Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Cormac McCarthy's typewriter
Well, here it is. It was auctioned for more than $250,000 last Friday. The proceeds went to charity but it's not the money that bothers me - he can keep it or not as far as I am concerned. What bothers me is that a bestselling author was, until recently, using heritage technology to write his books.
(Oh and there is a little side order of "What was the buyer thinking? That putting their fingers on the keys would enable them to write bestsellers too?")
Anyway, I heard Ian Rankin and Philip Hensher discussing this on the Today programme (not its first appearance here and yes, I do hear it every day). Rankin does use a word processor though has no idea how to "move chunks of text around"; Hensher, on the other hand, writes everything in notebooks, though I suppose he has to type it up at some point.
On what planet and in what century are these people living? I got my first AppleMac in 1989 and was composing direct on to a screen by 1995. Nothing short of total breakdown of the National Grid would see me back on a typewriter or scribbling in notebooks (great for notes though; the clue is in the name).
I'm so glad I was young (enough) to benefit from the new technology - laptops, broadband, Internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc. etc. I'm an unrepentant gadget-bunny and every new development has helped my writing forward.