What writers want: a sense of style

No…I’m not talking about a signature writing style – although I’d like to be as instantly recognisable as a certain children’s author who peppered all her books with “jolly” and “beastly” and “oh, I say!” – but a timelessly elegant writing tool rendered obsolete by modern technology: the typewriter.  Or perhaps the typewriter is not so obsolete after all? 

In March 2011, the New York Times reported on the growing conversion of bright young things to the typewriter.  Apparently, those who grew up on computers “enjoy prying at the seams of digital culture”.  Not being of this generation – I remember our first electric typewriter, which drew coos from all the family and neighbours as we gathered around to watch one line of text flash on a tiny screen before magically spewing across the page – I cannot verify if the re-emergence of the typewriter really is two fingers up to the digital age. 

Life Magazine recently ran an article ‘In Praise of the Typewriter’, and Flavorwire have kindly curated the images to showcase those that capture writers at work.  I personally love the shot of Alfred Hitchcock with his typewriter propped on his drinks cabinet, atop bottles of spirits and cocktail shakers! 

I suspect the rising popularity of the vintage typewriter has much to do with the aesthetic of the typewriter itself.  They come in marvellous colours, from luscious reds to baby blues, that put the Sony Vaio’s garish laptops to shame (can anyone type on a fluorescent green device for an extended period of time without feeling slightly queasy?).  And they make a lovely ‘plunk’, ‘plunk’ sound when you use them.  It’s incredibly satisfying.  I should know – I just went out and bought one for myself. 

Michelle's Vintage Royal

One Response to “What writers want: a sense of style”
  1. Martin says:

    Power on … tum te tum … log in … tum tum te tum tum… open up word processor … tum tum … phew at last. Ooh check email, Word Cloud .. distracted again … How long was that?

    Off with the cover, paper in and away we go. How long was that?

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