Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Machine Becomes Muse

I am looking forward to my first Type-In this week!  I hope that in the presence of numerous typewriters and enthusiasts I will find a few opportunities to write.  I have found that nothing is so absorbing than getting into the swing of a good rhythm on the computer or typewriter to help get bring on the creative mood.  Somehow, a Zen-like feeling of unity with the machine ensues as the fingers move the keys (or is it that the keys pull the fingers?) and the words, letter-by-letter creep onto the page.

It's almost like a Koan:  typewriter and hands make words - but what words are typed by the typewriter alone?  Although, in a sense, it's more like a Hacker Koan than a true Zen one.  Try this one for size:  a writer was typing on his machine in a park.  Hunter S. Thompson came by and stopped.  "What are you doing?" Thompson asked.  "I'm trying to write!" the irritated scrivener said.  "Here, I'll show you how to write.  Give me the typewriter."  The man handed it over to the Gonzo Master, who took it, considered it for a moment, then smashed it repeatedly against a tree.  Amid the shower of cogs, keys, levers, and typeslugs, the writer slowly smiled as he realised the truth of HST's actions and became enlightened.

Deep, huh?

Actually, it's neck-deep in bullshit, but that was just the way Thompson would have liked it.

On another note:  Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!  Today (April 23rd) is the supposed 450th anniversary of his birthday in 1564, which the Globe Theatre is commemorating with a two-year-long tour of its travelling company to every country in the world  (205 altogether at last count) to give a performance of Hamlet.  Ironically, this date is also the day of his death in 1616 - a date about which there is more certainty.  The players intend to return on the 400th anniversary of his death, although that is a bit morbid.  Given the bloodbath that suffuses Hamlet, it might not be that inappropriate.

Just imagine how Shakespeare's works might have been changed with a good typewriter to stave off writers' cramp?  What could a Zen-enlightened Romeo and Juliet have looked like through the lens of a two-are-one treatment of Montague and Capulet?

Probably rather dreadful, I fear.

Actually, I can't help but wonder what the Moai will make of Hamlet during the Easter Island performance - if there is one.  And if there is... what would be the sound of one Moai clapping?