4 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. Here it is probably necessary to explain that lots of things were once typed — on machines called typewriters — during a period of human history after stone tablets and before laptops and cellphones. It is probably also necessary to explain that reference to a card catalog in the first paragraph. A card catalog was an inventory of what was in a library before all the holdings were listed, and maybe available, online.

      A bit tongue-in-cheek, the New York Times describes for the technically inadept what a typewriter and a card catalog are.

  2. May 2022
    1. Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page. But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

      Saving the entire story for context, but primarily for this Marshall McLuhan-esque quote:

      “You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.”

      I want to know the source of the quote.

  3. Dec 2021
    1. Pomera, a folding Japanese pocket writer
    2. Even so, new inventions have always influenced literary production, as Friedrich Nietzsche, who struggled with a semi-spherical typewriter, once lyrically observed: “The writing ball is a thing like me: made of / iron / yet easily twisted on journeys.”

      Probably overbearing, but this is also the exact sort of thing a writer faced with a blank page is apt to focus on as they stare at the type ball in front of them. Their focus isn't on the work its on the thing immediately in front of them that isn't working for them.