Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

As a Typewriter

In one of those fortuitous encounters, last night I was reading one of Carl Claudy's 1930s wonder tales written for a juvenile audience, and came across a line that leapt out at me. I had written earlier in the day, for this blog, about typewriting. The narrator is speaking about Martians -- these particular ones are brains-inside-machines affairs -- and describing them in this way: "They were responsive to any suggestion, just as a calculating engine is to any hand which presses its keys, as inexorable in their thinking as a locomotive is in progress, as emotionless as a typewriter."

I look at any one of my various typewriters nearby, and think they have such character. An emotionless character? I suppose so -- and suppose that the same could be said of all the old things that adorn and clutter our existence.

At the time Claudy was writing, the typewriter was still a relatively young bit of technology -- some decades old as a somewhat commonplace piece of mechanical equipment. (And with important roots here in Wisconsin.)

Yet that phrase "as emotionless as a typewriter" has a magic ring to it (as in the ring at the carriage-return) -- and so I believe I will attempt to be as emotionless as a typewriter in something or other that I do today.

Cheers ...

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