[Ads-l] Quote - They're not writers; they're typists. Truman Capote,

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Mar 29 14:50:11 UTC 2016

On Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:54:12 Zone-0400  ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> 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

. . . 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 [end ref]
<end quote>

I have only heard the quote used to describe (disparage) Jack Kerouac.  Indeed, Kerouac's most famous work, _On The Road_, appeared in 1957.  According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac the book appeard sometime after July 1957, and the citation above is dated "spring-summer 1957", which means either Truman Capote had seen an advance copy of _On The Road_, or was familiar with earlier Kerouac work, or simply was referring to writers other than Kerouac.

- Jim Landau

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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