The Poetry of Metal

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in American History, Press | 0 comments

KGrahamA few days ago, I slipped away from my desk to watch The Post. And loved it. Meryl Streep’s performance was a joy, sensitive and hesitant and powerful all at once; “I am speaking to Mr. Bradlee now” is one of my new favorite lines in film.

One moment stuck with me: watching the printers slot the metal type into place to run that first edition with news of the Pentagon papers. There is something so gorgeous, so solid and precise and elegant, about a page of metal type set to run, glistening with ink, all the letters reversed so that the elegant bars and curves of the font seem fresh to the eye. And then the whole building vibrating with the impact of the press, the reporter’s pencils dancing on their desks. Force of words made manifest.

Now, I love all the convenience of digital everything as much as the next writer; I love the swiftness and ease of editing when sentences and paragraphs are feather light and can be moved from here to there with the tap of a key. But I miss the sturdy beauty of real type and real ink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *