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Will Self's long-term relationship

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My favourite things are bicycles and typewriters because they’re pure, inert pieces of metal that, when you add human energy to them, produce relatively high-speed travel or text. I have three typewriters, including the Lettera 22, voted the greatest object of the last 100 years by the Illinois Technology Institute in 1959.

People are deceived into believing that writing on a computer is faster, but it’s not. Using a typewriter is more disciplined; you don’t have the distraction of thinking, ‘I’ll go online and look up what oven gloves made of fur look like.’ Also, the technology is more durable. But what really drove me to the typewriter was the aesthetics. I don’t like what computers look like now. I’m obviously just old and crusty.

Will Self is a judge for the Brit Insurance Design Awards 2011, at London’s Design Museum until 7 August

Image: Rex

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