Friday 21 April, 2023

Apple blossom

In the garden, yesterday evening.

Quote of the Day

“The Lord God is subtle, but He is not malicious.”

  • Albert Einstein.

(Carved in German above the mantelpiece of the Mathematical Institute of Princeton.)

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Regina Spektor | “Samson”


Long Read of the Day

BANG THE KEYS SWIFTLY: Type-writers and their discontents

Lovely essay by Barry Sanders on the machine that mechanised writing.

The typewriter was a machine in a way that the pencil or the pen was obviously not. No one would ever ask an author, “How many words a minute do you write?” But people do, as a matter of course, ask that question about typing. For typing is a skill in itself, requiring manual dexterity, and a degree of hand/eye coordination. One can refine and master it through practice. The typewriter, by definition, mechanizes writing, the way the rifle mechanizes killing. The cold metal of a rifle or a typewriter insinuates itself between a person and his or her passion. A pen and a knife both have a distinctive immediacy. Both can be deadly. With his usual Dust Bowl brilliance, Woody Guthrie warned that in an America already in deep Depression, you’ve got to watch your back and front, for “some men will kill you with a shotgun, and some with a fountain pen.”

Lovely essay. I still remember the day I got my first portable typewriter — an Olivetti Lettera 22. Briefly made me feel like Ernest Hemingway. Very briefly: he could write as well as type. I was a slow two-finger typist for a long time — which was fine because it meant I could type as fast as I could think.

My commonplace booklet

PM on Wife Support

This week’s Private Eye (Which God Preserve)

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