At PopMatters this morning, I have a (slightly tardy) review of Darren Wershler-Henry’s recent book, The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting:
The Iron Whim‘s thesis is that the iconography of typewriting is almost preternaturally self-deconstructing. Typewriting produces the truth, but is easily forged. Typewriting, Wershler-Henry suggests, makes visible, albeit sometimes only as a ghost, an Other voice in the scene of writing. Sometimes this Other is a speaker dictating with authority; other times it is the typist, revising that dictation on the fly. Still other times the typewriter itself is the Other, as it seems to transmogrify from instrument to muse to tyrannical master in the writerly imagination.
As a blog-historical footnote, I believe that this review is the first time I’ve used the phrase “booty call” in a published document (I almost said “in print”) to discuss The Waste Land.