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Hofmann

Nice handwriting

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anonymoose

Those two you posted are nice, but I wouldn't exactly call them "handwriting".

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Lu

Today I saw this piece of calligraphy, and was very impressed. Especially since it's a foreigner who wrote this.

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Hofmann
I wouldn't exactly call them "handwriting".

Why not?

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anonymoose
Why not?

Because, although they were written by hand and thus technically could be regarded as handwriting, they do not constitute what most people would imagine handwriting to be.

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Daan
Today I saw this piece of calligraphy, and was very impressed. Especially since it's a foreigner who wrote this.

Wow. I met Arthur Witteveen quite often at Leiden, and had the pleasure of learning quite a lot from him, but I never knew he'd previously been First Secretary at the International Court of Justice.

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Hofmann
they do not constitute what most people would imagine handwriting to be.

I don't know what most people imagine handwriting to be. Perhaps something written with a pen? I find it inferior to things written with a brush, and also the writer isn't as good.

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realmayo

"Handwriting" seems an odd choice of word here. I would have thought most people understand it to describe writing where communication of fact is by far the main, and usually the sole, function.

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Hofmann
I would have thought most people understand it to describe writing where communication of fact is by far the main, and usually the sole, function.

...and you think 九成宮醴泉銘 or 洛神賦 hasn't the main purpose of communication of fact? Well, whatever. There's still this, which one cannot not call handwriting (with the definitions given so far)

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realmayo
hasn't the main purpose of communication of fact? Well, whatever.

I wrote "function", not "purpose". But maybe I should have said "effect", to be more clear. Anyway.

I guess the majority of people here, certainly including me, can't really read most of what you've just linked to. But I can see lots of red marks, indicating that this document was a prized possession to many of its subsequent owners, who saw other reasons for its value beyond mere communication of fact.

It's simply my suggestion that these "other reasons" include elements which the word "handwriting", as commonly used, seems too narrow to include. I guess that's why the word "calligraphy" is usually used in English.

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Hofmann

Whatever floats your boat, but to me, this stuff is valuable and valued because it is nice handwriting.

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realmayo

Ok ok, it's just you used the English word "handwriting" in an unusual and confusing way and given your very evident facility with Chinese I, & I guess Anonymoose too, thought it might have been intentional, but clearly not.

As for calligraphy, I've posted in another thread about 趙翼舟 | Zhao Yizhou, some of whose stuff is online at http://zhaoyizhou.co.uk/calligraphy/: none of the few Chinese people I've shown it to think at all highly of it, but I like it despite knowing little about calligraphy. Then again, you say you're talking about handwriting, rather than 书法, so this can't be the kind of stuff you mean.

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Hofmann

I'm talking about nice handwriting, which I think is 合書法而美之字. 趙翼舟's stuff, I call calligraphy.

(書法,書漢字之法也。)

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realmayo

I don't really understand, but given you know so much more about Chinese than me, and rarely seem interested in making what you write accessible to people like me, I shouldn't waste your time any longer.

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imron
書法,書漢字之法也
If you had said 書法 instead of handwriting I don't think anyone would have been concerned.

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Hofmann
If you had said 書法 instead of handwriting I don't think anyone would have been concerned.

Perhaps, but requesting "書法" attracts things I don't desire, namely incorrect writing. I feel that "nice handwriting" is still the best term.

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creamyhorror

My understanding of the English terms as applied to Chinese is: "handwriting" generally refers to words written with pen, and "calligraphy" with brush. The examples linked in the OP would fall under "calligraphy" for me. My classification isn't universal, but it seems pretty natural to me.

I'd like to see examples of nice writing done with a pen. I'd like to emulate something good, given that I've never been satisfied with my own Chinese handwriting.

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Hofmann
"handwriting" generally refers to words written with pen, and "calligraphy" with brush. The examples linked in the OP would fall under "calligraphy" for me. My classification isn't universal, but it seems pretty natural to me.

If in a setting where everybody wrote with a brush and nobody wrote with a pen (e.g. the Tang Dynasty, when 九成宮醴泉銘 was written, or the Yuan Dynasty when 洛神賦 was written), you called their writing "calligraphy" would it still seem natural?

I'd like to see examples of nice writing done with a pen. I'd like to emulate something good, given that I've never been satisfied with my own Chinese handwriting.

Many scholars of 書法 would reply "取法乎上!" The best examples of Chinese writing are written with a brush. Those who write nicely with a pen learn from looking at models written with a brush. If you emulate a model written with a pen, you miss information that is lost in the translation from brush to pen. Not only does this apply to copies with a pen, but any copy of the original. It's like lossy image compression. The more you do it, the less information you have. However, just to let you see what I think nice handwriting with a pen is, I'll show five pages of someone copying 九成宮醴泉銘.

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P.S. Not liking the lack of embedding images.

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creamyhorror
If in a setting where everybody wrote with a brush and nobody wrote with a pen (e.g. the Tang Dynasty, when 九成宮醴泉銘 was written, or the Yuan Dynasty when 洛神賦 was written), you called their writing "calligraphy" would it still seem natural?

My setting is the present day, where everyone writes (functionally) with pens and brushes are the province of calligraphy.

Many scholars of 書法 would reply "取法乎上!" The best examples of Chinese writing are written with a brush.

Well, obviously. I'm not disputing that. Chinese characters written in pen are ugly, or dully uninspiring at best. But that's what the term "handwriting" refers to, to me. If you had referred to calligraphy or brushmanship, I'd have no problem at all.

However, just to let you see what I think nice handwriting with a pen is, I'll show five pages of someone copying 九成宮醴泉銘.

That looks like it was done with a thin brush. How about ballpoint pen writing? :D I do appreciate the shapes though, elegant and balanced as they are.

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Hofmann
That looks like it was done with a thin brush.

Fountain pen.

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