11 June, 2007

Book Report: Iron Whimsy

This week I was also able to take a look at "The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting," by Darren Wershler-Henry. Now I will admit that I only read the first two chapters of this book, and if anyone was able to make it all the way through and thought it to be a worthy tome, I would love to hear your comments.

My own opinion was that it reads like a school research paper, with large portions of paraphrasing or quotes from other books. The author also makes it clear from the get-go that this will NOT be a traditional history of the typewriter (and recommends another book if that is what you are looking for- I may have to check it out), but an archaeological dig, if you will. Because of this and the convoluted turns of phrase that seem to define Wershler-Henry’s writing (“… I’m interested in typewriting as a discourse: one of the systems of ideas and rules that structure our lives in ways that are subtle and brutal by turns.” [pg. 14]), I found that I was unable to read this book and therefore would not recommend it.

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