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Solzhenitsyn’s Pens

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote longhand with a large collection of pens scattered liberally across his writing desk. He said ‘Each of my pens is an individual with a personality of its own. I don’t write with just one. When I’m using one of them, others are involved too. So I use different types of pens for different tasks and to emphasise different thoughts and nuances – thin or thick ones, this colour or that. And I know what each one is for. That’s why my table’s so cluttered. In fact, each pen is at work.’