Academic journal article Hecate

Type-Writers

Academic journal article Hecate

Type-Writers

Article excerpt

My mother used a mechanical Remington,

black-keyed and heavy, it came with a

clip-over metal-grey rounded case. After

my birth my father used it to type up his

lectures. I looked at the ribbon -- three

stripes of black, white corrector and red.

I wanted to type red words. 'Don't touch,' he said.

`You're good at colours and design

but that's not good for anything,' my mother said

In 1987, when typewriters were giving

in to computers, I still wanted one and

my mother bought me an electronic Olivetti.

Chosen for its quietness, it had an 18 letter

screen and an eight-page memory

and its Italian advertising flyers had a

brunette and signature red rose

I'll pay for typing lessons but not for an art course

that will never get you anywhere,' my mother said

I typed every university assignment ten

times or more, correcting each out-of-place

comma and sentence structure. In my

next-to-final year the letter 'e' stopped

printing. A clean-cut but lusty English

boy pulled apart the machine and found a

small tear in its plastic circuit sheet.

We drove to get a new part and bring back

the 'e'. 'Only mothers and children like me,'

he said and did not ask me to be a road guide

with my female draw to misdirection

I wouldn't like anything my mother liked.

I went out with stoned and half-there boys

After the 'e' the typewriter lost 'a' and my

words became syllabic sounds without

substance. …

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