Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov




'The machine had been delivered two days ago on her first adult birthday. She had said, "But father, everybody – just everybody in the class who has the slightest pretensions to being anybody has one."

The salesman had said, "It will spell and punctuate correctly according to the sense of the sentence. Naturally, it is a great aid to education since it encourages the user to employ careful enunciation and breathing in order to make sure of the correct spelling, to say nothing of demanding a proper and elegant delivery for correct punctuation."

Her father had tried to get one geared for type-print as if she were some dried-up, old-maid teacher. But when it was delivered, it was the model she wanted – obtained perhaps with a little more wail and sniffle than quite went with the adulthood of fourteen – and copy was turned out in a charming and entirely feminine handwriting, with the most beautifully graceful capitals anyone ever saw.

She sniffed at the paper delicately. just right. Just that proper touch of
elegance and charm. And the penmanship was just the last word.' - Isaac Asimov, Second Foundation (1953)