Nietzsche’s Typewriter

6/16/2008 1:32 am

“Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise… Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler, Nietzsche’s prose ‘changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.'”
Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, July/Aug 2008

People will say just about anything. It is funny that almost the exact opposite may have happened. According to Nicholas Carr, Nietzsche bought a typewriter in 1882. The previous year, 1881, saw the publication of Morgenrot the last of Nietzsche’s aphoristic books. His next published work was Also Sprach Zarathustra, his largest and most sustained piece of prose. This was followed by Die fröhliche Wissenschaft and Jenseits von Gut und Böse, his second and third longest books and they contain his most sustained and developed arguments. I don’t know if the typewriter had anything to do with it, but it most certainly did not change his style from arguments to aphorisms.


~ by severalfourmany on June 16, 2008.

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