Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Authors and their typewriters

The Guardian published a slideshow of authors working on typewriters today and it made me wonder how much the method of writing affects the content. On the one hand, typewriters make working kind of cumbersome; editing is an annoying process and if you decide you want to move things around you have to either get out the scissors and the glue, or rewrite everything. On the other hand, typewriters slow you down and, theoretically, force you to think about what you're writing. Computers are fine, but they lack the aesthetic qualities of a typewriter.

Also on The Guardian this morning, a novelist laments the upcoming closure of Godrej and Boyce, one of the few typewriter manufacturers left. They will switch to making refrigerators once they've sold the 500 typewriters they still have in stock. It's the end of an era, writing-instrument-wise, and it's both lovely and a little sad to look back on some great writers who embraced ink ribbons and clacking keys.

Image shown Agatha Christie with her typewriter and many, many books. Taken from The Guardian slideshow.

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