The Story of My Typewriter

The Story of My Typewriter

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by Paul Auster, Sam Messer
     
 

This is the story of Paul Auster's typewriter. The typewriter is a manual Olympia, more than 25 years old, and has been the agent of transmission for the novels, stories, collaborations, and other writings Auster has produced since the 1970s, a body of work that stands as one of the most varied, creative, and critcally acclaimed in recent American letters. It is also… See more details below

Overview

This is the story of Paul Auster's typewriter. The typewriter is a manual Olympia, more than 25 years old, and has been the agent of transmission for the novels, stories, collaborations, and other writings Auster has produced since the 1970s, a body of work that stands as one of the most varied, creative, and critcally acclaimed in recent American letters. It is also the story of a relationship. A relationship between Auster, his typewriter, and the artist Sam Messer, who, as Auster writes, "has turned an inanimate object into a being with a personality and a presence in the world." This is also a collaboration: Auster's story of his typewriter, and of Messer's welcome, though somewhat unsettling, intervention into that story, illustrated with Messer's muscular, obsessive drawings and paintings of both author and machine. This is, finally, a beautiful object; one that will be irresistible to lovers of Auster's writing, Messer's painting, and fine books in general.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Aspiring writers are often fascinated by the processes and the tools of the professional; in this elegant art book collaboration between writer Auster and painter Messer, they can get a detailed, expressionistic perspective on the old-fashioned machine Auster uses to get the words out of his head and onto the page: a vintage manual Olympia typewriter. "Since... 1974, every word I have written has been typed out on that machine," writes Auster in the essay that accompanies the drawings and paintings reproduced in this lovely volume. Though very short, the text is revealing of the author's unique sensibility: "Like it or not, I realized we [Auster and the Olympia] had the same past. As time went on, I came to understand we had the same future." The starring attraction here is the art. Primarily done in oils, the works reveal Messer's obsession with Auster's typewriter. Most of the depictions are head-on, sometimes with backgrounds that reflect the writer and his New York milieu. One version is backed by a shelf of Auster's works, another by the Brooklyn Bridge, and one haunting image shows the lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Brooklyn, with the still-standing towers of the World Trade Center prominently featured. The novelist himself is portrayed in several works, the best of which (Maestro) shows Auster conjuring the keys off of the machine and into a swirl of floating letters. This is an undeniably odd but captivating book, in which Messer, in Auster's words, turns "an inanimate object into a being with personality and a presence in the world." (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891024320
Publisher:
D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
7.08(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.58(d)

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