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Kittler on typewriters (1)

by | Mar 16, 2012 | Kittler | 9 comments

9 Comments

  1. Ton S.

    Thanks for this, Kittler's book is on my Amazon wish list but I wasn't sure if it was going to be a worthwhile read. Sounds like it's got something to offer.

    Reply
  2. maschinengeschrieben

    That sounds very promising. I never heard of Kittler before, but his works seem interesting. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Fernando Antunes

    I've never heard of him either. But sounds very interesting. Guess I've found a new book to read.

    By the way, love the new back ground ;)

    Reply
  4. notagain

    checking library…
    Oh and I like the background image you have up now.

    Reply
  5. rn

    I browsed the book a while back, but my response was less charitable. Again a theory that we can't think with our fingers–or, more generally, that thinking is separate from doing. I don't find that I think when I'm using a manual typewriter. Rather, I write, and the thinking happens in the moment the letters and words come out on the page. I'm not separating the body from the mind when I type. Rather, the machine brings the two together and I become more myself. I recognize that Kittler might say that this is a romantic anecdotal tale of mechanical mediation–but, hey, it's my anecdote and I'm sticking to it.

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  6. Mike Speegle

    So by that same token, does that mean that the vulgarity of texting is a purer form of communication than voice calling?

    Reply
  7. rn

    No, Mike, I don't see the parallel. Communicating with others is a whole other sphere, and writing is certainly different than talking. However, the process of writing with a typewriter often gives me access to things I didn't know I was thinking.
    Rob

    Reply
  8. Richard P

    Kittler's point so far, as I understand it, is that the evidence of our bodies is minimal in the finished typescript, as compared to handwriting. He's not denying that we have a bodily relation to the typewriter in the act of using it.

    There is much more, which I'll be summing up as I read it more carefully with my students. We will also read some of Darren Wershler-Henry's book on typewriting, where he takes issue with a number of Kittler's claims.

    I do agree with rn — ideas come out in the act of typewriting, once you get into the flow of it. Of course, the most common use for typewriters in their heyday was not original writing, but transcribing the boss's previously dictated words.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Sorry to barge in late here, but speech was around for eons before writing was invented. So one could also contend that writing only served to remove us from the natural expression of thoughts which was speech.But then again I haven't read any Kittler, just commenting on comments..

    Reply

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