Jun. 5th, 2014

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We take a break from your irregularly scheduled series of calligraphy updates, to notify you of a job posting that has appeared on linguist list, which is a public forum where almost all linguistics jobs are advertised. Apparently, the CIA is looking for translators and languagy operatives, and so, appropriately enough, they advertised the job. This is itself slightly unexpected. Most of the postings there are from universities with professorships, postdocs, and PhD funding, with a second layer of postings from companies like Google and translation agencies. One doesn't expect spy agencies to advertise so banally.

Nevertheless, the CIA does its part to make its advertisement special. I am extremely entertained by the final paragraph of the posting:

Important Notice: Knowledge by non-Agency personnel of your association with the Central Intelligence Agency or the Intelligence Community may limit your ability to perform or preclude you from certain assignments. NCS applicants should therefore endeavor to protect the fact that they have applied and/or are thinking of applying to the NCS. We urge your discretion throughout the entire hiring process to ensure maximum flexibility for your potential NCS career. Further guidance will be provided as competitive applicants move through the hiring steps.

There it is, then. If I apply for this job, I will not tell anyone about it.
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Since I have last posted, I've bought about ahem $150 of calligraphy supplies. This includes a large number of nibs, some fairly pricey paper, and some gouache (pronounced "gwash"; I asked), which is apparently the authentic material to use for coloring and so on. I also worked through the demo on acanthus leaves that I linked to yesterday, and I have now put everything together into a little manuscript, which I present below.  Rather than the first 30 lines of the Canterbury Tales, I copied out instead a portion of the prologue in which the sailor is introduced. I chose it for three reasons:
  1. It was exactly the right length to fit on the paper I wanted to use.
  2. It did not begin with any text indicating that something came before it (e.g., "There was also . . . " or "With him was . . ." In other words, it is a stand-alone characterization.)
  3. A piece about a sailor is fun to decorate, as you shall see.
Because I felt like it, I also took step by step pictures of the illustration process.

The Shipman )


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