The Paper Knife – Part I

There is nothing quite so satisfying as the tearing up of paper.

One thing more satisfying than tearing up paper is the physical act of using a paper knife.

The pleasure of using a letter opener was all bundled up in the excitement of receiving a letter in the post. I loved opening those envelopes addressed to me!

Interestingly, the letter A is not capitalised in the term, “gum arabic”. In the process of checking this I found a really well-researched article all about gum arabic. The use of gum arabic predates the Dark Ages by a long shot.

I got the impression that it was considered classy to have mastered the art of slitting the top edge of an envelope open with one flourish of the paper knife.

If you were not sentimental you would discard the envelope. This is where the bit about tearing paper becomes relevant.


10 thoughts on “The Paper Knife – Part I

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  1. Entertaining.
    Secret. You are lots lots more interesting than the person I checked out.
    I think it’s depth and serious attention to detail. Your pricing observation then the non trumpet delivery, no extra words. I’m guessing your mind and execution of thought on paper reflect your work. I know translators don’t get allot of credit. Yet, you have to do all the same work.
    Can’t wait to read whatever else you post. : )


      1. Damn. I can’t spell. : (
        Meant: Piercing. As in clear, transparent, sharp, deep.
        Anyway, I love your attention to detail, the way you making, create meaning and relevance.
        Love your obsession with grammar, and clarity. : )


        1. That be French in the leftmost footer. Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian-born playwright, most famous for his “Theatre of the Absurd” plays, such as “The Chairs” and “Rhinocerous” and “The Lesson” (which oddly a friend and I performed in front of our senior year class at school – ooh, I had forgotten about that cringe moment!). The quotation says, basically, that it is not the answer which brings enlightenment, but the question. I have never been able to translate this short excerpt satisfactorily for myself, so have just plonked it there in French, and let it be.


          1. Wow. Knowing ones’ limitations. : ) I hear you.
            I you found this some time translated to your own personal satisfaction and delight wouldn’t you just to crazy with worship, of something like the love of paper cutters and clue?
            That is how I feel.
            Also, about the passage, yes the question! It’s becoming clear to me why I enjoy your perspective and your work.
            It’s going beyond the answers to the questions that got answers in the first place, where we get our own answers and modernize and create the world for ourselves, our own unique path. : ) It seems that religions have this advanced hidden part called The Mysteries. In Jewish religion, the Cabala, that is all about asking questions. I’m not Jewish or anything, yet I read about it in Eli Weisel’s NIght. The town lunatic beggar was the only person in town who studied it. Sometimes that’s what I feel like.
            The questions. The mysteries. Feeling this shine through your blog your own way keeps me in a constant state of Wonder. : )


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