12.01.2009

Cormac McCarthy trades in his typewriter

The New York Times reports that Cormac McCarthy, prize-winning author of The Road and many other novels, has decided to auction off his Olivetti typewriter to benefit the Santa Fe Institute. He estimates that the Olivetti has borne about five million of his words over the past fifty years, including all of his novels.

The waning popularity and presence of typewriters hasn't been lost on the author:

Mr. McCarthy is known for being taciturn, particularly about his writing. He came to realize that not only his working method but even his tools are puzzling to a younger generation.

He remembers one summer when some graduate students were visiting the Santa Fe Institute. “I was in my office clacking away,” he said. “One student peered in and said: ‘Excuse me. What is that?’”


But don't think this is a signal of McCarthy going digital. What is he trading this typewriter in for? Another Olivetti.

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