There’s a certain mystique about typewriters that I’ve never quite understood. Between Brooklyn-based restaurant menus and very painful poetry chapbooks, somehow 19th century typography is supposed to restore us to a more whimsical, wistful, unbearable time. It’s a huge fad, and one that Tom Hanks, the star of C’mon Now You Know This, explores in his first collection of short stories, currently in development.
“I’ve been collecting typewriters for no particular reason since 1978 – both manual and portable machines dating from the thirties to the nineties . . . The stories are not about the typewriters themselves, but rather, the stories are something that might have been written on one of them.”
I’m not sure what Hanks means by a story that might’ve been composed on a typewriter, but the possibilities are terrifying. A 19th century New England romance that uses too many semicolons? A drama involving a symbolic garden and a dying marriage? No word yet on what the actual content will be, although Hanks recently published a short story with The New Yorker earlier this year. According to Slate, the story explored “shopworn ideas about technology . . . written in too-clever lit mag-ese.” I’m sure you’re right guys, but c’mon – Tom Hanks!
Either way, I’m hopeful-ish, because there’s literally no way Hanks’ book could be more terrifying than James Franco’s most recent collection of poetry, written entirely in JamesFrancoese (think: rhyming ebonics, the phrase: ‘I Be The Debil Rulin’ The Roost, Satan Claus’).
According to HuffPo, Hanks’ collection will be published by the esteemed publishing house, Alfred A. Knopf. No word yet on whether the book will include well-loved binding and breakfast-tea-stained pages.