Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hermes 2000 ... Who uses typewriters?

I wrote about my Hermes 2000 typewriter a few months back. It's out again, being used. I'm ordering ribbons. And I want to compile a list of writers who use typewriters. Don DeLillo does. So does Joe Eszterhas. Larry McMurtry.

Who else?

18 comments:

Sharon said...

By no means am I professional writer. but I own two Hermes typewriters. My husband purchased and restored an Hermes Baby and Hermes Rocket for my son and me. Our son Graham, aged five, is in kindergarten and is encouraged to play with words. I love the Hermes Baby with its seafoam colored keys; it inspires me to write poems.

joe has something to say said...

tom wolfe and I think stephen j. cannell are two that use typewriters.

Anonymous said...

Typewriting seems such an anachronism. How does one correct mistakes? Whiteout? How does one edit? So much retyping.

Why? So time consuming.

Is there some need for a simpler past? A simpler time? A simpler life?

Tim Peoples said...

I'd love to use a typewriter, but my wife (rightfully) notes that the noise would probably drive the adjacent apartment residents insane. So no typewriter yet.

As for why: the nice thing about a typewriter is that it works somewhat at the speed of thought (like a computer), but requires a completely retyped subsequent draft. It's very nice for those writers, like myself, who need to rewrite everything to rewrite effectively.

Greenjay said...

I have a framed type-written letter from Larry McMurtry hanging on my office wall. He sent a great blurb for my first novel, and it's opened some terrific doors. (He's got a nice signature too!)

Al Kaplan said...

I'm a professional photographer but l've done my share of writing for various newspapers and magazines. I got my Hermes 2000 back in 1965 and it's still working just fine although most of my writing is on the computer now, but I'm still using fim in my old manual Leica cameras for my photography. No digital for me!

anne said...

where do you get the ribbons for your Hermes 2000? I just got mine out of many years of storage and want to start using it again. I typed a master's thesis on it....Anne

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I need an ink ribbon for my Hermes Baby. The one I found in the typewriter (it belonged to my Grandad) has some ink left in it, but I will definately need a new one. Does anyone know where to get them?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

On another post (either before or after this one) there's info about where to buy ribbons (in the comments area). There's also a Yahoo group gathered around the topic of typewriters. You might search them out for help.

Baco said...

Anonymous notes it's so time consuming and such a waste. Well, yes.

My best (strictly personal) writing comes out when I use a fountain pen. Many of my photographer friends still refuse to leave the chemical process and go digital.

Maybe some of the best parts in life require some more attention span and some more preparation before commitment. Of course that's not compatible with "production".

Anonymous said...

Anyone looking for ribbons should google Advanced Business Machines operated by Jay Respler. He's got any ribbon you could want, and good prices, too. He operates out of NJ.

O L I V ER said...
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O L I V ER said...

There are so many reasons to use a manual typewriting machine.

1. It is great to get all of your ideas out of your head and down on paper permanently. How many times have you been writing, then hold down the backspace thinking it wasn't good enough, then retyping the same line?

2. Typewriters produce a tangible record. You can yank the sheet out and walk around the room with it, then put it back in and start typing again. Plus, there are no "crashes" that can destroy all of your work. Its all right there!

3. Typewriters have different characters and rhythms. Each machine is different. Not the same with computers. Sometimes writers want a little of that character or flow to work into their writing. It makes it more alive!

4. Use it without electricity!

5. No distractions that come with all computers (games, internet, IM, facebook). When you sit down in front of your machine, you are there for one reason. To type.

7. No "auto format". I hate when I am composing something and I can get the bullets just right, or I don't want to capitalize the city I live in. Computers force people to conform. Imagine e.e. cummings writing on a computer. Or think of other poets that have a very specific physical structure to their layouts... Annoying when Microsoft Word wants you to do it it's way.

Anyhow, nobody is suggesting that one ought to write your final draft term papers on them. Of course a computer has an upper hand there, but there are so many other things to write.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

On this post (http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/mcgowin2.html) you will find a couple (type-)writers you have listed, and some you have not. (How tragic this fellow died shortly thereafter.) Also on the referenced previous post. As for where to buy ribbons, check out Mr. Computer in ... was it Milwaukee? Google him. Alternatively, there's the pricier MY Typewriter. --Murray in the Yukon (about to buy a Hermes 2000)

Anonymous said...

Also, this article says Canada's William Gibson used a Hermes 2000 (can't bring myself to say "An 'Ermes!) before it broke down... for the writing of Neuromancer etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewriter#Authors_and_writers_who_had_unusual_relationships_with_typewriters. Lists others, as well.

Michael said...

Harlan Ellison and Paul Auster. Ellison is very loud about it, and Paul Auster actually wrote a book about his.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Really? I'll have to search for the title...Have you read it? Would love to hear. My Hermes' action is a bit slow, which is why I don't use it. Would restoring it make it faster? I don't expect it to be like a computer keyboard, but it's just a little too slow.