Thursday, February 23, 2006


More a pair of comments rather than an idea

“In the world of language and letters, Kitter also discovers new writing machines, typified by the typewriter, of which computers are sort of a special case.”

This is simply wrong. A word possessor (what I am assuming Cayley means here by “computers”) are a very different beast than a type writer. A regimented linear and all or nothing process the typewriter creates a whole different type of writing that a word processor. Also he ignores the fact that several writers (e.e. cummings being the most famous) have used the typewriter to create visual poetry even before computers.

He also says:

“at best further dismantling the voice of the poet by exchanging adoring female recitists for controlled and controlling female typists”

Could this guy be more sexist. Anyone studying the history of type and typewriters knows the freeing effect on writers and ESPECIALLY woman it had.


At 11:31 AM, Blogger Taco said...

I agree. Typewriters are a whole other ball game than word processors. Even if a WP isn't a computer, but one of those last generation typewriters that would show you four lines of text at a time before you committ to "typing" it. There's a whole "finalized" feel when working with a typewriter. You can't edit without some evidence left behind.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Julius said...

What Cayley probably wanted to say is that a lot of people don't use the computer different than a typewriter. ... I think a modern electronic typewriter from the 90s has some memory and a preocessor as well. They're just not in use any more because of computers.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Yildiz said...

yes I agree with Julius..I think for the people who had typewriters and used it intially wouldnt have taken time getting familiar with the keyboard because of the same function of punching in keys..

I think that the idea of a keyboard was inspired from a typewriter, and so that might be the relationship the author might have been talking abt.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Ashley Ward said...

I'm gonna agree with Mark, generalizing a computer to be a special sort of typewriter is short sighted and incredibly inaccurate. While the older generations may think of computers as a cooler electronic keyboard, that is simply not the case. There is a danger in underestimating this media so drastically.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Kasey Bradley said...

I can't say that computers were inspired by typewriters, since they were originally created to perform huge series of dull mathematical equations.

Keyboards seem like a reasonable addition, an extra tool, but they're more like relatives by marriage.


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