[Ads-l] Quote: They're not writers; they're typists. (Truman Capote, Sprint 1957)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 28 15:21:36 UTC 2016


On Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>
> Interesting.  In honor of another baseball season about to kick off, I note a near
> parallel:  the difference between pitching and "throwing", where the former implies
> finesse, brains, maturity, etc., and the latter brute force on the fastball to
> overpower hitters rather than to keep them off-balance.  So we get "He used to
> be a thrower, now he's a pitcher".  Not an exact parallel, but a "thrower" is
> definitely, in Capote's words, a non-stylist.

Somewhat like the pugilistic distinction between a boxer and a puncher.

>
> > On Mar 27, 2016, at 11:07 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> >
> > That's not writing, that's typing
> >
> > The expression above is often attributed to Truman Capote although the
> > phrasing varies. A great new citation in 1957 was brought to my
> > attention by Terry Teachout of the WSJ. Previously, the earliest
> > citation (I knew about) was dated January 1959. The key phrase in 1957
> > was:
> >
> > . . . they're not writers; they're typists.
> >
> > [ref] Spring-Summer 1957, The Paris Review, Number 16, Truman Capote,
> > The Art of Fiction No. 17, Interviewed by Pati Hill, Paris Review,
> > Inc., Flushing, New York. (Online archive of The Paris Review at
> > theparisreview.org; accessed March 27, 2016) link [/ref]
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > But yes, there is such an animal as a nonstylist. Only they’re not
> > writers; they’re typists. Sweaty typists blacking up pounds of bond
> > paper with formless, eyeless, earless messages.
> > [End excerpt]

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