Posts Tagged ‘typewriters’

Typewriters, the new bottled water

April 1, 2011

I have a feeling that, among thirty year olds, I might be a bit of a rarity. I remember Johnny Carson, not from best of videos but from staying up far too late at too early of an age to watch him. I remember Cheers and Nightcourt, also not from re-runs. I remember the Atari 2600, DOS, and a time when the Lions were a decent (though not good) football team. And judging from my girlffriend’s poetry class, knowing what hammer is may also be a rarity (three guys, no idea what the claw of the hammer was called, one confusing it with the handle, which I’d personally love to see in use). I have also used a typewriter, manual and electric.

Apparently they are coming back into style.

I find this cute. Every typewriter I have used has been a sturdy, well constructed machine. There is something reassuring to this. The slap of the keys, the movement of paper, the rise and fall of the ribbon of ink, revealing a new letter with each fall. They were also a pain in th ass. You make a mistake and you have to break out the whiteout, brush it over, move the paper down, hope to god you line it up right, re-type it.  Rewriting was a literal thing then. To redo something, you literally redid it, from start to finish. If you happned to start moving too quickly and your fingers slipped a bit, you would suddenly find yourself with a handful of metal keys jammed together, stuck.

Personally, I don’t miss them. The keyboard might not offer the same tactile pleasures and reassurances, but it offers a helluva lot of convenience.  Maybe it’s one of those things where, unless you had to do it in some point in your life, it has a certain nostalgic appeal. But having to use one in the past, I don’t miss them, and I’ll make this trade every day of the week. Viva la office suite.

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survivor lit and the mythos of the typewriter

December 11, 2009

short post tonight, just a couple of articles i am plucking from the london times. Neither is very long (they don’t seem all that longer than my own blog posts, really) so I’m not going to quote them – really, just go read them. They’re quick.

The first is Erica Wagner having a McCarthy inspired rift on typewriters and that puts my own McCarthy inspired rift to shame. really, didn’t know Isaac Bashevis Singer was nuts…

the second is a playful slap at Survivor-lit. Admittedly, I rarely venture into the non-fiction section of bookstores any more – isn’t that was libraries are for? – but the cheapening of life stories has been something I’ve noticed in other respects as well.  Other than these stories of “survival” I’ve noticed more and more memoirs and biographies being pushed onto the public documenting the life of some 20-something (or even something-teen). Excuse, but if you can’t remember more than seven presidents, and I mean really remember, not just have some vague recollection of, you haven’t lived long enough to write a biography. Biographies for people younger than that should only be written because that person died before they reached the requisite age.