Had your fill of machines and tech for one week? Kelly Kirkham turns it off but not on again with this trip down low-tech lane…
Did you know that the average American spends 7.4 hours a day staring at a screen? In Indonesia that figure is closer to nine hours. So it’s no wonder we get to the end of the working week suffering from a little screen-aversion.
This also explains the popularity of Tom Hanks’ typewriter app, Hanx Writer, which has shot to the top of the app charts recently.
I have to admit, the release of the app has left me feeling nostalgic for the chunk, chunk, ding of an old typewriter. Unlike other outdated media, the typewriter will always have a special place in a writer’s heart. As a child, I would spend hours playing on my grandmother’s typewriter imagining that I was typing the next great American novel.
Remington, IBM, Olympia, and Royal are all brands that deserve an appreciated tip of the hat for the part they played in the evolution of writing tools. Their vintage charm and congratulatory audible sounds let authors feel a sense of accomplishment at the ending ding of every line.
Blogs, WordPress, and social media sites are all well and good. The instant access they provide to content has changed the face of publishing as we knew it. But the typewriter represents an era when every word was scrutinized and polished to perfection, after all it had no delete key.
So, to celebrate this ever-loved relic, let’s revisit the work of literary geniuses who composed with the help of heavy-key sculpted fingers…
Using his Remington Underwood Standard Portable, Faulkner wrote the following…
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
“…I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
“Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”
Christie shared her time between her Remington Portable Number 2 and the Remington Victor T to pen the following…
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
“Poirot,” I said. “I have been thinking.”
“An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.”
“You gave too much rein to your imagination. Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.”
Hemingway was promiscuous when it came to typewriters. In his time, he used a Corona 3, Underwood Noiseless Portable and a Halda Portable Model P.
“Maybe…you’ll fall in love with me all over again.”
“Hell,” I said, “I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?”
“Yes. I want to ruin you.”
“Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.”
“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”
Plath was fond of the Royal HH, Hermes 200 and Olivetti Lettera 22 when she wrote.
“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
“let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences”
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