Sunday, May 31, 2009

A fondness for Baskerville

"And Jane, I'd like a beautiful typeface. Devinne or maybe Bembo."
"We can't get them,' said Jane Louise. "I can get you Garamond or Caslon." She doodled on her pad. Erna was a fountain of little-used or almost extinct typefaces. Jane Louise believed that Erna spent her nights browsing through old type spec books, and Jane Louise was not entirely wrong.
"Oh, these beautiful olds fonts," Erna said. "What a tragedy."
"It's nothing compared to teen pregnancy and wife beating," Sven said. "I'm sure Janey can get you Bembo for display type."
A few minutes later Erna withdrew to the editorial floor, leaving Jane Louise with an enormous, untidy manuscript.
"I wonder if old Alfred slaps her around," Sven said. "Jesus, it's like having a whole stable of nervous horses in there. I wish she'd shut up about type. It just goes to show that girls are ruined by reading. Even her nasty children have opinions on these subjects. She told me that her oldest had a fondness for Baskerville."
"All fourteen year olds do," said Jane Louise.
--from A Big Storm Knocked It Over by Laurie Colwin