On Writing and Handwriting
Writing is often considered secondary to the spoken language, as it is only coded sound-by-sound. But other scholars have demonstrated that writing is similar to ‘arithmetic’: a cognitive structuring, a shift to the meta-level (‘for the eye’). Handwriting (referred to here as the cursive writing in the sense of joined up handwriting, of ‘écriture liée’) differs from writing (in the first analysis): it has its own grammar composed of paradigmatic gestemes and tracemes and its own syntagmatic rules that connect them. In emotional terms, handwriting is designed to provide a special pleasure by its own drive (instinct, ‘Trieb’). But there is also cognitive aspect to it: the rapidity and fluidity of a cursive writing could be (in professional writing, for instance) more important (at the climax of the creative process) than it being legible for all eternity. The project of the new handwriting reform for Czech schools, abolishing the liaison between letters, is shown to be a modern and technically simplified form of calligraphy.