As a writer I’m subject to certain aesthetic ticks. Fortunately, the monocle and sword-cane phase didn’t last past adolescence. But others remain, such as my allegiance to the brass tacks styling of Portage brand reporter’s notebooks and ink black blazers. Unlike some of my colleagues, however, I don’t fetishsize vintage typewriters – a phrase I realize, now, has been redundant since at least the 80s.
That said, I have a knack for acquiring them. Well-meaning souls deliver them to my doorstep like almsgiving. I’ve permitted myself to keep only two – an old Corona, which belonged to a dead friend and an Italian-made Lettera, the design of which looks like the genetic antecedent to my MacBook Pro. All other typewriters go back to the thrift store orphanage where some shaggy twenty-something might adopt them to pretend he’s writing a novel in the modus operandi of his mid-20th century heroes.
Despite my reticence to take in any more strays, lately I’ve found myself poaching images of typewriters in various stages of duress. Not sure why, other than perhaps its a way to externalize the creeping sense of decrepitude in my own work. I suppose this is why they invented Pinterest. It’s a kind of specialized, virtual hoarding that provides purging through pixels. I’ve also been searching for the perfect depiction of Fall for my desktop background since I live in California where the seasons are difficult to distinguish.
When it finally occurred to me to combine these two image searches into a single string, the results of “Typewriters and Fall” (the lost play of Tennessee Williams?) led me to what might be a new meme in office machine porn: Typewriters surrounded by or, as often, covered in the autumnal hues of fallen leaves.
Here are a few choice selections stolen off the web. Some are from photo-stock services (as indicated by the watermarks) and others from various sites (if one is yours, please tell me, what was your motivation and can I send you some Paypal love?).