As one of the many smelly long-hairs who once set his American eyes upon the distant, wild lands of Europe and decided to explore it equipped with nothing but a festering ruck sack, a worn down copy of Don McLean’s American Pie (10 minute version) and a slim black journal filled with blank verse that would have made even late-career Jack Kerouac barf, I know the crawl opening every virgin Moleskine notebook by heart.
“The Moleskine notebook is the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin,” it reads.
Note that Moleskine does not claim to be the same company behind those notebooks. It isn’t, and in fact, the story of how Italian notebook makers Modo & Modo took one of their regular, unassuming notebooks and turned it into a multimillion dollar busines and the hipster’s preferred analogue writing companion is pretty fascinating.
In truth, there’s not really such a thing as a Moleskine notebook. Picasso and Chatwin certainly didn’t use one. A Moleskine notebook is essentially just a notebook with an impeccably composed page of marketing copy inserted before the first leaf.
So here’s the question: if Moleskine is just some copy rattling on about Hemingway and van Gogh attached to something that can take notes, is a note-taking iPad app which opens up for the first time to display that same copy just as much of a Moleskine notebook as the one you might carry around in your back pocket?