05 May 2008

Nietzsche's Lovesong to his Typewriter


THE WRITING BALL IS A THING LIKE ME: MADE OF
IRON
YET EASILY TWISTED ON JOURNEYS.
PATIENCE AND TACT ARE REQURED IN ABUNDANCE,
AS WELL AS FINE FINGERS, TO USE US.
-Friedrich Nietzsche's Malling Hansen poem, February-March 1882
As so it was a rain in Genoa that started and stopped modern writing -- a writing that is solely the materiality of its medium. "A letter, a litter," a piece of writing, a piece of dirt, Joyce mocked. Nietzsche's typewriter, or the dream of fusing literary production with literary reproduction, instead fused again with blindness, invisibility, and random noise, the irreducible background of technological media. Finally, letters on the page looked like the ones on the right retina.

-Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriters (208)

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