5. Tenacity and stubbornness: the B Angles sign

The second form of egoism, understood as the care of Self, is given by that particular disposition of sentiment towards resistance which «is called tenacity or stubbornness depending on its reasonableness or unreasonableness». (33) Even in this case, Moretti refers to an instinctive movement that is activated in the social context: the personality interacting with its peers discovers that there are inner aspects of itself with regard to which it starts a process of unrenounceability, whether they are associated with material goods, ideas, opinions or affections.

Starting from this definition that unites us, since we all have elements of unrenounceability with regard to which the fight for conservation begins, Moretti describes in great detail the psychological movement belonging to tenacity: complementarily with the game played by the A Angles (which warn the Self about the presence of any invasions), tenacity corresponds to the particular reaction of sentiment which, alerted by the feeling of danger, «places itself as an obstacle to the surrender» (34) holding on to what is its own.

Also in this case the tendency is entirely instinctive and therefore devoid of any rational mediation: it is not a mental process that appeals to itself, its own values, or to its material possessions, because this part emerges later in the form of arguments or rationalisations aimed at highlighting the rights of the Self that have been trampled over; but it is only the immediate reaction of someone who senses a threat and reacts to it by deploying the second form of egoism. «Tenacity is that force which resists all attacks by attaching itself inseparably to that thing which others want to separate it from» (35), and it activates automatically every time the personality senses the existence of an external movement to keep it away from what it holds dear. For this reason the Self not only increases resistance by clutching harder to what it believes is its own, but it also implements another protection mechanism by creating sharp points or rough edges around the beloved object to further discourage the aggressor. It is equivalent to the movement of those who surround their property with a fence, starting from the assumption that a net simply protects, while barbed wire transmits a clearer message. Therefore, tenacity, like resentment, is composed of two movements: the first entails the intensification of attachment and the second involves the personality’s implementation of a defence mechanism aimed at «keeping its own opinions and ideas equipped with protection, reasons (tenacity), quibbles (stubbornness) so that they remain in its soul and win». (36)

In terms of body language Moretti compares tenacity to our instinctive reaction to cling to something in order to stop it being taken away: the fact we clench our hand like a fist around the object we want to keep corresponds to the movement of the stubborn person who «needs to make its object angular from all sides, so that attackers knock against the angles and then give up the fight». (37). Compared to this specific defensive movement, there cannot be one angle, but more than one, and these angles appear in circular movements. In particular, Moretti sees the effect of tenacity and stubbornness more in the letter «o» because, from a graphic point of view, it is set on the closure movement, and therefore it is possible that it highlights multiple angles: at the lower vertex, the upper vertex and in the upstroke. This graphic characteristic is called B Angles.

Fig. 12 – Writing with A Angles: Edda Mussolini

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Also in this case, the sign has a positive base value, related to the ability of sentiment to recognise instinctively what belongs to it and remain faithful to it despite what the world says about its value. But this attachment becomes an indicator of significant character distortions when it enters the meaning of egocentric unilateralism based on a feeling that recognises only its own point of view as valid and considers everything else as worthless. What makes the difference is the intensity of this tendency and it must therefore be quantified very precisely.

The graduation of B Angles is similar to that explained for A Angles: bearing in mind the basic distinction between the pointed and blunt angle, «if it is pointed it is always above 5/10, if it is blunt is never exceeds 5/10». (38) Some blunt B Angles can be seen in Figure 13, while pointed B Angles (which necessarily evoke similar A Angles) can be seen in Figure 14.

Fig. 13 – Writing with blunt and pointed B Angles: Josephine Baker

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Fig. 14 – Writing with pointed B Angles: Herbert von Karajan

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According to this first, elementary rule of measurement the following interpretation is applied: «the maximum reasonable tenacity is expressed by B Angles with a degree of 5/10»;(39) while if it exceeds 5/10 we enter stubbornness. Furthermore, in the same manner as that for A Angles, the intensity of the tendency is inversely proportional to size of the angle, so that the acuteness of the angle directly evokes the narrowness of the margin of listening to the demands of others possessed by the stubborn personality. In addition to the specific degree of acuteness of the angles, the number of angles is also evaluated in order to quantify angularity, and therefore also the cavils implemented by the Self to curb surrendering to the demands of others, as explained in detail in Moretti’s Trattato.

From the psychological point of view, other forms of arrest in the extroversive movement are also considered indicators of resistance similar to tenacity/stubbornness; in particular, «hooks, where they are not required by the nature of the letter, are nothing but B Angles. They indicate tenacity or stubbornness depending on the acuteness of the angle they form». (40)

As this is an instinctive movement which is borne entirely by sentiment, Moretti states that in the case of tenacity «It is not reason that rouses sentiment not to surrender its own ideas and opinions» (41), but on the contrary the Self acts so that «logic cannot proceed along its path». (42) As we know, it is useless to argue with a stubborn person using rational arguments, no matter how valid they may be, because this attempt will only trigger the feeling of danger even more, and therefore increase resistance still further; while it is possible to make her change her mind if you make her believe that this change actually comes from her. For this reason Moretti writes: «The stubborn man does not listen to reasons that force him to change his course to eliminate the defects in an organisation when this is presented as a correction to his work, while the Self will allow it if it is presented as an evolution and his own work. The stubborn person always has something to say about the work of others and, if he is a person of authority, he must be attributed the glory of the initiative». (43)

After having examined the two components of the angular movement in detail, defined as A Angles and B Angles, we see how these two instinctive drives of sentiment constitute an important psychic reference point which contrasts with the Curved sign, if not there would be an internal imbalance in the personality.