Monday, November 30, 2009

I Want This Typewriter

Man, do I want this typewriter!

This is the little machine that produced every word written by Cormac McCarthy in the last 50 years, every single word - some 5 million of them. And now Mr. McCarthy is selling his little Olivetti typewriter and donating the proceeds to the Santa Fe Institute. Unfortunately, those who know about this kind of thing estimate that the sale will bring somewhere between 15 and 20 thousand dollars.

The New York Times says:
Christie’s, which plans to auction the machine on Friday, estimated that it would fetch between $15,000 and $20,000. Mr. McCarthy wrote an authentication letter — typed on the Olivetti, of course — that states:

“It has never been serviced or cleaned other than blowing out the dust with a service station hose. ... I have typed on this typewriter every book I have written including three not published. Including all drafts and correspondence I would put this at about five million words over a period of 50 years.”

Speaking from his home in Santa Fe, Mr. McCarthy said he mistakenly thought that the typewriter was bought in 1958; it was actually a few years later. He had a Royal previously, but before he went off to Europe in the early 1960s, he said, “I tried to find the smallest, lightest typewriter I could find.”
Oh, to have money like Tiger Woods (and a less volatile wife) or Paul McCartney (minus the insane wife). As originally described, or not, this baby would look great sitting on the desk in my home office.


  1. I got my Sony back within 6 days of sending it out to Sony for the upgrade. It appears almost exactly the same and is in functioning order so far. They were fast!! And that was over a holiday. It would have been faster if not for Thursday being a non mail day.

  2. Good for Sony, Kristy. I'm glad to hear that they're handling the reader transitions so efficiently.

    Check out those Google books on the store site...lots of hidden gems there.

  3. It will be interesting to see what it goes for. ONe of the first things I ever bought with money I actually earned was an electric typewriter, one with ribbons that came in cartridges you could pop in and out so there were no messy reels of ribbon that you had to change. You could even pop in a special correction cartridge.

    I thought it was the best thing ever.

  4. I had one very similar to the model shown in the picture when I was in high school, CB. It lasted me all the way through college and I can't remember what happened to it after that. I think I probably left it at home and my folks finally through it out. The picture brings back a lot of memories, both good and bad.

    Your version sounds pretty sophisticated. :-)