“I had an old typewriter and a big idea.” J.K. Rowling
When Norm and I operated Daily Office Supply on Main Street (1978 to 2002), customers would frequently gift us with manual typewriters, some of which still worked. We would express thanks and carry them to the basement to gather dust. A few years ago, novelist Cormac McCarthy’s manual Olivetti was purchased at a Christie’s auction for $245,500. I’m guessing (hoping) we didn’t leave anything that valuable moldering at Daily. But lately, people are developing a nostalgia for the sound, sight, smell, and touch of a good, old Smith Corona, Remington Rand, or Olympia. “The steady resurgence of typewriter love among writers,” an article in The Authors Guild Bulletin observes, “may be a reaction to how tech-mad the world has become. Like yoga, meditation or contemplative chewing, typewriters slow you down and help you focus.” When you’re using a computer, it’s all too easy to jump from a writing project to an Internet browser. And consider the security and privacy of a typewriter compared to a computer. If you are interested in regressing to years B.C. (Before Computers), check out The Typewriter Revolution: a Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century by Richard Polt (681.62POL).
“All fiction is largely autobiographical and much of autobiography is, of course, fiction.” P.D. James
If you’re a Gorey fan, you should take a look at Mark Dery’s new biography of him, Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey (700.92GoreyDER). Being such a private man, Gorey would have hated this thorough and thoroughly entertaining tome. It follows him from babyhood to his death, with footnotes and an impressive bibliography. You’ll no doubt need to renew the book at least once to take it all in. I was afraid to skip, afraid I’d miss something. If you aren’t familiar with Gorey’s wonderful art and weird words, search for Amphigorey in the library catalog. Maybe don’t, if you’re averse to subjects macabre.
“Books. Cats. Life is Good.” Edward Gorey
Thanks for reading! Be safe and well in 2019.
*Written by Carol Cail — Read more from Carol at carolcail.com