4 December 2009
Property to Benefit the Santa Fe Institute
[McCARTHY, Cormac] (1933 - ). McCarthy's Olivetti manual typewriter (serial no. 2143668), ON WHICH HE TYPED ALL OF HIS WORK FROM 1958 TO 2009. 12½ x 10.14 x 3½in., with original blue carrying case. [WITH:] McCARTHY. Typed document signed ("Cormac McCarthy"), n.d. [October 2009], titled "Cormac McCarthy's Typewriter," authenticating his ownership of the typewriter.
"I HAVE TYPED ON THIS TYPEWRITER EVERY BOOK I HAVE WRITTEN INCLUDING THREE NOT YET PUBLISHED"
In the accompanying letter of authentication McCarthy writes that he "typed on this typewriter every book I have written including three not yet published. Including all drafts and correspondence I would put this at about five million words over a period of fifty years..." That includes everything from the four early Tennessee novels--The Orchard Keeper, The Outer Dark, Child of God, and Suttree; the great Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain; Blood Meridian as well as his two most recent masterpieces, No Country for Old Men and The Road. His two plays and one screenplay also rolled off its carriage.
He bought it in a Knoxville, Tennessee pawnshop "in the fall of 1958. I paid fifty dollars for it... It has never been serviced or cleaned other than blowing out the dust with a service station airhose and by the fall of 2009 it was beginning to show serious signs of wear." His friend and colleague at the Santa Fe Institute, John Miller, offered to buy him a new one, "which he did. Then he asked what I intended to do with the old one and I said I didn't know and he said: Why don't you auction it off and give the proceeds to the Institute? I thought that was a good idea..."
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