Typewriter as Actual Writer

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Mark Twain, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jack Torrance from the Shiningbelieved that typewriters would help them write. At some point, however, they all lost control of their typewriters, Rob Giampietro writes on his blog, Lined & Unlined, and the simple machines took on lives of their own. “Nietzsche feared his own typewriter might outproduce him,” Giampietro writes. In the Shining, the final evidence for Jack Torrance’s insanity came when his wife discovered that he had been writing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” repeatedly using his Adler typewriter. According to Giampietro, “Jack isn’t using his Adler typewriter; the Adler is using him.”

For Twain, the typewriter was something he wanted to keep secret. The typewriter itself attracted too much attention. After the Remmington company approached the famous author for an endorsement of their product, Twain wrote:

Please do not use my name in any way. Please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine. I have entirely stopped using the Type-Writer, for the reason that I never could write a letter with it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only describe the machine but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc., etc. I don’t like to write letters, so I don’t want people to know that I own this curiosity breeding little joker.

Source: Lined & Unlined

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