So, Will Self (Times2 2012-11-21) mourns the end of the typewriter era, does he?
Sorry, Will, I can’t share your sentimentality; you may compare the ‘pure invention’ of the typewriter to that of the bicycle (‘all it requires is human power and it can take you anywhere’), but this is nonsense, really. Lots of us like riding bikes, but are thankful that there are faster modes of transport. Some of us still like using fountain pens, but only for the shorter missives. Even with pen- and pedal-pushing power, we don’t travel far on our fictional and literal journeys. You may feel that your words are ‘floating somewhere off in the electronic void’, but you know that they are not – and if you’re that worried about them you can always print hard copy to fondle. Frankly, I don’t believe you; as a writer, you know full well that you ‘think the sentences out in your head before you hit the keys’ with a computer as well as with a typewriter, so you don’t kid me that you don’t value the editing facility of the former. You admit to being fetishistic about the typewriters you’ve acquired; here are two pictures of mine – thank heavens they are just there to be ‘a cool, solid presence’ of a purely ornamental kind. Give me the computer, screen and keyboard – clunky isn’t funky and it’s definitely not cool.