The WSJ Speakeasy asks “Would You Pay $40,000 For An Antique Typewriter?”
What if it was the one Harlan Ellison used to write his 1957 short story “Soldier From Tomorrow,” later made into an episode of The Outer Limits?
Speakeasy interviewed Ellison about the sale and his future in an interview that included this exchange:
Cormac McCarthy recently sold his typewriter, a typewriter Jack Kerouac used sold: you are a person who’s had his hand in a lot of popular culture in the last 50 years. Are you vying into that trend as well or is your decision completely independent of that?
No it’s all tied up in the fact that I’m 76 and I’m very ill and like a sage old dog I can smell when certain signs are there. We are trapped in a medical eddy, this mad meat house of medicine where we cannot get the help we need. I’m not a bag lady, I live in a particularly good house that I’ve been living in since 1966, but we don’t have anywhere near the chance of getting Marcus Welby to fix my problems. As a consequence we have to get some money and as time goes by you get more and more famous and less and less wealthy. I literally have to start eating my past and turning into the actually dollar all of the artifacts that have made me who I am. I am eating my past.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]