Acaba de llegarme a mi mesa virtual un artículo recién sacado del horno del Bulletin of Spanish Studies que, al menos en el primer párrafo, da ganas de seguir leyéndolo, a ver qué nos cuenta:

Is the practice of good handwriting an engine for upward mobility? Can a manual skill also be an honourable one? Towards the middle of the sixteenth century in Spain university professor Pedro de Madariaga answered ‘yes’ to these questions in his Honra de escribanos, published in Valencia in 1565. Promising the public far more than the acquisition of a simple manual skill, the book touted the ability to write as a tool that would increase both cultural capital and wealth. The work invited readers to aspire to and engage in a process of improving or refashioning themselves by means of the pen in two ways: by stressing the economic power and social status related to the pen and by insisting that the ability to write is a sign of true masculinity and nobility. I believe Madariaga aimed his guidebook at merchants and artisans in the middle strata of society with dreams of increasing their social standing. He also sought to reassure impoverished members of the lower nobility that a man who served as his own scribe would not endanger his noble standing. In spite of its audacious claims regarding the practice of writing as a means of economic gain and personal power, to this date the work has principally attracted the attention of scholars who study the development of calligraphy and orthography.

Carol D. Harllee, “Pull yourself up by your inkwell: Pedro de Madariaga’s Honra de escribanos (1565) and social mobility'”, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, lxxxv, 5 (2008), págs. 545-567.

Podría ser un contrapunto a las disquisiciones, que no son solo nominalistas, sobre las diferencias y el recto uso que debieran hacer los investigadores, de copista, amanuense, escriba, escribano, escritor de letra de libros “e tutti quanti”. Que yo sepa, el único trabajo sobre el particular son las consideraciones generales que abren el trabajo de María del Carmen Álvarez Márquez, El libro manuscrito en Sevilla (Siglo XVI), Sevilla, Área de Cultura y Fiestas Mayores, Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, 2000, notable por tantos conceptos entre los que no es menor la regesta de documentos.

De paso, y este es un pensamiento algo maligno que me cruza el magín improvisadamente adreçat sobretot a valencians del nord, del sud i de les Illes, es un ejemplo más de imprenta castellana en la Valencia del Quinientos. Como el librito de verso bíblico en castellano que, supongo que por razones puramente comerciales, Jorge Costilla le había sacado a Alfonso de Zamora en una ¿segunda? edición valenciana de 1526. Ningú no és perfecte; què hi farem…