Classic. I've been contemplating launching a pencil blog this summer, when things slow down a bit. Anyway, I willingly got pulled into the Moleskine hype, as if Cahier has always been a specific brand like Moleskine has. Really, they're just two types of notebook, which is why I don't understand the complaints about supposed Moleskine knock-offs. I know, the knock-offs are inspired by the success of the Moleskine branded notebooks and are usually inferior, but Modo&Modo didn't invent the idea of a pocket notebook with elastic and a pocket anymore than we can assume that Hemingway used a Moleskine because he carried a small notebook in his pocket around in Paris during the 1920s. I even scored some cool stickers with mine, though I totally lost them. Hell, I lost two of the notebooks for a few weeks. I wish they came in packs of one, but then Modo&Modo couldn't put such a price-tag on them. And then they wouldn't be Moleskines. Not that we only buy Moleskines because they're practical or affordable. It's the fancy factor sometimes, too, no? I mean, look how my simple notebooks came wrapped from MoleskineUS. Dead sexy.


Lorianne said...

You know I'm a sucker for Moleskines...but the cahiers do absolutely nothing for me. When they first came out, I couldn't understand the hoopla: they're paperback notebooks, people!

At least with the regular Moleskines, you can argue that the *quality* is worth the pricetag. But with the cahiers, it felt like the cost was purely to cover the designer label.

Pragmatik said...

Very true. The paper is the same Moleskine paper, but the covers are less than durable. I dug the "kraft" cover and the way it looked next to a pencil when I first saw them. I never really liked the Volants, since they really seemed like cheap Moleskines. The Cahiers seem altogether different, which is why I like them and why, I think, a lot of people don't like them -- for good reason. How they can justify marketing them with the same Moleskine name is beyond me.

But I really bought them because I hoped they would evince some creative writing from me, through some kind of motivation. I guess that's practical in a weird sort of a way -- or pragmatik. It did work a little; I finally got out a short story idea I'd been kicking around since the fall.

Now, however, it's the wrong time of the semester for me to use writing energy for anything but term papers, unfortunately:(

Loretta said...

I was suckered into the same thing, hoping they would make lightweight sketchbooks. I like the utilitarian look of them, and the fact that you can roll them up to fit in a pocket. But you can only sketch in pencil, or the drawing bleeds through or is so clearly visible on the reverse side that I have to use every other page. I'll probably fob them off on my kids when they need a notebook for something.

Mike said...

"my own suckling at the Pilot G2 teet"

That's awesome.

I haven't tried the Cashiers yet but I'll probably buy a pack just to see what they're like.

I think the purpose is for a real pocket pocket notebook. The normal Moleskine (I always prefer unlined) has worked for me enough that I bought about fifty of them just to make sure I'll have them a long long time. It's a great notebook but sometimes it can be a bit bulky for a pocket. I think the Cashier's is meant to bridge two gaps. One, its cheap at $7 for three notebooks. Two, its easier to fit in a pocket.

I don't think I'd switch from a normal Plain Pocket notebook (I just ordered 18 more while writing this) but the Cashier might have a purpose as a sort of mini-moley.