and so it is type-written

My digitised methods of ‘writing’ are challenged by this machine.  Analogue composition requires a deeper state of concentration and connectedness with the text as it moves from your snytactical locus through your body – spinal column to arms to fingers to depress the keys of tiny hammers which instantaneously solidify things you may wish you hadn’t said.  The faster you type the more smoothly the action is rendered, and in one of those rare situations the writing body tows the writing mind, which follows inchoate behind those patterns of strangely familiar motion.  There is no turning round at the dead end of incomplete thought, and so your well-intentioned lines of prose smash head-on into the wall and shatter into fragments of ‘poetry’.

I find that the language my body speaks takes a more arcane tone than the one I am used to having spoken by this modern mind.  I am blown away by the (inter)locutionary gap which must exist between us writing now and them writing then.  The relationship between the body and the text is directly addressed: who’s in charge here?

olivetti1letterolivetti2

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4 responses to “and so it is type-written

  1. That’s a lovely typewriter. My newest writing toy is a little bit of software called Scrivener. Ever tried it?

  2. I haven’t, but it looks intense. Do you like it that way? I might not cope as well without little handwritten notes…

    • The layout is clean, so it’s only as intense as you want it to be. I try to remain ignorant of all the little bells and whistles until I find myself wishing for them, then I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that they already exist.

      There’s also a free, open-source version called Scrivener Gold.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong but it appears to me you writer types are fetishising your tools, this is common practice of fine artists, particularly print makers. I think it was Kate who had a lecturer who had a theory something along the lines of there not being any major contemporary print makers today because they’re all too busy feeling up the textures on their paper. Paper is pretty hot.
    Chris my brother wrote on type writer for a while there (he didn’t like computers), a big old one, I liked the things he wrote. Very direct, quite raw.

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