22 June 2010
[UPDIKE, John (1932-2009)]. John Updike's Olympia "electric 65c" typewriter (serial no. 183017). 20 x 17 x 9 inches. With the original cover and his metal typewriter cart.
Dating from 1967-68, the serial number indicates that Updike probably bought this typewriter when his family lived in London from 1968-69, shortly after he wrote Couples. Because the ribbon on this electric passes from reel to reel once, the ghost image of certain of his writings remains: notably part of a speech for the Gordon College commencement on doing important social, spiritual and religious work, a paragraph on "writing well" and a letter responding to an inquiry about the forward he wrote for Kafka's Complete Short Stories. A final letter is to his typist, instructing her on the quality and look of his typed pages and explaining to her that he will no longer need her services because he has purchased a word processor. The typewriter was given to one of his daughters about 15 years before his death.
Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (the novels Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and the novella "Rabbit Remembered") which chronicled the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to his death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) received the Pulitzer Prize. He published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children's books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954.
This lot is consigned by a family member of John Updike who will donate half of the proceeds in her father's name to the New York Public Library.
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