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July 13, 2005 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Why I bought a typewriter on ebay. Nate, a writer, tells why...well, the link is self-explanatory. A follow-up to an earlier post.
posted by braun_richard (21 comments total)
So he admits he can't focus on the task at hand, as a writer, and needs a lack of technology to do so. I mean, "woo". Also, you are appear to be doubling yourslef. Bye thread!

Cavalier the curmudgeon.
posted by cavalier at 2:41 PM on July 13, 2005

And I is appear to be needing a preview.
posted by cavalier at 2:42 PM on July 13, 2005

Bye thread? This is NOT a double post.
posted by braun_richard at 2:44 PM on July 13, 2005

Thoreau wrote using a pen and paper not a Remington typewriter. Its cheaper, easier to carry but doesn't have the "charming clacking and ringing" of his typewriter.

Sounds like he needs some meds for his ADD and then he might be able to write without losing focus to surf for pron.
posted by fenriq at 2:51 PM on July 13, 2005

Filthy pron surfer.
posted by recurve at 3:12 PM on July 13, 2005

A typewriter makes a nice sound, but then again so does the guillotine.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:21 PM on July 13, 2005

Cute, but it's just a nostalgic throwback. Part of the reason writers today have such a hard time "writing" is that our basic technology for writing (that is, premeditated, paper-based, isolate bits of discourse) is an anachronism, and requires us to deliberately situate ourselves away (both figuratively and literally) from the new forms of intellectual discourse that better reflect the nature of our dramatically changed relationship to information. Monolithic, written tracts are passé.
posted by ori at 3:23 PM on July 13, 2005

Using a typewriter is just way more fun. It's physical and one can actually get "into it," so to speak.
posted by fire&wings at 3:33 PM on July 13, 2005

But I love me monolithic, written tracts. Sure, I use Wikipedia and the internet in general, but I can't read 100 pages of it in a sitting.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:12 PM on July 13, 2005

I used to use old manual portables, usually Royal, Remington or Underwood, that I'd buy for like $10 at a Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store. I owned maybe six of 'em; some broke and some got lost in one or another of my transcontinental fidgets. I hated going through jugs of Wite-Out(R), or having to completely retype a page that took me an hour to produce with my special two-fingered method because I left out a phrase right in the middle of the second paragraph, and then having to go to the library to spend 15 cents a page to copy it rather than retype it all again (carbon paper sucks).

But now that I have half a dozen free word-processing programs I find I really have nothing better to say than the crap I post to the Infoweb -- and I probably never did. Still, it was great to be able to prove I was A Poet to chicks in Mission District coffeehouses in the early '80s. Too bad Poet soon came to mean not Smart Sensitive Guy With Glasses but Smelly Geeky Guy With No Money.
posted by davy at 7:01 PM on July 13, 2005

web page about.. only using a typewriter.

[head explodes]
posted by fet at 7:22 PM on July 13, 2005

Why ebay?

DUH! 'Cause it's cheaper.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:37 PM on July 13, 2005

The Guy I Almost Was (yeah, it's long, but the typewriter figures in prominently).
posted by Eideteker at 8:49 PM on July 13, 2005

I guess at core there's something that just feels wrong using the same tool I use to explore the world with to document with... it seems so much haphazard and less serious. Sitting down with a pen and paper or typewriter adds more gravity to the act itself. It's a tool used for writing, not typing in URL's and search queries.

I've been waiting for my roommate, who works at Goodwill, to bring me back a type writer from work. I also long to reach for a dictionary and thesaurus instead of tools > spellcheck.

Unfortunately, this blog illustrates that having the proper artistic tools does not compensate for bad writing. Because that was boring.
posted by trinarian at 9:23 PM on July 13, 2005

Rediculous antique. I'd prefer a Selectric, thank you very much, except I make corrections as fast as I type, and a typewriter is just too damn slow. But I do miss the clackity satisfaction.

posted by Goofyy at 9:47 PM on July 13, 2005

I just can't do without moving around large blocks of text.
posted by ori at 10:13 PM on July 13, 2005

I remember how I used to romanticize the typewriter until I acted in a friend's short where I played a writer who typed on an old one, and I realized that I actually didn't enjoy typing on them, since I tend to type too fast for them. So, I'd type normally, and end up jamming everything up. It made one particular scene rather annoying where I actually had to keep typing for a certain amount of time; it's really hard to make yourself type more slowly than you normally do. (Or at least it is for me.)

But I admit, the sound of a typewriter is awesome. Thought about getting one just for a musical instrument. (I think this idea started when I was 3 or 4 and saw that one episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood where Mr. McPheily played one as a percussion instrument.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:41 PM on July 13, 2005

Deathalicious, what's so bad about buying a $10 typewriter on eBay is the $10 shipping; I could walk to the Goodwill Store and buy one and carry it home for free.
posted by davy at 12:30 AM on July 14, 2005

This is hardly an original sentiment.

Or even originally stated.
posted by Target Practice at 12:49 AM on July 14, 2005

My father spent six months in Chad and brought back many specimens for our curiosity. Among them were a collection of tribal knives, butterfly displays, a ten pound 10mb hard drive, and a gigantic and heavy early 80's IBM metal keyboard. The keyboard was a modern writers DREAM. It had a clank loud enough to wake up my college roommate that just felt just and write.

I wish it hadn't died from so many drink spills. I actually hung the keyboard out my 2nd story dorm window for awhile as a semi-permanent memorial service to a one-of-a-kind keyboard in a sea of fake CompUSA plasticity.
posted by trinarian at 1:11 AM on July 14, 2005

trinarian, IBM made these keyboards up until around 98 or so. I bought one just after getting my first PC (was languishing on an Atari 1024ST before then). The sound was incredible but for really extended programming sessions it really hurt the wrists.
posted by jackiemcghee at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2005

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