De typemachine afgestoft

by | Nov 11, 2015 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

De typemachine afgestoft (The typewriter dusted off)

Many thanks to Dutch author and typospherian Dirk van Weelden for his contributions to this radio piece about typewriters and my book! I can understand maybe 7% of the Dutch (aside from the recording of my own voice) but it’s a lot of fun to listen to, if only for the music and typing sounds. Dirk is featured in the book as the author of a novel narrated by typewriters, the inventor of “typewriter portraits,” and the visionary behind The Phoenix Typewriter Project. 

A tip o’ the typebars to a true insurgent.


  1. Ted

    Can't understand a word of it, but yes, excellent sound design. :D

  2. rino breebaart

    Proficiaat! Uitstekend! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Old man used his typer to write St Nicholas poems! Several stories of paternal typers there… and nice words from Dirk about the writing process. No going back!

    The revolution has come to the lowlands.

  3. Bill M

    Interesting. Surprisingly I think I got about a third of the Dutch. Many words match German and Pa. Dutch (German). I understood the English words perfectly. Since I listened before going to work for the day I need to listen again tonight giving more thought to the conversation. Thanks for posting.

  4. Anonymous

    Nice dulcet-toned radio voice. All double-dutch to me of course!

  5. Unknown

    " […] or The Typewriter Revolution, about the writing machine revolution that is apparently already going on, in certain circles."

    The piece is not by Dirk van Weelden, he is merely interviewed (though of course he may well have initiated it). The reporter begins to wonder what happened to his father's green Erika and calls his mother. She tells him it had been sent to Africa "so it could still be of use".
    The reporter then visits Van Weelden, who talks about how he got to use and appreciate the typing writer, and how it should be used: just type and don't look back, basically. At least at first. He points out that one of the problems with using word processors is that there is no immediacy to the writing, and that you may well end up endlessly tinkering, rewriting and polishing your text, without actually getting somewhere. But this may also happen to the typewriting writer.
    Follows a citation from the novel 'Uit talloos veel miljoenen' by W.F. Hermans ('Out of countless millions'), in which a character experiences prolonged writer's block after having typed only the title of a very academic piece, and sits night after night behind his typewriter in vain [In the book this character gets the advise to use coloured paper, and this actually seems to help. It is also this book in which the character's wife calls the typewriter "the dearest invention ever made" (de liefste machine ooit uitgevonden)].
    The reporter then paraphrases the manifesto, and then follows the fragment from the Kerouac film.

    A nice report with ditto sound editing, but also characteristic for most Dutch radio (and tv) productions: short, above all, and therefore superficial. Nonetheless a nice concise bit of publicity for your book, Richard.

  6. RobertG

    Hartelijk dank!


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