saddleupsancho writes "Today's NY Times reports that Cormac McCarthy is auctioning the 45-year-old Olivetti manual typewriter on which all his novels, screenplays, plays, short stories, and much of his correspondence were written, to benefit the Sante Fe Institute where he is a Research Fellow. What would happen decades from now if, say, Richard Powers or Neal Stephenson attempted to auction their desktops or laptops? Setting aside completely any comparison among the three authors, is there something more intrinsically interesting and valuable, less ephemeral and interchangeable, about a typewriter vs. a computer as an instrument of literary creation? Or is the current generation just as sentimental about their computer-based devices as McCarthy's generation is about his Olivetti? Would you offer as much for McCarthy's input device if it were a generic PC, Mac, or Linux box as you would for his Olivetti?"
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