This story makes me want to smash my fist through my smug eunuch of a laptop. When writer (and confirmed typewriter user) Skye Ferrante, after an eight-month sabbatical, returned to the Writers Room in Greenwich Village—a shared office space for writer types where he’d been a member for six years—he found that his grandmother’s 1929 Royal typewriter was no longer welcome.
Apparently, most of the older typewriter aficionados had died off in Mr. Ferrante’s absence, creating a perfect opportunity for all the precious, as-sensitive-as-Proust laptop users to just say no. And that’s what they did, essentially kicking Mr. Ferrante out. This, my friends, is a travesty of justice.
Sure, every dedicated typewriter user I’ve ever known has been just a wee bit on the affected side, saying things like this (and I quote Mr. Ferrante): “There’s a different commitment when you know you’re making a mark on the page, when you strike a key and bleed ink on the page.” Yeah, ok pal, your words bleed onto the page (Mr. Ferrante writes children’s stories). But that’s not really the point.
If you want perfect peace and quiet you should get the hell out of New York and move to a place where you can afford a room of your own; hell, you might even be able to afford the full cork treatment. And then you can sit in your hermetically sealed quiet room, with just the sound of your nose-whistle exhalations whispering counterpoint over the neutered plunkety-plunk of your wan, smudgy keyboard.
Only then, with perfect quiet, will you finally be able to finish that novel.
(Well, now that I’ve made an enemy of everyone involved, I’m off to the library to finish my villanelles.)