It’s slim pickings typewriter-wise in the Op shops in and around Perth. But at least I did come away with something interesting on a recent visit to a Salvation Army store.
The find in question was a $4 copy of “Tennessee Williams – Memoirs” published by W.H. ALLEN (First British Edition, 1976).
As well as being a good read, this book has lots of great photos, including a number of interesting “writer with his typewriter” photos.
Scrutiny with a magnifying glass confirms that the typewriter pictured above (and below) is a Royal (Quiet Deluxe?). See The Classic Typewriter Page: Writers and their Typewriters for more information about the typewriters used by Tennessee Williams (you’ll find him down near the end of the list).
A colourful chapter of Tenn’s memoirs describes how a jilted lover “… ripped to shreds all of my clothes, demolished my typewriter, but for some reason left my manuscripts undamaged”.
Later on in the book he relates how “I split for Barcelona in my town-coupe Jaguar with a thermos of martinis and wrapped that elegant car around a tree when a truck swung out of a side road and my car wouldn’t hold the road when I turned to avoid it and my portable Olivetti flew out of the back seat and hit me right smack on the back of the head, knocking me out for I don’t know how long.”
Below we see Tennessee and an Olivetti Studio 44 in happier times (I’m assuming this picture was taken before the car accident!).
Needless to say, Tennessee was a great writer. “Streetcar” is brilliant of course, and “Fugitive Kind” is one of my favourite movies.
Apparently the stage play it was based on was a flop. Wish I could write a “flop” like that. Maybe when I get my Studio 44…!