20 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. The timing was less than ideal. His previous works had all proved “dismal financial flops,” as he said in 1950. He had recently secured an appointment at Cornell University as an associate professor of Russian literature. For the first time in two decades, the couple found themselves in the neighborhood of financial security. If ever there had been a time when Mrs. Nabokov should have discouraged her husband from working on what seemed an unsellable manuscript, it was 1949.

      Nabokov began teaching at Cornell in 1948 and must have been relatively financially well-off enough to afford the roughly $95 ($1,248 in 2024 dollars) for a brand new Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter.

      The typewriter is pictured at the top of the article in a photo from a 1958 photo shoot. Presumably he bought it contemporaneously, though may have gotten it used after its release in 1949. The model changed in mid-1950.

  2. Jun 2024
    1. https://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/nabokov.jpeg via https://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/typers.html

      This photo, similar to others in the Carl Mydans series for LIFE Magazine is surely from his September 1958 photo series, though I couldn't find an original from the LIFE archive.

      Nabokov, reading off of index cards in his zettelkasten, dictates to his wife Vera who is typing on what appears to be a 1949 or 1950 Henry Dreyfuss Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter.

      Notice metal strip on the back of the typewriter with small rectangular blocks. This is the Royal's tabulator set up which distinguishes the Quiet De Luxe model from the Arrow model.

      The body styling of this typewriter changed in 1950 from Dreyfuss' original 1948 design. Because it's light gray it has to be from '49 or '50 as the '48 original was a black body with dark gray highlights and didn't have chrome across the front as this one does in an alternate angle.

    1. https://images.google.com/hosted/life/2bff56953d14c9d9.html

      Nabokov, reflected in a mirror off camera, dictating his writing from index cards to his wife Vera who is typing on what appears to be a 1949 or 1950 Henry Dreyfuss Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter.

      Notice the chrome on the front of the machine which is sitting in its bottom case shell.

  3. May 2024
    1. What do literary stalwarts of the original typewriter era make of all this? “We old typists, it makes us feel young again to think there’s a new generation catching on,” said Gay Talese, 79. He still uses a typewriter, albeit electric, as does his friend, Robert A. Caro, 75, the Pulitzer-winning biographer of Robert Moses and President Lyndon B. Johnson. They discussed Mr. Caro’s Smith Corona while watching the Super Bowl.
    1. He eschewed computers, often writing by fountain pen in his beloved notebooks.“Keyboards have always intimidated me,” he told The Paris Review in 2003.“A pen is a much more primitive instrument,” he said. “You feel that the words are coming out of your body, and then you dig the words into the page. Writing has always had that tactile quality for me. It’s a physical experience.”He would then turn to his vintage Olympia typewriter to type his handwritten manuscripts. He immortalized the trusty machine in his 2002 book “The Story of My Typewriter,” with illustrations by the painter Sam Messer.

      digging the words into the page sounds adjacent to Seamus Heaney's "Digging" which analogizes writing to digging: https://hypothes.is/a/J-z8OgfQEe-0adtJyXyb3g

      There's something here which suggests pens, typewriters, keyboards, etc. as direct extended mind objects as tools for thought. A sense of rumination and expulsion simultaneously.

  4. Apr 2024
    1. Harry RansomCenter at the University of Texas, which houses Sexton’sletters and memorabilia. And her typewriter.

      Anne Sexton used a Royal Quiet De Luxe (beige)

    2. Solan, Matthew. “Tracking Down Typewriters: Those Trusty Tools of Days Gone By.” Poets & Writers Magazine, August 19, 2009. p 31-33.

    3. David McCullough, the noted histo-rian and Pulitzer Prize winner, haswritten everything he’s ever publishedsince 1965 on his sixty-nine-year-oldRoyal KMM standard desktop.
    4. TomWolfe still uses his 1966 Underwood.
    5. Pearl S. Buck and the 1930s RoyalStandard (with white keys) she used towrite The Good Earth, Jack Kerouac’sroad-weary Underwood Standard S,George Orwell’s Remington No. 2,Patricia Highsmith’s Olympia, Marga-ret Mitchell’s Remington No. 3 (whichher husband bought secondhand andshe relied on to type Gone With theWind and countless pieces of corre-spondence with fans).
    6. I have my work cut out for me withHemingway, since he used many type-writers: a gigantic Royal No. 10 desk-top with glass side panels from his earlyKey West days, an Underwood Noise-less that helped him fi nish For Whomthe Bell Tolls and fi le dispatches fromhotel rooms while he was a World WarII correspondent, and black matte Roy-als from the early 1940s—especiallythe Quiet DeLuxe and Arrow—he fa-vored while at Finca Vigía in Cuba.
    7. Deluxe Noiseless on display at MarjorieK innan Rawlings’s screened frontporch at Cross Creek, Florida; Flan-nery O’Connor’s 1930s Royal Stan-dard; Faulkner’s famed UnderwoodUniversal; Hemingway’s 1940 RoyalArrow; and the tiny, folding CoronaNo. 3 favored by both Ernie Pyle andIsak Dinesen.