Mark Twain’s Love/Hate Relationships

By October 2, 2012Writing about Writing

… with his typewriter.  Yes, it turns out the Twain-man couldn’t quite untangle his feelings about the revolutionary device.  Mr. Clemens certainly made history when he wrote Tom Sawyer: it was the first-ever typed manuscript to be submitted for publication.  But though he loved his typewriter, he couldn’t bring himself to offer a public endorsement for Remington, the manufacturer, as we see in this letter.

Gentlemen: Please do not use my name in any way, please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine, I have entirely stopped using the typewriter, for the reason that I never could write a letter with it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only describe the machine but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc., etc.  I don’t like to write letters, and so I don’t want people to know that I own this curiosity breeding little joker.

Yours truly,

Saml. L. Clemens.

from Bruce Bliven Jr.’s 1954 book The Wonderful Writing Machine