Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I write in order to lose time

From an interview with novelist Javier Marías:


Q: Why do you keep using your old typewriter [an Olympia Carrera de Luxe]? Is it a phobia of new technologies? Superstition?

A: No, I just like writing on paper, taking out the sheet, correcting it by hand, crossing things out, making arrows, typing it over again, and doing so as many times as I have to. I'm not in a hurry, I don't have to "save time" when I'm writing. To the contrary: in part, I write in order to lose time.


From the original Spanish text of the interview:

P. Cual es el motivo de seguir utilizando su vieja máquina de escribir ¿fobia a las nuevas tecnologías? ¿superstición?

R. No, simplemente me gusta escribir sobre papel, sacar la hoja, corregirla a mano, hacer mis tachaduras, mis flechas, volverla a teclear, y eso cuantas veces haga falta. No voy con prisa, no necesito “ganar tiempo” mientras escribo. Al contrario, en parte escribo para perderlo.

7 comments:

Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

How many of us could have said that?

notagain said...

not I, said the cat...

Bill M said...

You may think you loose time. I believe it you actually gain time since I find typing gives time to think, look at the work, make any mark-ups and then make the final copy.

All the neat things are missed doing everything on a PC. Sure a draft can be done printed and marked and redone. It is just not the same as with a typewriter.

Besides our eyes were not made to stare at a screen, but they were made to read a paper.

Richard P said...

I've got to disagree with your last comment, Bill. Reading is a very late development in the human species, and paper as we know it is an even more recent invention (Middle Ages). Typewriters, of course, were invented practically yesterday when you look at the larger picture. I love 'em, but I won't claim that they are natural! :)

I dream lo-tech said...

I'll have to agree with Richard on this one.

LeeAnna Holt said...

It is official. I must read Marias' books. Such beautiful words. I had a professor who used to rave about him.

streamlinesdeluxe said...

Intentional or not, lost time will be the result of typing. This whole blogging thing certainly gobs up lots of my time.

By the way, Richard, I don't think Bill meant "paper", as in dead-tree-product. I think he was referring to a newspaper, like a periodical. And we know those existed long ago, because archeologists have discovered a copy of the Sumerian Gazette, which of course was hand-written on animal skins, limiting the circulation to two, which, not being a feasible business model, caused the publication to fold...