Thursday, March 24, 2005

He might have understood the computer as bicycle for the mind
It was probably to help in delivering his lectures that he bought a typewriter, a ‘Blick’ model with an inkwell instead of a ribbon, which was later replaced by a neater apparatus. There can have been few dons of his time so equipped, and it may well be imagined with what disdain he would have regarded its intrusion into the University had it been the invention of a later decade. As time went on he became increasingly at one with it. He wrote a good hand, but he was not a neat-fingered man and he took no pleasure, as many writers have done, in the use of a pen. Most of his private letters are in holograph, but when he had something to say which required close thought, he found the keys of the typewriter in some way an aid to precision. There is a letter of his to Mr Laurence Eyres written in 1927 in which he began to type half-way through with the words: ‘I’m sorry but I can’t think properly with a pen.’
- Evelyn Waugh on Mgr Ronald Knox

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