Monday, January 20, 2014

A digression: writers, pens and typewriters (2)

Walter Cronkite, a journalist as well as a book writer, of course used a typewriter.

The same is true of William F. Buckley.

Somerset Maugham seems to have used a typewriter in his early years.

But in his later years, he appears with a pen in more than one photo (here’s one).

Emlyn Williams used a typewriter.

So did Erma Bombeck.

Anne Sexton used a typewriter. We tend to think of poets as always writing with pens – even quills! But that’s probably just a silly stereotype.

Mark Twain was probably the first famous writer to use a typewriter. The machine was probably a Remington No. 2 (pictured below right).

During his Hartford years, Twain wrote in his billiard room, the sunniest room in the house. His writing desk is partly visible in the right-hand side of the picture below. If you like tours of historical houses, you will love this house.

As Twain was noted for using an early typewriter, Edith Wharton was noted for using a pen. In bed, that is. As the docent explains at Wharton’s house in Lenox, Massachusetts, Wharton did pose at her desk once or twice for a photo (one below), but she actually wrote in bed, accompanied by her dogs. Reportedly, she tossed finished pages to the floor for her secretary to retrieve and type. Wharton was quirky in many interesting ways, and the house tour is fabulous.

The Takeaway: Keep writing.

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