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Showing posts from January, 2010

In memory of the cranky and elusive Mr. Salinger

Franny and Zooey is one of my all-time favorite books. The dialogue is always the best bit. And as I was re-reading that novella last night, I came across a particularly memorable passage that, once I had finished, I turned off the bedside lamp and went to sleep: "'I know this much, is all,' Franny said. 'If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. I mean you're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the page and everything. The ones you're talking about don't leave a single, solitary thing beautiful. All that maybe the slightly better ones do is sort of get inside your head and leave some thing there, but just because they do , just because they know how to leave some thing, it doesn't have to be a poem , for heaven's sake. It may just be some kind of terribly fascinating, syntaxy droppings --excuse the expression. Like Manlius and Esposito and all those poor men.'" Well said, J.D .

Ode to the Obsolete

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I recently adopted a typewriter: a 1955 Remington manual typewriter (found and acquired for free thanks to the Kent Freecycle network--see link in right margin). Ever since reading Words In Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell last year, I have had this desire to write with a typewriter. It is really a magical piece of machinery. I imagine it as being halfway between a letterpress and a word processor, but mechanically it is a very different beast altogether. When I was testing my new old typewriter out, I felt like I was learning to play a new musical instrument. It even looks a little like a piano under the hood. Although the keyboard resembles those belonging to our modern computers, if you try to type as fast as you are used to with a computer keyboard, the letter-legs are likely to become tangled. So my first lesson was to type one key at a time--slow down a bit. Another thing, there is actually quite a bit of space between the keys