Monday, March 9, 2009

Discourse on the importance of a good chair

American writer Mary Heaton Vorse (1881-1966) famously said “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” If that is true, then anyone with pants can get some writing done at Flutter, because there's a great assortment of chairs. For fun, let's extend the metaphor to suppose that the chair upon which your seat is applied will affect your writing. One of the dusky blue velvet wingback armchairs, for instance, might foster the writing of some noirish fiction or purple sci fi. Roald Dahl didn't write at his desk; he sat in a wingback chair with a piece of wood across his lap. He used his desk to house tangled sheaves and framed pictures of his children (I read about that in this month's Cabinet magazine). The divine half-dozen of turquoise chairs with bronze studs would be perfect for those who do their writing at a table, making full use of the surface area to spread out books and magazines, coffee, tea, maybe a sandwich. Kitchen table writing is productive and luxurious, great also for group projects or zine assembly. Another chair conducive to writing is one you can curl up in, notebook in hand, maybe with your legs kicked over the side. There are a few riffs on that theme right now in the store: a black and ivory chair like a teacup, or a tulip, with brass tacks and carved legs; also a broad and cozy but slightly worn aqua and gold brocade chair that once made its home in an overly fancy sitting room. That one reminds me of sitting in Mary Poppins' lap. I don't have trouble writing lately, but I am having serious momentum issues when it comes to studying and homework. I like the kitchen table method, and the "open book, insert nose" technique.

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